Motherhood does not come with sick days.

Back in my crazy career days (working nonstop) taking a sick day was next to impossible. There have only been a few times I’ve needed to call off – thank God for those legislated sick days! But on those much needed days, I slept off whatever illness hit me and was able to take a break from reality to recoup.

But there’s one thing your doctor forgets to tell you about having a baby – motherhood does not come with sick days.

Maybe that’s why the first trimester of pregnancy is full of exhaustion? Nature knows you are going to need every second of sleep to accommodate for a life of no more sick days?

Wouldn’t it be nice for once just to say “I can’t make it to motherhood today. I’m just really sick. Please figure it out.”

For the past couple weeks I genuinely wanted to call in sick to motherhood.  And why is it when our significant other is under the weather they seemingly get to take a sick day? My only guess – the mommy gene: the inability to ever get sleep or fully relax again due to having children.

No matter how high your fever is or how many times you’ve visited your porcelain friend, the kids are still going to expect dinner and their favorite bedtime story. “Mommy, I want bites I’m hungry!” “Mommy, I want books!”. Sweet children don’t understand that standing up to get them a snack will literally take every ounce of energy out of your body and just might kill you.

But we do it.

Even when we feel like getting our kids out of bed is going to do us in, we still do it. Even when we can’t feed ourselves, we make sure the kids get more than enough. Because that’s what us moms do – CEO’s of the family never get sick days! It’s a full time job and then some to keep the house running smoothly.

It’s hard enough to take a sick day when working a full time career, but when you’re a mom, kids allow ZERO sick days (especially if they’re really little).  At least the office gives us a set number of sick days (even though we aren’t always allowed to take them). Whether you’re a working mom or a stay at home mom we all have one thing in common – motherhood does not come with sick days.

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“They grow up fast!”

My Grandma always says “Enjoy your babies when they’re little because they grow up so fast!”.  I’ve always understood the sentiment behind her advise – but for some reason I didn’t fully understand it until the other day. 

As moms, we are constantly on the go – making meals, grabbing snacks, thinking about what’s for dinner, doing laundry, kissing “owies”, cleaning, changing diapers, working, etc. etc. etc! Most of the time we are just trying to survive let alone sit down and stare at our kids through nostalgic eyes. 

A couple ago days I actually did sit and just watch my babies – now 1-year-old and 2-years-old.  I watched my 1-year-old laugh, read books, and terrorize my 2-year-old, while my 2-year-old picked up small toys and put them in a container to carry around their playroom. They both brought me toys asking “Dis?” and “What’s this?” and gave me repeated “squeezy” hugs. We read books all the time, but on this day, we read even more.  We smiled and laughed even more. 

My kids absolutely amazed me. 

Their steps amazed me; their laughs amazed me; their words amazed me; their sharing amazed me; their eyes amazed me; their personalities amazed me – I was flat out amazed.  For the first time, I actually understood what my Grandma means.

Just yesterday my toddlers were babies and somehow, overnight they started walking and talking. The epiphany hit so hard it brought me to tears – Life has flown by these past three years and will only start going faster.  In a few months even, my once babies will be progressing to other milestones and they are constantly growing.  Even sappier – before I know it they will be off to college and living lives of their own.  

As a self proclaimed perfectionist with a driver personality (go-go-go and get stuff done!), I have recently made my main goal in life to enjoy my kids and to “smell the roses” on a daily basis.  Don’t get me wrong, I still attempt to get stuff done. But in life, stuff will always need done.  And just a hint, you will never be caught up on laundry! (I frequently pull late night laundry parties and I still never get it all done!) – that’s life.  It is so easy to get wrapped up in cleaning, laundry, phones, and work, but the bottom line is simple – our kids are our reason for living and their very existence should stop us in awe. Yes, we all have moments where we literally want to pull our hair out or pop in some ear plugs, but instead of focusing on the bad moments, let’s change our attitudes and focus on the gem moments.   

While living in this hustle and bustle world that never sleeps, I challenge all parents to slow down a bit; hold your baby a little longer; read the dreaded long bedtime story (or two); watch your child learn instead of rushing them to the next task. I haven’t and don’t always follow the slow down.  But I have found when I do, I am a better mom, my kids are happier, and I enjoy my babies to the fullest because like Grandma says … “They grow up fast!”

A New Generation of Moms – “Mogul Moms”

My friends have always said, “Give Kim a few drinks and send her in to teach a sex-ed class and no teenagers would be having sex!” Maybe my friends say this because of the graphic depictions of birth I’ve privied them to, or horror stories of the days after giving birth.  Usually their eyes are about to pop out of their heads as I recall birthing details – “And that’s something they should teach you in birthing class!”

As frank as I am about giving birth, I have done it twice; within 12 months and 19 days of each other.  So obviously I “forgot” about all the pain of the first round and was ready to have another – a far far cry from the truth.  Don’t mistake me, bringing a baby into the world is beyond a shadow of a doubt the most incredible moment, I get choked up just thinking about it.  I classify having my kids as the “best day(s) of my life”.  But during pregnancy, when I was ready to punch most people in the face, colleagues said to me, “Trust me, all the pain over the past 9 (really 10) months will be worth it when hold your baby for the first time.” I stood there in disbelief and with my disheveled eyes and hormonal zit ridden face protested “Yeah, I’m so sure.” They were right.

Before I met my husband I had no desire to get married let alone have any kids – “There’s no way I’m giving up my body for anything or anyone!” I was going to be a career woman because that’s the way I was raised – “I don’t need a man!” That ALL changed the day I met my husband. I am one of the lucky ones; as soon as I met him I knew we would spend our lives together. Our marriage is a sappy “love at first sight” saga that makes most people puke a little in their mouths. That day changed my outlook on life and suddenly my road to being a mom began. After a year and a half of marriage, we took the plunge and decided to try to have a baby.

I always wondered what kind of mother I would be. My husband hypothesized I would be easy on our kids and he would be the tough one (False and False). In my head I envisioned being a mom who had dinner ready on time every night, singing and rocking my babies to sleep, and of course having the smartest kids in the world. Let’s get one thing straight – no kid will read by the time they are two and there is a very slim chance despite all your planning efforts you will have an immaculate dinner ready every night.

But after having two babies and surviving some of the “stuff they never tell you about”, I am still trying to figure out what kind of mom I am. I am also still trying to find that perfect balance of being a wife and being mom. But when you’re a “mom”, suddenly there are more responsibilities around the house, not to mention most moms work full time jobs also resulting in not enough hours in the day. Even stay at home moms can find themselves overwhelmed with a multitude a new items to check off their to do list. And I would be oblivious if I didn’t mention the ever increasing pressure from society and social media to be the “perfect mom”.

Being a mom is the most important job I will ever have, even though it wasn’t in my original career or life plan. This realization brought me to the determination that being a mother in our generation isn’t as simple as being a mom – being a mother now entails being a “Mogul Mom”. We are the CEO’s of our family, whether we want to be or not; Moguls in our right. We have power to change the world, starting with our children. But every now and then our generation of Mogul Moms needs support from each other. While being a mom is the most important job, it is also, the hardest job of them all.