5 Things You Probably Know About Parenthood by Melissa Swedoski
Some days, it doesn’t pay to be a mother. Okay, it never pays to be a mother unless you’ve figured out the magical way to get paid for changing diapers, soothing crying babies, living through sleep deprivation for years, and so much more. If you have figured this out, please let me know ASAP.
There’s plenty of books, videos, websites and friends and relatives to share their opinions and thoughts, but in the end, it all comes down to this: none of us have any idea what we are doing. Not even the experts, who want you to buy their stuff so they can make money off being a mother.
So having said that, I decided to create a list of 5 things you probably already know but hadn’t really said out loud because you figure, hey! everybody already knows that. Let me know if you agree or disagree.
1. Some days, you won’t enjoy being a mom. It’s not that you won’t love your kids or the fact that have taken over your life and home. But the days when it’s so tiring, when no one will listen to your wise instructions, when they decide that after months of liking corn, they cannot stand the sight of it, when they fight over two Lego blocks, and you can’t get your husband to stay with them for 10 minutes in order for you to have a shower, you’ll have a fleeting thought of, “Why on earth did I do this?”
2. Some days, you’ll wish you were so rich that you could have a full-time nanny. No mother likes to hear, “I love the babysitter more than you.” It’s the cuddles and hugs and smiles you get when you’ve been gone for a while and they rush into your arms because they are so gleeful to get to see you again that make the best memories. But, sometimes, you’ll wish for a fantastically rich life where the nanny handles every single thing. A world where the diapers and feedings and baths and bedtime and cartoon wrestling is handled by someone else, and you can just come in, get some ridiculously awesome cuddles and then sleep in peaceful bliss for eight straight hours.
3. Some days, you’ll realize that being an older mom doesn’t necessarily make you a better mom. I thought for sure that I would be a calmer, more patient and relaxed mom at the age of 41. I thought for sure that I would have a better handle on my emotions and therefore be able to handle meltdowns in a more reasonable fashion than screaming. Turns out, those hormones will rage no matter what age you are, and the incessant questioning of your skills will continue to rocket around your brain until you are sitting on your bathroom floor, reduced to a crying heap.
4. Some days, the urge to have just one more baby will nag at you so hard, you will want to have sex with your husband for hours on end, just to get to the jackpot. You will be jealous of your friends and family and even strangers you see at the mall who have that big, round belly and glow of pregnancy. You will ask yourself why you didn’t start sooner so you could have had three or four or more and live out your life on some farm. You will try to rationalize the extra expense, the toll on your body, the way a new baby will throw what little structure you have in your life completely out of whack. Then one day you will either stop using birth control or ask you husband to have a vasectomy. It just takes time to figure out which one it will be.
5. Some days, you will be terrified. Once in a while, you will allow yourself the freedom to agonize over all the things that could go wrong. If your child had landed just a little differently on that jump, she could have broken her neck. If baby boy had landed a little to the left, he would have gouged out his eye. If I had been one second later, she would have consumed the entire bottle of bleach. If I hadn’t yelled at the top of my lungs, that weirdo in Walmart might have actually just walked off with my baby. If I don’t go see a doctor soon, I may not make it to my daughter’s graduation or my son’s wedding. If our baby gets a terminal disease – or worse – I will not survive it.
Luckily, all these moments pass. Luckily, there is so much more room in your heart for love that you won’t believe it. Luckily, you do get paid for being a mother, because you can’t put a price on hearing, “I love you, Mommy.”