Friday, May 4, 2012
Dear Mom: 5 Things Motherhood Taught Me That You Couldn't (Not for lack of trying)
I've learned a lot of things since becoming a mom. I could just keep them to myself, and never give her the satisfaction of being right, but I'm much too candid and fond of self-deprecation for that so here goes:
1) It was wrong of me to sing the "watch it wiggle, watch it jiggle" jello song, as a child, every time I smacked you on the butt.
Clearly, the bodily landscape changes a bit after having a kid. If my son were to ever laugh at MY cellulite, stretch marks, or general "jiggle-ability" I would probably punt him like a football. I'd then tell him that the shit jiggles because I have zero muscle tone thanks to his recent extended stay in Casa de Belly. How did that not make you want to beat me with a wiffle bat? You must have the patience of a saint.
2) You were not lying when you said I would never sleep again.
I think I'm approaching a year of sleep abstinence.It started in the third trimester when I had to wake 800 times in the night to pee, and has carried over since my obstinate son refuses to sleep through the night. I'm rocking this under eye baggage though, right?
3) I shouldn't have/shouldn't continue to make fun of you for worrying so much about me.
I don't think I will ever stop worrying about my baby. Ever.When I first held my son, I was amazed, enthralled, and terrified. The enormous responsibility of my role literally took my breath away. It was so much nicer when I knew he was tucked away, safe in my belly. Having him outside in the world, exposed to the various "elements", is like having my heart outside of my body. I think I get it now, mom. I know that this feeling won't ever change; even when he is an adult in the eyes of the rest of the world. He will always be my baby, and I will always be yours.
4) Single Motherhood must have sucked ass.
I appreciate you exponentially more now. I am very lucky to have a supportive spouse and lots of family who help out with the baby a ton. Yet, I still have days when I absolutely want to tear my hair out. Days when the baby is screaming because he is exhausted but refuses to sleep, my stomach is growling because I haven't eaten since the day before, Jehovah's Witnesses are at the door and I realize I had a whole conversation with them while my left boob was peeking out of the nursing bra. How you managed to effectively juggle so many different roles, at such a young age, is beyond me.
5) There IS NO parenting manual that accompanies your sweet bundle of joy.
Well if there is, I didn't get one. Parenting is amazing. I am confident that it is the most awe-inspiring, rewarding, and fulfilling "job" in the world. However, it is also the most difficult. The stakes could not be any higher. I am constantly questioning myself; doubting decisions I made or didn't make. Wondering if I'm damaging him irreparably or if he'll fund some therapist's retirement one day because of all his childhood issues.
All this to say, that if you were anything like me, mom, you might have wondered the same thing. You might have been terrified sometimes. You probably could have used a little encouragement and a pat on the back every once in awhile.
Rest assured that you did great, ma. You did really great. <3