So I've been thinking lately, a lot, about motherhood. 4 years ago next week I found out I was going to be a mother. For years, though I had always worked with kids, I denied that I wanted any of my own, denied I had any motherly instincts. Then just over 3 years ago, I met Punky and nothing has been the same. I can barely remember life before Punky. Sure, I could sleep in later, when my insomnia let me. Sure, I could have a social life without making childcare arrangements or checking to see if it was a family friendly gathering. Sure, my house was not overrun with toys. Sure, I didn't have to clean out the tub before I took a bath. I admit I recently said I needed a vacation in this order: alone, with the Huz, then as a family. Being a mother is hard (I assume being a father is too, but as I am not one I cannot speak to that). Being a working mother is hard. Some days I get home just in time to put Punky to bed only to get up and leave again at dawn. I feed her boxed mac and cheese more than I should and vegetables less than I should. I don't clean frequently enough. We don't make cookies or crafts or practice our academics daily or even weekly. Some days I am not the mother I thought I would be. I yell more than I imagined, I lack patience, I dread the teenage years. But I think about that solo vacation and know I would hardly last a day before I was calling for the Huz and Punky to join me. I love stories and snuggles before bed. I love the giggles. I love the "look Mommy"s. My heart breaks when she asks all teary-eyed if I am mad at her (no, the answer is always no). I watch her hug her friends goodbye when I pick her up. I help her mail pictures to family. I listen to her play. She is a source of joy, pure joy. I worry about her health and well being. I worry about mean girls and bullies. In my line of work I've heard real horror stories. And I know there is only so much I can do to protect her. Some days I wish bedtime would come a little sooner, but mostly I wish for more hours in my day and more energy in my hours to spend with this amazing little creature. I am not a supermom and I don't have to be. I aspire to be more, but remind myself that good enough IS good enough. And that I am lucky to have a partner to share it with. After almost 8 years of marriage to the most infuriating man I've ever met, something still feels off when we are apart. The man rarely sees me out of my pajamas (due to our schedules, not the fact that I never leave my pjs) and doesn't get mad when I forget his pizza rolls, there must be some kind of award for that, right? So while the adventure isn't what I thought it would be and I wouldn't have believed you if you'd tried to tell me how hard it is, I feel lucky to be on this journey. And yes, we might be having toast for dinner. In our pajamas. At 5:30pm. On a Monday. Don't judge me. I won't judge you.