Wednesday, December 17, 2008

What They Don't Tell You...

Motherhood is an INCREDIBLE, life-changing experience.  One that moves you irrevocably from your old life.  The change is good, but as with any change, there is an adjustment period.  

The thing about a baby though is that you are always adjusting.  The baby grows, so you do to. The adjustment period never ends.

Let me give you a glimpse into the nitty-gritty, real-life world of Emily and Jack.

Let's start with the fact that as I type, Jack has crawled under his high chair and discovered a spoon dropped from a previous meal (and probably parts of that previous meal).  He is chewing eagerly on the spoon while taking momentary breaks to "push."  

Which means that in a very few short minutes a special smell will waft toward my nose and I will be called away from this note to change a diaper.

What they don't tell you before you become a mom is that you will actually think his pushing face is cute.  You'll laugh, you'll tell people about it, you'll change another diaper like it is no big deal, and tomorrow you will do the same exact thing.

Also, no matter what anyone says,
Pampers really are the best diapers.
There is a reason they are twice as expensive.
I hate it when you really do have to pay more for
better quality.
Pampers, I love you.
But I can't afford you.
What is a mother to do?

Moving on.

After about 8 months of perpetual regurgitation I think that Jack has finally outgrown that stage.  He was a champion of spit-up and although I swore it wouldn't happen, I fell into a routine of sweatpants and tee shirts at home.  The disappointment of getting dressed, only to be doused with white slime was too much.  

But we are past that now.

Or so I thought.

Last night we went on the a family outing (yay for family outings!).  I had just that very day purchased a lovely, v-neck sweater.  Soft and gray. Unsullied by the early baby stage.  

I cannot express in words how delightful it felt to put on something new and fresh.  I felt revived, I felt pretty, I felt like a woman.

An hour into our activity it was covered with baby-gross.  Not just a little dribble of formula.  But real, genuine vomit.  Complete with lingering sick-smell.  I wanted to cry.  But I didn't.

What they don't tell you about motherhood is that clothes are just clothes.  Things will get wrecked.  You will wear sweatpants to avoid the heartache. But you learn to smile and remember that you have a happy baby who loves you with our without bile adornment and you have a husband who will still tell you, "you look stunning" and hug you even if you don't smell nice.  

And finally, in this addition of "What They Don't Tell You..."

I was sick this week.  Really yucky sick.  Being sick with a baby to look out for is about the most miserable thing that I have ever experienced.  EVER.

-WARNING: disturbing, but real-life details to follow-

At one point I was sitting on the toilet, with the garbage can on my lap.  Losing it from both ends... and there was my chipper baby, holding onto my knee.  I could do nothing to usher him out.  I could do nothing period.  

Well, I did do something.  I had Andy call his mom.  She swooped into the rescue and relieved me for the day.  

What they don't tell you about being a mom is that you'll admit many times that you can't do it alone.  Your pride will be put in its place.  You will be given endless opportunities to say, "I need help."  You will learn to not only accept, but seek out help, or you will crumble.  

The list of people who have helped me is long.  I am grateful for each simple act of kindness.  

What they might have told you about being a mom, but you poo-pooed or simply forgot, is that it is a hard job.  It feels impossible some days.  But in each impossible situation you can choose which attitude you will adopt.  You can cry (and I do).  You can get angry (and I do).  Or, hopefully, you can thrive.  You can let your character be developed right along with each of your baby's new skills.  

To all of you moms.  KUDOS!  You are doing a lovely job.

To all of you pre-moms.  Well, just wait.  Enjoy what you have now, because you can never, NEVER go back.  Most likely though, you won't want to.

1 comment:

Shawna Zlab said...

I lust after Huggies. I found some cheap knock-off called "Cuddle Up". Everytime I put one on Roman, I can't help myself and I say, "Cuddle Up". :)