Being a mom is one of the most rewarding and terrifying responsibilities in my life. From the moment I found out that I was having a baby girl, I’ve made it my mission to heal my past wounds and grow emotionally and spiritually, so that I don’t pass on generational trauma. Honestly, being a mom is scary. The difference between me being a first-time mom and a fifth-time mom is I expect to make mistakes, and I’m ok with it.
I know that there will be times that I leave the diaper bag at home, and a trip to the Wal-Mart for diapers and wipes doesn’t reduce me to tears. A few good doses of rash cream clears up the diaper rash before the end of the day. Forgive yourself.
I understand forgiveness and mercy more fully. I know my own sleep deprived mishaps and misunderstanding, so I forgive myself and others more readily.
As a first-time mom, I stressed and beat myself up for not being perfect, but slowly, as I learned to laugh at myself and my foibles, I truly began to enjoy myself and my children. I have plenty of funny stories to share with fellow moms. My fondest memory is the Italian Restaurant.
My husband and I were 5 months into our first pastorate in a small town, a sweet church with mostly older adults. We learned more than taught. Our first church graciously shared their wisdom and experiences with us. They didn’t despise our youth, but showed grace and love as we grew.
After church, Jon and I decided to splurge and eat at the local Italian Restaurant. On the way, Katherine fell asleep. Thinking that she would nap through lunch, we carried her in the car seat, and we left the diaper bag in the car.
As we waited for the food to arrive, Katherine woke up. She crawled from my lap onto the table. With her Sunday best pink lacy dress, white tights, and little black shoes at 5 months old, she wiggled and giggled. We were mesmerized by this little blonde-haired perfection, until we heard the first explosion. Of course, I quickly pulled her back to my lap, and Jon ran for the diaper bag. As I waited, she had three more explosions. Her tights were not white any more.
The diaper bag hand off was quick as I dashed to the restroom. Of course, there was no changing table. So, being the great mom that I am, I looked around and tried to think, “What will be the easiest to clean surface?” The sink! As I slid her into the sink the automatic water came on, and she went to screaming. Now, I have a squalling poop covered wiggling wet baby in my hands. Laughing hysterically, I just started pulling stuff off and throwing it away as I balanced her on the edge of the sink.
I walked back to find a very confused husband. I’m laughing, the baby’s crying! As I told him the story, we were both laughing. Now she’s 14 and still practically perfect to us. We are still mesmerized, and through it all I’ve learned to be the first to laugh at myself. Which is a good thing because teenagers love to laugh at their parents.
The difference of a me as a first-time mom and a fifth-time mom is laugh first and everything can be cleaned. Laughter is a cure for almost everything!