Motherhood (Raw and Uncut)

Well, hello, you good people of blogger-land, Facebook, Twitter and various other internet locations. I hope you haven ‘t forgotten about me. I know it’s been a few days. I did not turn my computer on once this past weekend (I never sat my phone down once, though)- I needed a break from the constant stat-checking I’d been doing. So on the sixth AND seventh day, I rested. And also the first day of the next week, and then it just started to become a bad habit. I figured I better sit my ass down and dredge up something clever to say quick before you guys didn’t like me anymore. I have no idea if I will be able to achieve that or not, seeing as how I have a headache, Nick Jr. is blaring out of the TV, and my toddler is periodically climbing up behind me and doing something to my hair. I’m pretty sure she is checking me for lice. I hope she doesn’t find any.

So, while I was rushing around trying to cook dinner, keep the baby occupied,  and not accidentally step on the dog (simultaneously)this evening, it occurred to me that this was not exactly what I’d envisioned being the mother-person in a family would be like. I don’t really know where I got my weird idea that it would be this easy and totally gratifying experience…perhaps it came from every woman with a child I know saying, at one time or another, that their children were the greatest blessing of their lives. Not that they are NOT, don’t get me wrong. I’m a subscriber to that particular belief, myself. I think it’s a chemical imbalance you develop at the moment of conception that keeps you from throwing your infant out the window after the third sleepless night in a row.

Now, girls, if you really think about it- how many times have you conversed about motherhood with a childless person, and contributed blatant honesty in your statements? Because when I think about it, I realize that I have been guilty of a whole lot of glossing-over-of-the-truth, myself. Which is weird, because I am normally a really, brutally honest kind of girl. I can’t help but wonder if maybe this is another instinctual glitch deep in our animal brains meant to encourage the human race to be fruitful and multiply. Or maybe it’s just what we’ve been conditioned to say, as mothers-“She’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me.” “I can’t remember what it’s like to NOT be a mom.” “It’s hard, but it’s worth it.”. All of those things are true, and maybe we are scared to tell the WHOLE truth…but here, again, is one of those things that no one really talks about so everyone feels bad about it. Thinking that they are the only freakish, soulless female in the world who ever thought about how nice it would be to have a nervous breakdown just so she could stuck in a mental ward for a week or two, and rest, kid free.

Well, if you are thinking those thoughts, love, rest assured- you are not alone. Here are some other things you either already know or, if you don’t, you really ought to be told:

-Pregnancy may or may not suck for you, but I encourage you to enjoy being the object of such affection and attention while you can. The minute you pop that baby out, it’s like you barely exist anymore. Of  course, that isn’t really true, but after months of people doting on you and treating you so sweetly, it’s a bit harsh when it all gets yanked away overnight. You may find yourself  spouting the words “I just had a baby” an unreasonable amount of times in all sorts of inappropriate conversations. I know I did! I wanted people to know I wasn’t just dumpy, I had leased my body out to a smallish human for almost a year. It got a little too small for her and she had to move out, but she left the place a mess!

-People will give you so much advice that you will not know what the hell to do. Everyone sounds very sure of themselves. When you tell them, timidly, that you plan on going back to work when the baby is four months old, they will look at you like you just added “and I was going to just leave the baby out in the yard with the dog.”  to the end of your sentence. These well meaning folks will find fault with anything you say that does not mirror what they believe to be right. Don’t worry about it.

-After the first two days of being a mom, you will probably have to be alone with the baby. It’s okay if you don’t really feel all that excited about this stranger you just gave birth to. I was shocked by how ambivalent I felt towards both my kids for the first little while after they were born. I mean, I LOVED them and thought they were amazing, but it wasn’t how I thought it would be. It took a little bit of interacting to get to that adoration phase.

-IMPORTANT! The first three months of being a mom is sort of nightmarish. I mean, it is freaking hard. You are fat, tired, sleep deprived, soggy and  isolated from the real world. Your whole life suddenly revolves around this fragile little person that you can’t even leave alone while they are sleeping (I checked my infants constantly for signs of life  while they slept, even poking them when necessary) . It is really a thing you have to go through on your own, no matter how great the dad may be. He isn’t the one dealing with the hormones, the body changes, the life altering craziness of it all. But it will get better. It really does. And I’m not just saying that to encourage you to breed, I promise.

Wow! That was really long, really quick. I think I will have to do this in segments-Yay! A plan! So I’ll meet you back here really soon, and we will talk about the truth about toddlers, ok? Now I’m outta here. I have jury duty tomorrow. Oh! And feel free to add your thoughts about how much infants suck, sometimes. And how much we love them, anyway.

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7 thoughts on “Motherhood (Raw and Uncut)

    1. Yeah, that’s kind of what I mean! We all think we are the only ones who think these atrocious, selfish thoughts, but of course we are not. I literally considered ways I could get back into rehab without actually completely wrecking my life…the psychiatric ward seemed like the best bet.

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  1. The good news (or the bad news) is – after decades go by, these memories retreat into the nooks and crannies of your brain where you no longer have access to them, and the only memories left are the good ones. The baby sleeping soundly against your chest, the memory of his/her first smile or laugh, that freshly bathed baby smell. The memories of exhaustion and fear eventualy fade. Much like other relationships that happened long, long ago……..

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    1. Yes, but at the same time, it’s really important to let other women know that, while this is true, when you are in the middle of it, you aren’t a monster for not feeling like the glowing, serene mother-icon we all think we are supposed to be. No one is that person all the time. We all have little glowing moments, sometimes they are few and far between.

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  2. These are some of the exact reasons I have decided that I will be childless. Obviously not that alone – a lot goes into the decision. But I really have no desire to house what basically amounts to an alien in my body for 10 months who will then leave it destroyed and tourture me with its screaming and pooping and vomiting for months while simultaneously killing my sex life, chewing up my nipples, and devouring every bit of extra money or free time I have ever had. And that’s just in the first few months.

    Oh, and it doesn’t ever seem to get better. As toddlers and preteens they are rude, self-centered, tempter-tantrum throwing brats who ruin my dinner at nice restuarants, throw food, listen to Justin Beiber, and run around like lunatics in stores. As teenagers they are rude, self-centered, temper-tantrum throwing brats who want everything handed to them (cars, cell phones, etc., etc.) while also wanting their parents to be as far away from them as possible and allow them to do whatever enters their hormone-saturated brains. And now-a-days they are basically leeches until the age of 25 or whenever the hell they decide to finally get out on their own and stop mooching off of Mom & Dad.

    That’s not even mentioning the over-population of the earth, quickly depleting natural resources, and the question of whether there will even be an economy, government or environment to support their life in the future.

    Yeah, I’m not cut out to be a Mom at all. I want to be an individual person who travels, can be spontaneous, reads books in the quiet, gets massages, and spends money on me and the things *I* like. That probably makes me a rude, self-centered brat (at least in a lot of people’s minds) – but at least I’m honest with myself, I know who I am, and I support myself (and have since the day I turned 18). I could be one of those self-centered brats who feels that way about kids and still has 5 of them, gets on food stamps, and makes the state pay me for partying.

    But I digress…. Sorry for hi-jacking your blog. (ashamed face)

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    1. Well, there are SOME up sides to parenting…you really don’t know how deep love can go until you have a baby, that’s one thing. It blows your mind. My little one is really a joy to be around 95% of the time- she has such a great disposition, and she is one of the only people I know that can cheer me up when I’m in a mood.
      But there is also a lot of truth to what you have said- and without feeling that weird love for your kids that you don’t get to experience until you have one, the stuff you described would be awful. But because you love them so much, it’s bearable.
      Teenagers are pretty bad, though. I have nothing to say in their defense. We all go through it.
      You can hi-jack my blog anytime, lady! No problem at all.

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  3. I have heard that, and I can get it. I certainly don’t fault anyone for their decision to have kids. I just wish society didn’t look at me like a crazy person or monster when I say I’m not interested. I have plenty of love in my life with my family and friends, and I think I can contribute to the world in other ways that don’t involve creating a person. I know I’m missing out on an “experience,” but I can live with that. Because I will have a lot of other ones.

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