My sister forwarded me a request from her local MOPS group: If you had to write a book about the joys and challenges of motherhood, what would the chapter headings be? While I literally sketch my sleeping children because the sight of them fills me with such overwhelming joy, I am the first one to admit that I put the pencil down and pull myself up by the bootstraps a lot of the time, because being a mom is not easy. Well, being a mom is pretty easy, being a good mom is just plain good old-fashioned hard work.
Chapter 1: Idealization: Knitted booties, white onesies and lullabies on the string guitar
Chapter 2: Reality: Plugged ducts, poop stains and hot water soaks for episiotomies
Chapter 3: Acceptance: Learning to put your back to the laundry while you play peek-a-boo
Chapter 4: Not for quitters: Staying the course when you want to flee to Nebraska
Chapter 5: Just for today: Encouragement when you cry to theme of Curious George
Chapter 4: Discipline for Dummies: How there's no such thing as motherly intuition
Chapter 5: Joy: First steps, first words, first love notes written in crayon with backward letters
Chapter 6: Specific challenges: Getting a newborn to sleep while an older child screams "MOMMY, WIPE ME!"
Chapter 7: The working mom: Finding time for a fourth full-time job
Chapter 8: The homeschooling mom: Just to kick up the crazy another notch
Chapter 9: Mom of many: How adding a third child (or more) means you're really not messing around
Chapter 10: The case for maternal amnesia: How the irrational mind causes repeat conception
Chapter 11: You are still a person: When you feel enslaved to midgets yelling "I want more chocolate milk!"
Chapter 12: Never alone: How to connect to God, your husband, your friends and a good therapist