I still think of Mother's Day as my mom's holiday. Perhaps as I get older and the little lady can participate more I'll feel as though the holiday is my own. Until then, it's brunch with the MIL and the Mr.'s grandmas and sending my mom a card and a snail. So, in honor of Mother's Day I thought I would write about the things that I found the most surprising about being a mom. This is a subject that I could fill notebooks and pages and pages of internet with. However, I don't want your eyeballs to burn into fiery little orbs, so I'll limit myself to a list of five.
- Sleep Exhaustion is no Joke. Really. I knew I was going to be tired. Every.blessed.person.I.met told me that. But that doesn't prepare you for the bone numbing exhaustion of those first couple of weeks. And after that point you're so tired and have ingested so much caffeine you don't know the difference. Then one night you get eight hours of sleep and suddenly it's like that time in 6th grade when you got glasses and could see the people sitting on the other side of the gym. Oh, there you are Dr. Boyken! It's nice to see you too!
- Being a Mom is Dirty. I always kind of pitied those moms I saw at the grocery store or Target with spit up all over them or snot around their knees and god knows what else all over. And then I had a kid. And it became inevitable. Every bodily fluid that the little lady could throw at me, she did. From both ends. It's better now that's she's two, but I still find patches of snot on my shoulders post-tantrum or a smear of peanut butter across the leg of my jeans. The amount of laundry I do is no joke.
- Hugs really are an accepted form of currency. That's the other thing you hear before you have kids; it's a hard job, but the smiles and hugs are your reward. Seriously, I thought people were blowing a lot of smoke up my a*s. The truth is though, that after a particularly long tantrum or an afternoon of fights and "No's" one hug and a slobbery kiss make it all go away. And now the little lady has starting to identify me as "Her mommy." Man, there's nothing better than that.
- The most critical person you'll meet is another mom. Before becoming a mom I saw motherhood as one big, happy clique whose only requirement for entry was a cute little baby butt and an in-depth knowledge of diapers. Who boy, was I wrong. I have never met a more critical, judgmental group that the "other mothers". The women you meet on the playground, at the grocery store, late night at Target, in magazines and on TV. (BTW, I'm not talking about my super fab, smart and non-judgement group of ladies.) The ones that say that they way that they are raising their child is the only way, and you, obviously, are trying to kill your baby. My advice to new moms? Wear earplugs when you go out in public.
- Not knowing what you're doing doesn't end with a newborn. In fact, newborns are easier, in my opinion. You expect them to cry, you expect them not to sleep at night, they can't talk back, you can leave them someplace and go do something else and know that they will still be there when you get back. They fall asleep on their own, in the strangest of places and in the most uncomfortable positions. It's when they start to walk, talk, have their own opinions, want to do everything themselves that parenting becomes difficult. Or maybe that's just my kid.
Happy Mother's Day Weekend!