Motherhood- What My Girlfriends Didn’t Tell Me (a repost from 8/13/08)

If you’ve never been a mother, please don’t let this dissuade you.  Being a mother is the biggest blessing and joy I’ve ever experience in my life.  I consider it an honor to be a mother and it is a badge that I wear with pride.  Although I am wearing it on a shirt which is stained with marshmallows and snot.

I was the last of my girlfriends to have children and looking back, I don’t think any of those girls told me the truth.  No one told me how hard it would be.

No one explained to me about the pregnancy- the raging hormones, the lack of sleep, the TOTAL inability to find a comfortable position in which to sit, to stand, to rest, to do other stuff…  No one told me about the sudden loss of bladder control which will inevitably take place during a family dinner at your mother’s house as you innocently let out a sneeze.  No one told me about the inescapable fear of being totally unprepared for this next chapter of life.

No one told me about what happens after you bring that precious little bundle of poopie and crying home with you.  No one told me about lying awake at night, unable to sleep, just KNOWING that the minute you do go to sleep, the baby would wake up needing to be fed.  No one told me about becoming so psychotic postpartum that when strangers would innocently call on the phone and say, “How are you?” you will burst into a river of tears, unable to continue the conversation.  No one told me about the hemorrhoids- enough said.  No one told me about the fear that creeps into your mind everyday asking, “What have I DONE?”.

No one told me about the challenges as they grow older.  No one told me that in the time it takes you to walk from one room to another, your child, who has just recently begun to walk, could find her way out your back door and into the street,and this would be brought to your attention by your postman who had found her as he was delivering the mail.  The same postman who, by the way, still hasn’t talked to you in four years as a result of said incident.  No one told me that the years of sleeplessness and stress would reak such havoc on your system that you would call the Department of Children’s Services ON YOURSELF to report what had happened in an attempt to beat the postman to the punch!

No one told me that a mother must have eyes in the front, back and sides of her head.  No one told me that an extremely creative and fun-spirited 3 year old might, on occassion, be capable of unfathomable, irreversable destruction while you are visiting the home of a dear friend.  No one told me that this creative mind could, in a 20 second time span, concoct a plan to break a christmas ornament and drag its jagged edges down the front of your friend’s $4,100 plasma television screen.  Why wasn’t this mentioned to me?

I have many more comments on this subject and will probably continue to post them, as “mommy-hood” seems to encompass my entire life right now, but I don’t want anyone to get the wrong idea.  There are a few other things that my friends didn’t tell me.

No one told me about the overwhelming love you would feel for that little bundle from the minute you layed eyes on her/him.  No one told me about realizing that everything that once WAS in your life would be changing and about gladly giving it all up in an instant for this precious being.  No one told me about the love you would feel holding that baby close into your chest and thanking God for this gift you had waited for for soooo long.  No one told me that in an instant life would become full of meaning and each day from here on out would be filled with excitement and adventure.

I love being a mother.  It is the most important job I could imagine any person having.  I adore you, Ava and Eli.  I prayed to have you for so long and I do not take one day for granted.  God, thank you for these little ones.  And, girlfriends- I will be the one to tell the truth about having children from here on out.

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