It’s Mother’s Day and I heard a rumor that I am a mother.
The funniest part about that rumor is… it’s true! There are some people who think because I’ve birthed four children I know something about mothering… little do they know it only means I have lost the majority of my brain cells and have upped my potential need for Depends as a geriatric.
I have several friends who are about to pop with their first child, so in their honor, here are a few bits of advice to ponder about motherhood:
1. To my friend who has spent most of her life a slight bit smaller in circumference than the knuckle on my pinkie finger: your body will not ever recover from the stress of a multi-pound mass spreading your hips. You won’t care.
2. To my friend who has been fiercely independent and worried about being able to love anyone completely unselfishly: there will be a moment when you realize you will do anything for your child. It won’t be a feeling you planned, it will sneak up on you and suddenly you’ll be overwhelmed with an amazing amount of pure, unfiltered love and find yourself shopping for your child instead of yourself on your birthday or Mother’s Day. But don’t worry if it doesn’t happen immediately – you aren’t an emotional cripple. You’re adjusting to a new phase of life and that takes time.
3. To my friend who is finally pregnant after years of infertility: you will be disappointed. When you’ve waited so long for a dream to come true, it won’t ever quite match up exactly to your hopes and imagination. However… the reality will be more luscious and awesome than you could have envisioned for your life. And it will be worth it.
4. To my friend who is finally having the baby of the opposite gender: you’ll be glad you were a Scrooge and kept the toys the older kiddos didn’t like. This new one will be interested in them, because no matter what social science would like us to believe, there are innate gender differences.
5. To my friend who discovered the vasectomy failed: I’m praying for you. And will be here to lend support as needed – but it’s obvious God had a plan for you that’s destined to be fantastic – and when God has a plan it’s a pretty good idea to fall in line.
Now, in the nature of miscellaneous motherly advice, here you go, you new mothers and moms-to-be:
- Go to MOPS. It’s a place you don’t have to suck your tummy in.
- Spend less time thinking about the crib bedding and more time staring into their eyes. That’s time well spent.
- Carry your child across your midsection for the first several months. People will notice their cuteness instead of your leftover lard baby.
- Let people hold the baby. There will be fewer offers once the child gets older and limited exposure to strange people germs builds immunities.
- Be intimate with your husband. Yes, I know that’s how you got knocked up in the first place but he’ll be there in your old age while your kids are backpacking Europe and having their own babies. Keep him happy and he’ll keep you happy.
- Try not to worry about the sleep issue. No one really knows what’s best for sleep training and half of us are sleep deprived for decades. Just invest in a coffee pot and a sense of humor.
- Don’t scrimp when it comes to buying a nursing bra. You live in those things 24/7, so get what’s comfortable.
- Never underestimate the joys of a nice pair of yoga pants. They cover a multitude of abdominal sins and don’t carry the surrendered, shameful stigma of pajama jeans.
- Let people open the doors and give up their seats for you. The pregnancy is a brief, blissful interlude of time where people will go out of their way to make your life a bit more comfortable. In just a few short months you’ll be getting the stink eye from the Granny as your kiddo screams their way through the check out line… enjoy the non-judgmental courtesy while you can.
- Create memories. Write down why you’re excited about being a mother, your perceptions of parenting. Find a special token that will remind you of the hope and anticipation involved in child rearing. Remember you can truly like to spend time with your children, even when they’re teenagers! Give yourself touch points to come back to in the times of struggle. They will remind you why you’re willing to go out in public with vomit on your shoulder. Because they’re worth it.
What pieces of advice would you offer to a new mom?