Motherhood has shown me that I’m MUCH stronger than I thought I was.

The emotional strength it takes to raise a tiny human is something I knew nothing about. It messes with your heart and head in the best way. It challenges you to become a better person. You no longer think about yourself, you think about the impact you’re making for someone else. I’ve also learned a lot about forgiveness. Motherhood isn’t perfect. We’re learning as we go, and we have to forgive ourselves when we feel we’ve made a mistake. When a child can see the action of forgiveness, I feel that’s one of the best lessons in life.

Patience is a struggle with me. The biggest challenge I face as a mother is keeping my cool. Who knew a little person could set you off so much?! I have to remind myself daily, “You’re the adult….take a deep breath.” But I try to remember that everything is a lesson, and I seek the lesson when things get tough. Sometimes the lesson doesn’t always show up at first, but weeks down the road it all makes sense.

Sometimes I have these out of body experiences when shit hits the fan and I step back and I just have to laugh.

For example, last week my son threw up in my bed. Yes, IN MY BED. I woke up to the sound of him chucking in my bed. I sat up and screamed, “OH SHIT!!!!!” It was like a scene out of The Exorcist. I ended up scrubbing the bed, throwing out sheets, wiping puke off my floors and my son and the dog, and had to step back and laugh at that moment. What the heck else are you supposed to do? Cry?!  Well… yeah, I wanted to crawl in a ball and sob. But as mothers, you gotta put on your best face, and fake it until you make it. Even if you’re covered in puke.


Motherhood has shown me that I refuse to grow up.

I’ll still try and skateboard even if I fall on my face. I’ll pump up the music and do dance parties if he wants, heck I’ll even turn on the fog machine and strobe lights. I’ll be 95 and still doing dance parties at the old folks’ home. Drop me your email, I’ll send you the invite in 60 years…

All my son wants to do is socialize, so I feel like I’m his social manager AND mom.

That role is fun, but can be so exhausting!  I had all these boys stay over for his 8th birthday party – a sleepover. They all slept in this tiny apartment. City living is a joke… NO SPACE! We’re all going bonkers, slowly…

I just had a conversation the other day with someone – they thought I “keep my cool.” Little do they know, I lose my $hit on my kid daily.

I think my neighbors are terrified of me. Some days, when I wait for the elevator on my floor, I hang my head in shame as I know they’ve heard me scream at my son most mornings. One minute, it’s “GET YOUR SHOES ON!!! I DON’T CARE, WE’RE LEAVING!!! Fine. You’re going barefoot to school.” And the next moment is, “I love you bud, you’re the best.”  It’s like Jekyll and Hyde over here. Motherhood can be incredibly rewarding in one moment, and the worst nightmare the next. How is it so darn hot & cold?! I mean, am I the only one who cries over the amount of love I have for him, and the next moment I want to toss him out the window?!

It inspires me that I can create moments now that he will someday look back on and smile.

It’s like we have the control to paint our children’s future memories.  I love having these “aha” moments with him and I think, “Will this be a memory he’ll remember?” Usually its the deep conversations we’ve had at night, after reading, when we talk about life… where we’re going next… what are the favorite parts of his day. It’s those memories that mean so much. I hope someday he’ll remember the small things.

Danielle Guenther is a NYC area lifestyle photographer who loves to embrace the chaos of parenting.  Her favorite series, “Best Case Scenario” and “What the BUMP?!” captures the raw, unfiltered, and honest side of life after you’ve started a family.  After all, those are the stories you’ll tell years down the road. You can connect with Danielle on Facebook and Instagram @danielleguentherphotos.

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Saralyn Ward is an award-winning writer, wellness advocate, and mountain mama. She is the founder of The Mama Sagas, writes for several publications and hosts a regular parenting TV segment on Colorado's Everyday Show. When she's not huddled over edits, you're likely to find Saralyn climbing peaks or skiing down them, and reminding herself that the two little girls that call her mom are not the boss of her.