“Do you have a story you can share about motherhood,” she asked. I almost laughed. Do I have stories? I’ve been a mother for nearly twenty-eight-years. I’ve mothered five children, a menagerie of pets, and an ex-husband. I’ve got stories.
Like that time I walked into the kitchen, and my eight-year-old son was dangling a snake across the breakfast table to show his sisters.
Me (as calmly as possible): “Son, please take the snake outside.”
Son: “Why?”
Me: “Because it’s a snake. In the house.”
As a mom, you say a lot of things you never imagined would come from your mouth.
“Get your fist out of the jelly jar.”
“Leave the cheese behind the toilet.”
“Yes, my pearl necklace does make a cool sound in your bicycle spokes.”
“Is that pudding on the ceiling?”
“Don’t touch each other, don’t look at each other, don’t even breathe in the general direction of one another.”
“These are the best rubberized scrambled eggs with blackened toast ever!”
“Do NOT wake me up from this nap unless there is a significant amount of blood, an uncontrollable fire, or the police are at the door.”
“No, we can’t keep him.”
“No, we can’t keep him.”
“No, we can’t keep him.”
“Alright, we can keep him.”
“Go change out of those short-shorts before you ruin the family name.”
“I think dropping out of medical school to follow your dream of stand-up comedy is a great idea!”
“I’m sorry, your honor.”
Conversely, as a mother, you have these wonderfully honest people in your life who offer a steady commentary of encouragement. For example, you might be trying on bathing suits when your six-year-old daughter observes, “I think you should get that one! It shows off your cute, little, chubby thighs, and makes your back-fat look less squishy.”
Or when you are on an international flight, coming home after visiting your husband, and your five-year-old stands in her seat and announces to the entire plane, “My mommy has a husband AND a boyfriend!”
You can’t erase the judgmental stares by explaining that just the week prior, daughter asked if you have a boyfriend, and you responded, “Daddy is my boyfriend.” Nope, you just gotta do your best not to make eye contact for the next six hours.
Then you’ve got the eleven-year-old with an old soul who makes random statements like, “Cherry Coke is the depressed kid’s whiskey.”
Or “Who would pay $45 for a stuffed animal for Valentine’s Day? And don’t even get me started on unicorns. Ridiculous.”
Or at 9:30 pm he informs you that he needs to learn how to make a power point presentation because the next day he is running for student council. His slogan? “They can’t stop us all!”
I wanted to point out that they could stop him if his mother sent him to bed without a presentation, but instead, I stayed up late making alien-shaped election posters.
Because you see, this is the same kid who, at the age of three, would snuggle with me every day and tell me I smelled like wonderful strawberries. It was actually Coconut Lime Verbena, but I never corrected him.
Yeah, when it comes to motherhood, I’ve got stories. But how can I condense the beauty and wonder of such an incredible journey onto a single page? Once you embark on motherhood, you’re just permanently in a jumbled state of worry, love, pride, and self-doubt. You do eventually get caught up on your sleep though, however, your dreams might forever be riddled with snakes slithering across the breakfast table.

Syndicated columnist Ginger Claremohr is an author, speaker, and mother of five. Follow her on Facebook, find her on the web: www.claremohr.com, or contact ginger@claremohr.com.