Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

Opinion

May 10, 2013

Some of the lessons of motherhood

I’ve been on the job for more than 21 years, without a day off for longevity, illness, endurance or good behavior. I’m not complaining. I wouldn’t want a day off. Not a whole day, anyway. Although I do appreciate 10 minutes under a hot shower within the solitary confines of my bathroom each morning.

If you’re a newbie to the profession, you might feel tired. Heck, I’m absolutely certain you are tired. Don’t worry. (There will be plenty of things to worry about during the next 18 years, believe me.) You’ll get used to the brain fog – even learn to use it to your advantage. Besides, sleep is over-rated. It’s one of the lessons motherhood has taught me.

There’s more. Motherhood is practically a classroom, and some of the things learned within its confines are even more exciting than sleeping through the night. Like one concept I call the time conundrum.

Back when I was a rookie mom, friends, family and strangers at the grocery store predicted the next 18 years would zoom by faster than warp speed. I nodded my sleep-deprived head, tried not to yawn and failed to believe them. Other mothers fall into the same trap.

Here’s why: When you are in the throes of colic, or potty training, or learning to ride a bike, or first day of kindergarten, or getting braces on crooked teeth, or taking a driving test, or going to prom, or moving into the dorm, it’s hard to imagine anything beyond your current circumstance. Until the event at hand ends, and another consumes you faster than you can say, “Grab the car seat,” and so on until you turn the calendar to another year filled with new adventures and milestones and before you can say, “Here are the car keys,” your chubby toddler has become a gangly 16-year-old. Warp speed – a mystical, magical and practically supernatural reality for moms, hopefully not teenage drivers.

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