Welcome my friend, you’ve got this. It doesn’t seem like it now, but you will grow into motherhood just as gradually and quickly as the brand new baby you’re holding in your arms. It will become you, it already has. You just went through the most mind blowing, godawful, gorgeous, magical, frightening event of your life. No one prepared you. They kind of tried, but they forgot to use the words “blow torch” and “freight train” and “concrete drill” to describe what you might feel when your little one was born earth side.
I have friends that grow, cook, and make almost everything from scratch that their kids eat. They are amazing. I salute them while I rip open a box of macaroni and cheese and add an extra few tablespoons of butter. It’s Annie’s Organic on a good day…otherwise we are not above the 19-cent variety.
A friend of mine researches every health related issue, and spends her extra change on the supplements she reads about. It is her passion, and it’s how she loves her family and friends so well. I spend that money on lattes and stretch pants.
There I am, standing in the checkout line. One child is having a meltdown because they want a soda and the other one is doing aerial spins in the aisle. She is seconds away from taking out an elderly gentleman. He will never see it coming; she’ll take him out right at the knees. I grab her, which is kind of like capturing a demonic butterfly. I wrangle her and pin her between my legs.
I’m too damn busy.
I’m too busy making mistakes and praying my kids turn out alright anyway.
I’m too busy looking at my musty smelling laundry pile and wondering if I should fold it or light it all on fire.
I’m too busy teaching my kids good work ethics which means saying “stop playing and keep cleaning” over and over until everyone is crying.
Yesterday you asked me why your older brother always gets to choose. We were staying in a vacation rental and I’d given him the choice of beds since he’s the tallest and the most likely to be uncomfortable. “He’s always going to be older,” you said, “so he’s always going to choose.” You imitated me in a perfected ‘mom voice’; “‘Malachi gets to choose because he’s ten’; pretty soon it’s going to be, ‘Malachi gets to choose because he’s eleven;'” you laughed and I laughed, but I understood that your question was real and you felt something deeper than you let on.
I also understood that I was guilty as charged.
Sometimes I don’t see that you get lost in the shuffle between oldest and youngest. I miss it, and I’m so sorry.
I like to think of myself as fun and relaxed, as brave with a touch of crazy. I’m the one who loves to laugh and awkwardly dance in public, the one who jumped off the cliff first and who shaved her head because she felt like it. I’m the one who traveled across the world alone.
So naturally, I thought I was going to be a really fun parent. A free spirit, spontaneous and unconcerned with dirt or danger. I’d probably raise kids who were sponsored by Red Bull they’d be so fearless and capable.
Look into my eyes and let me tell you, there are no limits.
When I was young, I felt small in a large world. I was desperate to belong, so I tried to fit in. I tried to reduce myself to a puzzle piece in a giant picture. I tried to have straight edges and to not take up too much room.
The problem is I wasn’t made to fit. I was meant to live large and free and uninhibited. We all were. It took me a long time to realize that; it took me a long time to set myself free.
I hope that isn’t the same for you, dear one. I hope you burn fierce, burn loud, burn wild, burn bright. I hope you’re unapologetic about the fire that’s inside you.
I sat down and mapped out a life plan, and so far it looks like I will be late for approximately 15 more years.
I’m so excited about my newest post for Motherly, because, FOR REALZZZ.
Mornings before kids:
1. Get self ready.
2. Get self in car.
1. Wake up children.
2. Go to the kitchen to start breakfast.
3. Hear no noise from children.
4. Holler at children every 30 seconds.
5. All appear, except one. Your future seems bright, you keep hollering.
6. You hear last child thrashing and grunting violently. This is the worst moment of his life.
7. Child finally emerges. It is unclear if he is human or zombie.
8. Child sits on couch.
9. Child becomes one with the couch.
10. You call frantically to them while making eggs: “Shoes!” “Hair!” “Clothes!”
11. Child stares into space.
While usually we are being quaint and adorable like a live Norman Rockwell painting, there are a few other things that get us from WHYGODWHY in the morning to Netflix-O’clock at night.
We clean things so they can be destroyed right exactly before you drop by. I don’t mean to brag, but my kids are capable of making my house a major health code violation in ten seconds flat. Sometimes I think about posting pictures of what my house looks like when it’s clean – just for reference.
Welcome to my home. Here is a picture of what my house looked like one time last week. It could also look like this more often if I had 47 maids and manservants.
This weekend I got to experience magic. One of my best friends invited me and a few others to be there for the birth of her first baby. I’ve never seen birth – except my own.
It was magic. Birth is magic. It is terrible, it is messy, and it is brilliant. After 24 hours of hard labor and zero results, my friend had gotten a epidural. She cracked jokes as she nibbled graham crackers between pushing contractions. What a bad ass. She was so strong and so powerful…I have never seen her so beautiful. Her husband stroked her head and held her hand as she used all her strength to bring new life into the world.