Sunday, May 08, 2011

Proud to Be a Mom

When you become a mom there are many, many things you learn very quickly:

• Breastfeeding is what poor people do, and you were given formula when you were a kid and you turned out JUST FINE so stop trying to breastfeed that child because, frankly, it’s embarrassing and not what’s best for it anyway.
• Breastfeeding is the only way to go, and anyone who puts formula in a child’s mouth might as well follow it up with 50 lashes with a cat o’ nine tails because a mother’s milk is the only thing a child should have. I don’t care if your nipples are bleeding, you do NOT give that child formula.
• Everyone has an opinion about what you should be doing, and what you’re doing is probably completely wrong in most people’s opinions.
• People who don’t have children will give you even more advice than people who do (and it usually involves sermons about why spanking to shut that kid up isn’t such a bad thing, and how if they had kids, theirs would NEVER act like that).
• For all the times before you had kids where you also said your kid would never, ever be that one in the grocery store lineup having a freak attack because they can’t have a chocolate bar, you were delusional.
• You really can function on three hours of sleep. Barely, but it’s possible.
• The streets outside are really, really quiet at 3 a.m. when you’re dozing off in a chair while trying to rock a non-sleeping infant to sleep.
• You may think that having a car swerve in front of you without signalling a lane change might cause you to curse and swear more than you ever have before, but nothing brings out the F-word like a child crying moments after you thought they were asleep and you just sat down on the couch to watch TV for the only 15 minutes you had free in the entire day.
• New babies have the most incredible smell, it’s true. That’s really not a myth, and you could get high just sniffing the tops of their heads.
• All the times in philosophy class where the professor pondered the quandary, “do we ever really act in an altruistic fashion? Isn’t every single act we commit just something to make ourselves feel better?” were a load of bunk. Because you quickly realize there is no one on this earth you care about more than that child... not even yourself. (Actually, take a look in the mirror... especially not yourself.)
• Nothing you’ve ever done in your life to this point was this difficult. All those university seminars, or piano recitals, or public speaking engagements, or complex work assignments... child’s play compared to the mindfrak that parenting can be.
• Nothing you’ve ever done in your life to this point was this rewarding. All those professors telling you how brilliant you are, or applause at the piano recitals or speaking engagements, or job well done honours you get from your boss... meaningless compared to being hugged by your child or having them tell you how much they love you.
• The cats that you always said were just like children... are not like children.
• Those cats are pretty awesome for having put up with the children, even if they occasionally stuck out a random revenge claw.
• You stressed and panicked about too many things before... if it doesn’t involve a trip to the ER with your child, or if your heart didn’t skip a beat because you thought something had happened to him or her, then it’s probably not worth stressing out over. The world doesn’t end because someone missed a deadline.
• The same frugality you might show on buying clothes for yourself doesn’t apply when you find a teeny-tiny dress that is so darn cute you just squeed out loud in the store and don’t care how much it costs.
• Kids grow fast. Don’t spend that much money on the teeny-tiny dress when they’re older than one.
• You will never stop feeling your heart bursting with love and joy when you look at your child... when he or she is sound asleep.
• The same thing that someone else’s kid might have said that you didn’t find that funny is SUPER HILARIOUS when your own kid says it, and you will tell absolutely everyone. Even while you’re completely aware they don’t find it as funny as you do.
• Maybe your own parents weren’t as fallible as you thought, and even though you’ve vowed to be even better to your kid than your parents were to you, you’ll make mistakes and your kid will hold them against you, too.
• The pace of your life, speeding faster and faster because you made it that way, honing the talents to do 26 hours worth of stuff in 24, will not slow down when they arrive, no matter how much you wish it would. Before you know it, they’re talking... and have teeth... and they’re moving... and they’re talking back... and they’re walking... and they’re walking away from you... and they’re independent. And you’ll stand back wondering why you didn’t slow it down, despite knowing that you couldn’t.
• Life doesn’t have a pause button, so take a million pictures and use them as your own stopped moments in time. You’ll need them later.
• You’ll never, ever stop worrying about these little people.
• No matter how old they get, when you look at them you’ll see the face of the baby you first laid eyes on, moments after he or she was born, and you’ll wonder how it’s possible that they’re so big now, when you just had them moments ago.
• Mother’s Day means more to you than your birthday or any other holiday. Because you earned it, baby. And it’s lovely being told once a year that someone else knows that.


Randy said...

Happy Mother's Day, Nikki!

Colleen/redeem147 said...

But I STILL freak out in the check-out line when I can't have a chocolate bar.

Just wait until your babies have babies. Talk about a mind-frak.

The Question Mark said...

Great post, Nikki! Happy Mother's Day to you!

EsDee said...

Lovely. Hope you all had a wonderful Mother's Day. My teenager actually got out of bed before noon to hug me and wish me a Happy Mother's Day... and then promptly went back to bed ;-)

stacy said...

I loved that.
Happy Mother's day.

Joan Crawford said...

Happy Mother's Day, Nikki!

I love this and it helped to calm my eye-twitch as well, so that was nice ;)

LoyallyLOST said...

OH MY GOSH! I am in tears! Those last few were tear jerkers! My granddaughter is so important to me & these things you posted sum it all up!
I do have to tell one(I could tell you TONS, but I won't bore you all!)thing~my husband(BAWBAW to our granddaughter)is painting the interior of our house & I am always telling him 'you missed a spot', cuz, well~that's a wifes' job ya know!!!. ANYway, Michaela was visiting the other day & I told her to tell BAWBAW that he missed a spot. She pointed to the ceiling & said 'BAWBAW, you missed a pot'. Soooo cute! Now, she says that a LOT! She pointed to the sky the other day & said 'uh oh, bawbaw missed a pot!' He told her he would get on that right away! Now, see? A perfect example of how cute it is to us & not to the vast majority of people out there! Nikki, you hit it on the nail with these things!
Thanx for making my day!
Happy late Mommies day, Nikki & to all you mommies AND grannies!

Sagacious Penguin said...

Great retrospective :)

It's never too early for a "motherhood" re-watch.