Everything I Never Expected About Being A Mother







Ten years ago my sister stood outside our average dream home and snapped these pictures. My boys were little once too, even though I can’t prove on cute instagram photos much to my dismay. I’m one of those girls who always wanted to be a mom. I always knew I would be. However I always assumed I would have girls.

Having and enjoying being a boy mom is my biggest surprise of motherhood. This girly girl can’t imagine life without stinky hockey uniforms, dirty boots and loud bodily functions. The other surprise? How fast it’s flying by. We just took those pictures yesterday!

Today my friend Lisa Jo celebrates the release of her first book Surprised by Motherhood:: Everything I Never Expected About Being A Mother. And unlike me she never wished, dreamed or assumed that she’d be a mom one day. I’m already on chapter eight of this book and I adore it.

Read more about Surprised By Motherhood here.

Get your copy here.

Are you a mom? What has been your biggest surprise?

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  1. Andrea L. says:

    I’m also a “boy mom”. I have 3 adorable little men who can be amused for hours with a fart machine but will also cuddle happily with their mama. I think I’ve been most surprised with how protective I feel over them. That mama bear instinct is strong. My first goes to kindergarten this year and it will take everything in me to not step in if anyone picks on my baby! I will just have to practice differentiating between protection and over protection.
    Oh! And lack of sleep! I never knew you could function somewhat normally on so little sleep :)

  2. Precious pictures. You are a blessed mom, for sure!

  3. Those photos?? I just can’t even!! So grateful for you and your boys and your beautiful way of mothering so many of us and our tired houses. Love you so,

  4. I also have boys – ages 10 and almost 8. I always assumed I would have one girl and one boy for some reason but having two boys who are best friends means the world to me! I have learned so much about myself from this experience. I grew up with one sister and was never exposed to the rough and tumble day to day energy that boys exude. I have learned that they get hurt a lot and things get broken around the house sometimes and I have to just let things go. I know I still have to work on not being so overprotective because part of giving them confidence in themselves is letting them make mistakes and yes, sometimes get hurt. It’s a growing process for all of us but they have made me happier than I could have ever imagined!

  5. Biggest surprise? That they would grow up and become my dearest friends.

    And THEY would show me what it looks like to be a fabulous mom.

    Someday when I grow up, I’d like to be just like them.

    • Wow, this brought tears to my eyes! My boys are 1year and almost 5 — I hope when they grow up I get to experience the same blessing as you.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Just like you, the only thing that as sure as I was growing up was that I would be a momma and of course there would be little girls to dress up and play babies with. And 21 years and 4 boys later the only part of my dream is the momma part! But I wouldn’t trade any of my boys for a girl. That may be the biggest surprise to me is that I really am ok with being a boymom! I love the protectiveness on both my side and theirs. They adore me as much as I adore them. I have ’em all ages!! From 21, 17, 10 and 20 months, the cuddles and hugs are still great!

  7. I never dreamed of being a mom. My childhood was not very enjoyable and I always said I would NEVER have kids. I was so afraid I would parent my children how I was parented as it was all I knew. Fast forward, I met my husband and he wanted children, so I decided to give it a go. I truly thought I would be the working mom and he would be the stay at home dad, he seemed really good at being the fatherly type with his nieces and nephews. But once I had that little boy, my heart melted and I am fiercely protective of him. The first few years I was overly so, and have since learned to calm down. We now have a daughter and I can’t imagine my life any other way then being a stay at home mom. Nobody is more shocked then me.

  8. Biggest surprise? That there would be so many children calling me mom! Seven is a bit more than the four to six I saw in my dream’s eyeview when growing up:) Who knew my dreams of having children of all ages running in and out of the home would actually come true? Sounds kooked, I know, but I am often the only one surprised my dreams have really truly come true!

  9. Like you, I always knew I wanted to be a mom. I’m a bit surprised I worry as much as I do about my little ones. I’m not a worrier by any stretch and I’ve been around kids enough to know how things are but sometimes I know I am projecting a worrying/nervous mother. I also thought once I became a mom I would automatically feel like a mom but I sorta felt like an imposter in the beginning. I just didn’t know what I was doing and didn’t feel like a put together mom.

  10. I too always wanted to be a mom, and it was often disappointing to me to have teachers or other grown ups tell me I needed a real job when I grew up. But deep down, I know this is the role I was born to play. I think the biggest surprise is how much they teach me, I expected to be the one who knows all the answers-but I realize that if I’m paying attention I have much more to learn from my kids and the way they approach life.

  11. Like you I have always wanted to be a mom and thought that I should have girls. Well we have 2 girls and 2 boys, and although I love my girls with all their girly ways, my boys are so much fun. Girls are emotional and boys are very matter of fact. I love being a football mom as well as a coach’s wife. I loved watching my second daughter dance but the football life is better than I ever imagined. My house is always full of boys, mine and others, and I love it.

  12. I always wanted to be a mom too and it really was as wonderful as I expected it to be, with a heavy dose of worrying about everything that I hadn’t anticipated. My oldest is 40 now and he and his younger brother and sister have given me 6 wonderful grandchildren and I get to relive all those golden years all over again. I agree all you boy moms, you are as fiercely protective of those sweet sons as you are a daughter. I am going to tell my daughter about this book…she too was hesitant about having children (even though she teaches kindergarten and loves her students) , but her husband wore her down and now she is in love with her sweet babies and can’t imagine why she was concerned.

  13. My biggest surprise?

    That it would be ME that grew so much when I had children.

    I knew I’d be growing little ones, but had no idea how molding and shaping their little lives would grow me too. Tough stuff, but what a blessing!

  14. Eowyn M. West says:

    I loved this video…but, I am disappointed that a demographic is left out here: the mothers who work tirelessly & endlessly to raise & care for their children with special needs. My 12 yr. old daughter (the youngest of my 3 kids) has spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy. She is in a wheelchair and can not walk, crawl or sit up or sit unassisted. She can not feed or dress herself, nor can she self- toilet. She can not write or hold a utensil, BUT, she can speak and she shares her beautiful thoughts with us. She has an amazing & determined spirit full of spunk. She is the sweetest, most compassionate person I know. This journey of motherhood is certainly not one I would have chosen, any more than my daughter would have chosen to have a life-long disability for herself. It is exhausting, even depressing and lonely…but, the loveliness and the life lessons and the triumphs and joys outweigh the weariness & sadness & frustration (it is not a wheelchair friendly world we live in!). “She is clothed in Strength & Dignity and laughs without fear of the future” describes her perfectly. All mothers are unsung heroines…those of us who are caregivers to our children with special needs would just like ourselves and our children to be included.

  15. Janet Olson says:

    Autism in my son, bipolar disorder in my daughter. He’s now 28, still living with us. E is highfunctioning on the autism scale–he holds conversations, worked full time in a very stressful distribution center for Walgreens for 14 months before the stress got to him. She is now 30, living with her fiance (great guy), They are among the working poor. She was pretty unstable for quite a long time. She went to a private high school to keep her safe; she was bullied to the point of suicidality in middle school. Son is now in an Intensive Outpatient Program for the schizoaffective disorder he also has. Neither was ever an easy child. or an easy adult. She made some very bad decisions including a very abusive live-together relationship.
    Those 2 things, autism and mental illness, were surprises and have taught me so much.

  16. I’m not one yet, but I hope to be one soon!

  17. Christie says:

    I didn’t expect that I would feel bittersweet about them growing up. My oldest is 13-½ so I know the upcoming years will really fly by. This is the first time I’ve felt that pang of emotion about them growing up. At the younger ages, I was always just fine with each new stage. Now I know how fast it is going.

  18. JosieLCPC says:

    What beautiful pictures! My 3 are all grown now, and the girls have given me 3 beautiful grandchildren. My biggest surprise was how easy the girls were, and how difficult the boy (my youngest) was during the teenage years. Everyone had told me the opposite is true (i.e., boys are easy and girls difficult). But our boy was one of those “strong-willed” kids, who challenged us on just about everything. He’s turned into a wonderful man, though–creative, independent, and caring.

  19. What adorable boys! Although I’m sure they prefer not to be called adorable these days ;-) I would have loved to be a mom of all boys…or all girls…just as much as I love being a mom of one of each. FYI, my daughter thinks bodily functions and noises are just as funny as my son does. A friend of mine just had her fourth child–fourth boy!–three days ago.

  20. Your boys. are. adorable. My biggest surprises about being a mom: how little sleep you get/can survive on, how much you love them (both right away and over time), and how I could enjoy a son as much as a daughter.
    I somehow thought all girls would better/easier/whatever. Now I am so very thankful for one of each. And he snuggles more anyway :).

  21. Unlike you, I never wanted kids when I was younger. Growing up, my parents were always fighting and screaming and my sisters and I learned how to fend for ourselves and steer clear of our parents. Since that was all I knew, I had decided that I would not have the capacity to be a loving momma. Fast forward to the night of my first positive pregnancy test when I collapsed on the floor in tears telling my husband, “Do you have any idea how badly we can screw up a child?!” Well, over seven years and three babies later, I can honestly say that this life of mommyhood is NOTHING like I thought it would be! It’s much harder, but it’s so unspeakably beautiful. I look forward to reading this book! Thank you for sharing :)

  22. My biggest surprise was how I could have SO much love for all three. After #1 I thought there was no way to love another as much as I do my daughter. But it happens and the love is unique for each child! God is so good!

  23. Oh my goodness. These photos are so precious. And you are too adorable! I would have loved to peer into your life in those younger years with your boys! I have to say, I feel relieved to hear you wanted girls. So badly I want girls but know that sometimes when I want something too much, usually means I will get the exact opposite! As a fellow girly, creative, woman who loves women, I am encouraged to see your home, life, and girlyness come out even with a house of men! It gives me hope! Spending time with my nephew has warmed me up to the idea of boys which has definitely helped (and we have another nephew on the way, this month, that I will also be taking care of). I suppose only time will tell. Crossing my fingers…but I suppose also open to all that parenting will teach and surprise! ;)

  24. I always knew I wanted to be a mom more than anything else. I loved babies, toddlers and little people. What has surprised me the most about having my 4 is how much I’m enjoying them as they get older. I was always such a baby person that I am seriously SHOCKED how much I love and enjoy my teens (most of the time-lop).

  25. Biggest surprise: Motherhood continues until the day you die. My girls are both moms, but they still need their mom. This week my daughter and her family are moving from Calgary to New Foundland. My SIL called, he was across the country, stranded by weather. My daughter (who was alone in a hotel in Calgary with their 7 month old) got food poisoning and had to go to the hospital. I am in Austin, but was tossing together a bag and getting ready to head to Calgary until my SIL could get home. No matter how long you live – your kids will always need their mom.

  26. Nicole M. says:

    My biggest surprise about motherhood is that I am 39 yrs old and NOT a mother. I always thought I would get married and have kids. Never had any major problems with my body. But I got married in my thirties and had to have surgery for fibroids 3 months after my wedding. Many complications came, and we have not been able to conceive after 5 years. That’s definitely been a BIG surprise. And an even bigger surprise is how it has affected me. I never thought of myself as in love with being a mom, but it has been hard dealing with this reality. Very hard.

  27. As I sit at the kitchen table, staring blankly at this half empty meal plan and hearing my three little ones fight in the other room, I am so thankful I pressed play on that video. Healing tears stream down my face because I have wondered so many times if I’m doing right, doing good by them. I was once a driven, career minded young gal with aspirations in my pocket and a doctorate in my headlights. I now am a gardener, an artist, a wife, and most importantly stay at home mama. And though I sometimes question whether I should have kept my out of home job to give them that Disney vacation, that nicer car to ride in, those fancier toys, I know deep in my most natural fibers that I’m living honestly in this that I am…..right now.

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