I really never thought clichés could be so true. You told me that I would never understand until I was one – a mommy and part of the club. Well, now that I am, it completely makes sense.
I’ve experienced quite a few things in my 1.5 years of being a mommy. But still, there are some things I wish you had told me that you didn’t. I now get why you didn’t. No explanations needed.
1) That late nights and early mornings would become my norm. You didn’t tell me that I wouldn’t need an alarm clock and that once I became a mom I would experience something you called “surface sleep.” So true, and in fact, you still sleep like that although I am married, pregnant with my second child, miles away from you, and usually doing okay.
2) You never told me that I would soon be experiencing “zoo-like feedings” in place of proper meal times. You know, where I would forget to eat while trying to coax my toddler’s mouth open with a salmon leek fish cake. No success. I didn’t realize I would enter a world of feedings where I would be so focused on getting my baby to let go of the bread she was clenching and take just one more bite of fish that lunch would soon run into dinner.
3) You didn’t explain to me that being sore from working out would be nothing compared to the pain I would feel after a fever-filled weekend? You didn’t mention that I would experience a back tension so bad so that any mention of or actual trip to the spa would only make me cringe in fear of more pain.
4) That my heart would stop with every fall, stumble, and scrape. And that I would literally hold my breath when they did anything for the first time and cheer with victory when they succeeded as though they were Olympic athletes. It now makes sense that you were seated in the front row of every recital, graduation and awards ceremony. Even when I was still in 1st grade.
5) I didn’t think that I would try to compensate for the lack of time and strive for balance by sleeping less. I now understand why you would so easily cut out your snuggle time on the couch with a good book to make us those random animal shaped pancakes we loved. Yes, they all looked like lopsided bears but they tasted so good!
6) You failed to mention that I would soon have frazzled nerves (much like yours) that would never settle. Ever. You didn’t explain to me that I would become a queen of multi-tasking and efficiency with just a simple pen and notepad. And sometimes even without. The combination of those things would bring me one step closer in my metamorphosis to becoming exactly like you.
7) I didn’t know that wanting my daughter to be the best in stacking blocks or learning her shapes and colors before anyone else was this competitive streak I would never be able to get rid of. I now am much more patient when you still tell me that I got offered to skip kindergarten “because I knew how to cut and glue” every time I feel down.
8) I now know where you got the energy to do some singing and dancing when you probably weren’t feeling so good or could barely breathe with a debilitating migraine. I understand where you got the willpower to sing yet another song with Barney and Elmo. It is from a place deep deep down in every mother’s soul that runs on the fuel of her child’s smiles and laughter.
9) I now get why you still, to this day and I am almost 34, offer me the first and last bite. Of everything. Oh, and why you order for me in restaurants when I’m seated right next to you because you think I should “Have the salmon for your hair, skin and nails – omega three!” Or “The filet steak, which looks so yummy” because I was anemic one summer … 10 years ago.
10) I can see why you fixed my hair, eyebrows and wiped at my face with your own saliva like a primal animal with no access to running water or soap. Not all the time, but definitely outside of a friend’s home. I now see that my babies are a reflection of me. I just hope I don’t still do it when my kids are in their thirties. That’s just awkward.
So, my dear mommy, my sweet dear mommy, I wish you had told me all of those things … but you didn’t. I wish you had explained it to me, but there were no explanations. I’m not sure if it was because you didn’t want to scare me or because you knew that I would find out soon enough on my own. Either way, I get it now mommy and I love you for it.