I’ve figured out that becoming a mom can really mess with your self-esteem.
Sure, you did something that no man could do- and kudos to you for doing it!- but I’m pretty sure- no, I’m positive- that if men were actually ABLE to give birth, the human race would have ended with Cain…
and I’m not so sure I would have blamed Adam in the least.
So, maybe boasting about my ability to run the race that is “labor and delivery” is less of an accomplishment and more of a walking, talking testament to my insanity. When you really think about it, all moms are masochists. Even if you didn’t willingly go through labor or a c-section- if you took the adoption route- you still made a conscious decision to let your heart walk around outside of your body. If that’s not asking for pain, I don’t know what is.
And then, after its all said and done, not only do you have a baby to show for your efforts, but now you have many other “badges of honor”: bags under your eyes from lack of sleep, a saggy stomach, stretch marks, and swollen- well, yeah. I’m actually in awe of the women I hear about with kids only 10 months apart- with them, for WANTING their husbands near them so soon after, but also with their husbands, for not being scared off.
Me? I did everything but put up a barbed wire fence around my side of the bed.
Of course, my husband is wonderful. He tells me I’m beautiful everyday. I love his dishonesty. Its like that song that says “Tell me lies, tell me sweet little lies”- it NEARLY changes my perception of myself momentarily when I look in the mirror.
Until my sweet, honest 4 year old climbs onto my lap and says,”I love how fluffy you are, Mom.”
Oh, who am I kidding?
One might think they were camping somewhere off in the wilderness. Not you. You know that you’re home, and those sounds you hear aren’t TECHNICALLY animals- they’re your children trying desperately to thin the herd.
Unfortunately for me, I cannot afford ignorance. I know all too well that I’m not camping, although the question of whether or not the sounds are coming from wild animals is debatable. I’ve read in books about small children who awaken their sleeping parents with cereal, convinced they’re helping guard their parents’ hearts against the evils of cholesterol-
-or was that a Cheerios commercial?-
-either way, I’ve heard the tales of small children who behave in a way that makes their parents go,”Awwww….”, but so far I’ve only experienced small children that make ME go,”Ahhhhhhh!!!!” Small children (with not-so-smallish intentions to maim and destroy) who awaken me with the gentle blood curdling screams that only a mother could ignore. Sounds of crashing and evil laughter gently rouse me from my peaceful dreams, while every nerve in my body screams at me to run as if a hungry bear were on my tail. But, much like you wouldn’t be able to outrun the bear, I can’t escape my job as mom- or, as I lovingly refer to myself, zookeeper.
Suuuuure, camping is great if you want fresh air and scenic views, but if you want to save a few bucks, let me know. I have a big living room where you can pitch a tent and wait for the howling to start.
I want the instruction manual that was supposed to come with my kids.
I also want to know why I was never allowed to register my kids to receive a longer warranty.
Ya know, you bring home this soft, sweet smelling, adorable little bundle and you think “Wow, he’s all mine.” And that first night you start looking around for the missing manual.
Its nowhere to be found.
Still, you think “I can do this”, so you stick it out. Little do you know that he’s prepping his lungs because- like any other muscle- he knows that if you don’t use it, you lose it.
You tell yourself “At least he’s healthy” and then its “Wow, do his lungs really inflate THAT MUCH?”.
Then after awhile you find yourself sleep deprived muttering useless things like “Now, now. There are coyotes in 3rd world countries that don’t have lungs as strong as his”.
Doesn’t make much sense, huh?
Did I mention “sleep deprived”?
As you continue to rock this child (secretly starting to wish that you could rocket him into orbit) it hits you that you’ll never be able to give him back.
You think about calling the hospital and asking about the return policy, but you remember how they gave a nervous chuckle when you joked about taking one of them home to help out, and you think better of it.
You console yourself with the fact that he won’t always be this age- needing you so much. Days turn into weeks, weeks into months, months into years. Suddenly you’re looking at this CHILD who isn’t a BABY anymore and you find yourself thinking “He’s not a baby anymore. He doesn’t need me at all.”
From somewhere in the distance you hear a subtle ticking.
As it gets louder and louder, the logical side of your brain tells you “Run!!! Run while you have the chance and don’t look back!!!”
Yet you reminisce about the soft, sweet smelling, adorable little bundle you brought home from the hospital.
You don’t stop to think about why hospitals have decidedly short stay times for new moms.
Baby with colic?
No problem- he’ll be going home in 1 DAY!!
As the ticking becomes the only sound you hear, the logical side becomes less of a yell and more of a pitiful whimper in anticipation of what’s to come.
For months you hear nothing but joyful thoughts of cribs and play pens.
And then it happens.
Your blessed first born starts to realize that he isn’t going to be the only one, and the acting out begins.
Suddenly, the logical side of your brain wakes up from the self-induced coma and starts to wail- too late.
Now you’re back at the beginning, and its not so bad.
The labor wasn’t THAT difficult- now that its over.
And he’s just this tiny, little, helpless thing.
A sweet scent of baby powder.
Oh, poor baby… he’s crying…