I always hesitate to admit that I was never going to be a mom.

It wasn’t on my bucket list, in my goals, or on my radar. It wasn’t just the farthest thing from me, it was completely not going to happen.

Once I became Catholic, and once I knew I would be marrying him, I knew that motherhood was a possibility.

Even so, it was never on my to-do. I hoped, for my husband’s sake, that we would have some kids. But me? No. I didn’t ever once want to have children. (He is as great a father as I thought he would be.)

I don’t have anything against kids, and I never have. I just didn’t want my own kids. In my house. In my area of responsibility. In my every-moment-of-the-day life.

Eight-plus years ago, when we walked through the door with the bucket-basket carseat contraption, we put it down on an end table. And then, going through both our minds, was this gem:

“What now?”

What do you do with a baby? And then how do you handle the toddler? And the preschooler? And life in general?

You know what I wish I’d have known–have believed–that day we came home from the hospital when our oldest was three days old?

Parenting is fun.

I know, I know. There’s the bit about “you can’t break her” and “you won’t ruin her life if xyz” and “don’t overthink” and “use your common sense” and “don’t believe everything others say; rely on your gut.”

All of that too. But as I was thinking of this topic today, I couldn’t help but marvel at how much I enjoy motherhood.

And I’m not just talking about the kids in my house (though they are a blast, don’t get me wrong). The practice of spiritual motherhood (or aunthood–call it what you will) has also taken root in me.

No, it’s not always fun. Sometimes, it’s not even mostly fun. There are stretches when “fun” is about the last descriptor I would use.

There’s nothing saying motherhood has to be fun, or that it should be fun, or that fun is part of the deal. Even so, when I think about this question, I can’t help but realize that it’s the very definition of what I’d like “fun” to include. I’m a better person because I’m a mom. I laugh more. I see more. I appreciate more.

Who knew it would be fun? Not me, that’s for sure.

How about you? 

What do you wish you had known as a new mom?

mom to mom series

Read more in the Mom to Mom series.