I suspected going into this Motherhood thing, that there would be some struggles along the way. I also knew that I would love and adore these small people that once lived inside of me. EVERYBODY talks about how exhausting it is and how your body will never be the same. I knew I would not spend Friday nights hanging out a bars.
There were a few changes, however, that just kind of evolved along the way that may seem kind of unusual to someone without children.
1. Poop- Prior to having children, I pretended that this did not happen. I don't think I used the bathroom on my honeymoon because God forbid my new husband knows I poop..and we were in Mexico for the Love! However, as the time neared for me to give birth to my firstborn, the fear of pooping on the delivery table was ever present. In labor, I walked down the hall to a public restroom to go to the bathroom because I did not want my nurse to know I poop. Really?! A nurse! If I pooped on the table, I remain blissfully unaware. But my fear of the poop has left me. Because now it is all about the kid's poop. Is the baby pooping enough? Is it the right texture? Any belly ache in the house..."Did you poop?" Pooping can right most of our wrongs.
2. How gross parents become- Sure, there are jokes about moms not having time to shower or brush their hair. We are aware of some of the poor hygiene that comes with motherhood. I did not realize though that I would do some flat out disgusting things. For example, we tell our kids to use a tissue all the time. Yet the moment they approach us with snot dripping down their faces, we wipe off said snot...with our fingers. Then we realize, we are covered in snot so we proceed to wipe it on nearest available surface, often our very own clothes! (I have seen other moms do it too, don't judge me) And how many times have we sniffed an unknown substance to determine what it is? Pretty disgusting if you think about it.
3. You say things you'd NEVER thought you'd say...or have to say. "Don't pee on your brother in the bathtub." "Don't poke your brother with a fork." "We must wear pants to the dinner table." I could go on...and on, but you get my point.
4. Worry- I have always been a worrier. It is in my genes. But this trait has been amplified by about 1000% since I've had kids. I worried while pregnant. I worried about every single milestone. Is he getting enough food? Is he pooping enough( see, poop again)? Is he crawling on time? Is he talking on time? Miraculously, my children all survived babyhood and made it to school. Is he safe on the bus? Is he being bullied? Is he the bully? Is he learning enough? Is he making good friends? Is he pooping at school (okay, maybe not that one). Lord help my children when they are able to get into a car and drive themselves somewhere! Or go away to college! I will need sedation.
5. Appreciation of Little Things- Now, men may disagree with me on this, but I think moms are really easy to please. What is better than seeing baby smile at you? Heart melted. Or when they say I love you. Or a handwritten note..and add a hand print and it's all over. Another little thing we appreciate..using the bathroom, ALONE! Or even better, taking a shower. A glass of wine and a book, without someone yelling at you or climbing on you. Little things really.
In fact, my favorite time of the day lately, is a time that I never would've thought would bring me such joy before I had kids. After I have successfully gotten my three older kids off to school in the morning, I drive my five year old to kindergarten. He climbs out of my car for his half day of school. There are two reasons this is my favorite time of day: First, I am about to get 2.5 hours of freedom! And secondly, when he gets out of the car, he yells "I love you" because he is not old enough yet for it to embarrass him. He turns and smiles and waves. And he looks at me like I am the most important person in the world to him...and I probably am. Never expected that to matter so much either.
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