As a mom of a newborn/infant you have to learn how to function on 2 hours of sleep. (The women that tell you they love the newborn stage are probably still suffering from a hormonal imbalance.)
As a mom of a one to two year old you have to dig WAY down deep to find patience. You go from caring what others think about you and your parenting to quite frankly not giving a damn because sometimes you just can't control a tantrum throwing toddler in the middle of the grocery store.
As a mom of a two to three year old you start to have a little more confidence in your role as a mom. You realize that YOU (and not the tantrum throwing toddler that you were starting to think might be bipolar) are in control. You put on your big girl panties (hopefully you are out of the granny panties by now) and realize that consistency, discipline and routine are your best friends.
As a mom of a four to six year old you have to master the silent across the room look - for the time(s) when your kid starts acting a fool and you can't get to him in time. You also have to learn how to deal with hearing "Mom" twenty times in a row from your kid. I'm not a Family Guy fan but the recent Hulu commercial had me dying laughing (watch it below). Unfortunately, I had the same response to Garrison far too often before learning how to deal with this.
As a mom of a seven to eight year old you have to learn to not be embarrassed by things that may have had you turning bright red a few years back - such as when your kid pulls his cup out of his baseball underwear in a public bathroom and brings it to you in a restaurant. Or when your shoe makes a noise when picking your kid up from school and he asks you (in a yelling voice) if you just farted.
I have not experienced life as a mom past the age of eight but I'm sure there are many more learning moments ahead of me. I'm sure there will be more hard times and many more mistakes made on my part.
Being a mom affects everything in your life. It has taken me a long time to understand that I can't please everyone. I constantly remind myself that my priorities are God, husband, kids and then everything else. The hardest part of the "everything else" is extended family and friends (including girl time). I have learned to not feel guilty about turning down girls' night invitations. I have learned to not feel guilty about not always being able to please everyone around me. Trust me, this is really hard for someone who does not like conflict.
The good parts of motherhood FAR outweigh the bad. I'm just trying to keep it real today and share the not so fun parts of being a mom. It's all about learning as we go and doing the best we can! So, keep up the