Saturday, June 21, 2014

Mommy Truths

Today we're discussing truths about MOTHERHOOD.

These are the things that have gone through my head ever since April 17, 2014.

Remember how in Jude's birth story I warned about explicit medical details?  Consider yourself re-warned.  (Is that even acceptable English? Re-warned?)

This time I'm warning you about sarcasm and snark.  I don't normally involve those two things in conversation with people; it's not my nature and I find it to be impolite most of the time.  But today, I'm allowing it to happen for the sake of a few laughs and a good honest story.

Let's proceed, shall we?  These are in no particular order whatsoever.

1.  Motherhood is a filthy job.  
I took a shower the morning after Jude was born.  It made me feel like a MILLION DOLLARS.  Every shower I have taken since has made me feel no less than a million dollars.  Breast milk, spit-up, pee (ALL.OVER.EVERYTHING. if you have a boy)...not to mention my own tears and sweat...most days I shower twice a day and there have been a few days where I've taken three.  I like to turn the bathroom lights off and keep this pretty little lamp on while I'm showering...I pretend I'm at an exotic spa and this is my steam treatment.  (I don't think real steam showers at real spas would have rubber duckies on the shelves and washcloths with elephants on them hanging on the towel bar, but whatever.)

2.  Motherhood turns you into a BEAR.  
Once in a while we'll be out in public while Jude is sleeping sweetly in his carrier.  One of these times, an acquaintance of ours said "oh how cute...should we wake him up?"

Should we WAKE him UP??



Oh, please please know I'm not a mean person.  But COME ON.

(Should we wake him up?)


3.  Motherhood cancels out any concern about appearance.  
I don't think this is true for everyone.  Ladies, if you managed to look cute all the time postpartum, Congratulations, but it's not happening for me.  I'm pleased most days just to get out of yoga pants and into a shirt that doesn't have spit-up on it somewhere.  I rejoice on the days I get to use a hair dryer and put makeup on.  When my husband and I have a date night and I have the thrill of getting ready, I'm convinced I have never looked more beautiful.

4.  Motherhood gives you a new body.  
Did you notice I didn't say "Motherhood ruins your body"?  It's different than it was before...oh, it's WAY different.  But it's in no way ruined.  I actually like it better now.  It makes me feel closer to God and I'll tell you why.  I have pigment on my belly to remind me of my son who grew to full-term inside it.  That's miraculous.  I have scar tissue to remind me of the hard work I endured bringing him into the world.  That is mind-blowing.  My body did this amazing thing, the very thing it was created to do.  Praise God.  How could I possibly hate my body after what it gave me?

My body might return to the shape it was in before Jude was born, and that would be fine.  But I think the best advice I've ever read dealing with postpartum body shape is this interview with Kristen Bell.  AMEN, SISTER.  Let's treasure the bodies our babies gave us.  Let's take good care of our bodies, yes, absolutely...but like Kristen, I refuse to obsess over it.  That energy, effort and emotion is saved for my baby.

5.  Motherhood improves marriage.  
Are you wondering what will happen to your marriage after having a baby?  IT GETS BETTER.  Really.  The first couple weeks of Jude's life, he didn't sleep well.  I was up several times a night, feeding him, calming him, changing him, and completely wearing myself out.  This was a new level of tired.  An exhaustion I've never felt before.  There would be a precious hour or two here and there where I'd actually get to sleep.  I'd crawl into bed next to Tom and instead of rolling over and going back to sleep, he'd wake up a little and give me a hug and snuggle, and tell me he loved me and that I was doing a great job being a mother.  Ummmm......SWOON?!!  Yes.  Get ready, girls, to fall more and more in love with that man of yours when you have a baby.  Also, seeing him with your baby will MELT you into a puddle.  Yes, you'll be a puddle on a daily basis.  It's the sweetest thing in the world. 

6.  Motherhood makes you love ALL kids.  
I am an elementary teacher, and I see children on a daily basis during the school year.  Before I had a baby, this part of my job would become terribly mundane...I saw the kids, I heard them, spent time with them, and got TIRED of them.  Weekends were welcomed and summer was a GIFT.   

After having Jude, I can't wait to get back to my job just so I can see the kids in a different light.  When I see them out in public now, I think about how they've grown.  I listen to what they are saying.  I respect them.  I think this comes from thinking about my precious boy and wanting him to be treated well by adults as he grows, especially at his school when he enters kindergarten.

7.  Motherhood makes you understand your parents.
I don't know about you, but I definitely had times where I was frustrated with my parents growing up.  Why won't you let me drive to that nearby town festival at 10 pm to hang out with friends?  Why do I NEED to be home at midnight?  Why shouldn't I ride in cars with boys?  Why can't I see an R-rated movie?  Why, why, why?  Argue, whine, cry, fight.  

I get it now.  I GET IT.  I understand the reasoning behind every single argument we ever had, and they were always right.  I have been protective of Jude ever since I knew he existed inside the womb.  I cry when he hurts, I can't stand the thought of him being in harm's way, and I will do everything I can to keep him from danger.

Parents are heroes.  And right now, I've got a special place in my heart for Moms.

Dad, Anne (21), me (17), Mom.  All State 2003.

After our last show of "The Sound of Music."  Summer 2013.

Hug your MOM today!

Love, Betsy

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