I stood there… and waited for her to finish throwing up.
That was when I realized something… I have reached the point of motherhood where I am no longer willing to catch throw-up with my hands.
When she was finished getting sick, I helped her out of bed and walked her to the bathroom. I filled the bathtub with warm water, stripped off her pajamas then washed her hair and shivering little body. After getting her dried off and dressed in clean clothes, I put her in bed with her daddy while I stripped the bed and started washing her sheets. Once I had everthing cleaned up, I climbed in bed beside both of them and went back to sleep.
Motherhood has definitely changed for me since I started this journey almost five years ago. After Sophia was born, I was in hyper-protective mode for months. When she was a few weeks old, I was scared to leave the room because I believed that no one else was qualified to watch my sleeping baby. I hated to let other people hold her in public and I refused to leave her in the nursery at church until she was over six months old. Mama Bear protecting her baby cub was an accurate description of my attitude at the time.
After my second child and few years of experience under my belt, saying that my mothering style has changed is an understatement. Just like an infant reaching those all important milestones like their first smile, first tooth, first bite of food - I have reached some important Motherhood Milestones in the past five years. These are not the obvious milestones like leaving Sophia with a babysitter for the first time or letting her "cry it out" to go to sleep at night. These are more like the "I am claiming my life back" moments that I needed to regain my sanity after the exhausting baby years.
- Responding to every cry, whimper or whine is counterproductive to the development of a child. Let them learn to live with a few bumps and bruises. When I hear someone cry, I ask them "Do I need to call an ambulance? Is there blood?" If the answer to both of these questions is no, then mommy's attention is not necessary.
- Realizing that I have the right to eat the food on my plate ALL BY MYSELF, without sharing with the kids is justified and necessary. I just say that the food is too spicy and it will burn their mouth then happily finish my meal in peace without little fingers dipping into my plate.
- Teaching kids that every toy in the house is not for their personal use saves you money. Last spring, my husband bought me an HP Mini laptop that is only for ME. It is so pretty and NO ONE else is allowed to use it, touch it, or even breathe on it. When Sophia wants to practice her "typing," she can happily click away on the computer in the kitchen without me worrying that she will delete a file or break the keyboard.
- Eating out at a restaurant WITH THE KIDS is forbidden from this day forward until all children have learned to sit in their own seats, eat from their own plates, and participate in table conversation without letting out random shrieks or screams. Growling and roaring like animals is also prohibited.
- Signing up to train for a half-marathon gives me a minimum of five hours of time to myself each week during my training runs. BONUS: I am raising money for cancer research and getting in shape too!
(Disclaimer: No children were severely hurt, injured, or ignored during my motherhood duties. All children have been fed, cared for and loved excessively. They just have a mommy who realizes "I am just as important as my kids" which actually makes me a better mom).