I have a secret to tell you……………..
Motherhood is not easy.
There. It’s out.
Between you and me, sometimes I even feel like I don’t know what I’m doing. Like I’m just totally winging it.
Shhhh! Keep your voice down. I don’t want the children to hear! They feed on any signs of weakness. If they even sense I’m losing my footing, I’m done for.
I remember the first time I met Monchichi and Superman. They ripped my body apart coming into this world, and instead of being pissed at them and holding a grudge, I was instantly in love. I didn’t even care that I had just spent the better part of a day and a half wishing that someone would saw me from the waist down; I became a mom to these perfect little beings and that was all that mattered.
It’s sort of been that way ever since.
No matter what they have done (and granted, I am nowhere near the teenage years, so check back with me then) I still cannot wait to hold them, soothe their pain, forgive their mistakes, and calm their fears. Even after an entire day of Monchichi proving that autism does not get in the way of disobedience and Superman debating every point I happen to make, they fall asleep entwined in my arms and I wake up each morning ready to smother them with kisses. It’s God’s great design, this motherhood bit.
But I wish someone had been honest with me about a few things when I was pregnant. Especially with my first. Because I think we owe it to ourselves, to our community of mothers, to spill the beans and get real.
*You will feel like you’ve lost all the pregnancy weight with that last push in the delivery room. Trust me. You haven’t. Don’t bring your size 6 jeans to the hospital in the hopes that you will prance out of there with them on. Buy a decent pair of non-maternity drawstring pants and be happy that you can see your feet again. I think postpartum depression begins the moment you realize that the baby was no where NEAR your entire pregnancy weight gain.
*Your boobs will no longer be your own. The nurses will see them. The doctors will see them. The baby will suck the life out of them. Your mother, MIL, sister, SIL, great-aunt Gertrude and her niece’s former hairdresser will see them. Your husband will even try to get in there once in a while. And forget trying to nurse in private. That may work the first few weeks, but trust me. The first time you’re in Target and the baby begins to howl and you start leaking like a broken Kohlr faucet, you're gonna whip those puppies out in the middle of the household cleaning supply aisle faster than a stripper with a $100 dollar bill coming at her. Not that I know.
*If you don’t breastfeed your baby, your child will not get into Harvard. Seriously? Come one. I know it’s good for them, but if your nipples are beginning to detach at the roots, you need to stop. It’s okay. No one really cares. Least of all your baby. You are so not a failure. You gave it a shot. Superman has never once come up to me and proclaimed that I am a bad mother because I quit breastfeeding weeks into it from all of the pain and boob trauma. We don’t even discuss it………anymore. He thinks he was born eating mac n cheese and I’m fine promoting that little white lie. And he’s one of my best kindergarten students, if I do say so myself.
*You are going to be exhausted. Stop looking at those perky, happy, awake models on the cover of mommy magazines. They are not real mommies. If they were, they would have bags under their eyes and thinning hairlines. We are tired. We will not sleep the same ever again. Forget about it. It’s over. Get a Costco membership and start purchasing coffee and chocolate in bulk. It’s the only way to survive.
*You will have panic attacks. Big ones when the doctor pauses and shakes her head during a routine exam, small ones when your child accidentally staples his left pointer finger and you know he’ll be okay but he doesn’t. You will hide your fears from them, but the minute you are alone your heart will pound and the world will suddenly feel too big and too fast for the little people God has entrusted you with. However, it’s a small price to pay for the kind of love that can't even be properly described by Shakespeare.
*Other mothers are too busy worrying that You are judging Their mothering skills to judge You on Your mothering skills. Stop the madness people! Let’s just make a deal. I won’t call CPS if you don’t, okay?
*Just when you think you love them as much as is humanly possible, they do or say something that makes your eyes well up with tears and your body and mind tingle with amazement. I like to call this the Mommy High, and trust me, nothing they’re selling on the streets of downtown LA is as good as this stuff. And, it’s totally legal.
*They don’t remember much the first four years anyway, so really, if you’re gonna make a boatload of mistakes, this is the prime time to do it. Get it together by their fifth birthday and you’re good to go. Because that's when they start talking trash. And as a teacher, I can assure you that they talk about everything.
Anyway…these are just a few tips that I wish I had gotten along with my “I’m Mommy’s Sweatheart” bibs and fleece Whinney the Pooh blankets. I say we pass them on to new mommies around the world. And we just keep adding to the list. Because we are a sisterhood and we need to stick together.
Unless you walked out of the maternity ward in your size 6 jeans.
Then you’re on your own, bitch.
*Seriously though...Happy Mother's Day! Now go find a mom whose kid is having a meltdown in the middle of the grocery store and buy her a latte. It's the least we can do for one another.*