My mother suggested that I enter a writing contest over at Scribbit. Isn’t it funny how mothers always think that their children are the best? Like my mom, who thinks I am a good writer, although I beg (desperately, wholeheartedly) to differ. Anyhow, I wanted to make her proud, so I went along with it. This month’s theme is “Mom”, and this is my interpretation.
In the few short weeks since I became a mother, I have wondered why nobody told me what I was in for. While I was pregnant, other mothers advised that I should sleep while I had the chance, and warned that labor and delivery would be the easy part. But nobody really prepared me for what to expect once the journey began.
Nobody told me that I would be so exhausted that I would fall asleep when the baby was nursing. Nobody told me that I would be awake for 3 hours in the middle of the night, crying with my baby, praying that she would go back to sleep. They didn’t clue me in that it was possible to get mad at a 1 month old, and that I would have to apologize to her time and time again. They also didn’t tell me how stupid and silly I would feel for getting mad at an infant.
Nobody told me that I would count down the minutes until my husband would get home from work so that I could hand him the baby long enough to take a shower and brush my teeth (for the first time that day and it was already 5:30). They didn’t let on that I would be forgotten by friends and family members who would bypass me without so much as a “hi” and go straight to the baby (whom they are sure I am lying about because she never, ever cries when they are holding her). Nobody told me how worthless I would feel now that my days consist of taking care of a newborn and having time for nothing else. Nor did they describe how excited I would be to leave the baby with my mother for a few hours so my husband and I could go out together.
Nobody told me that I would come this <–> close to having Postpartum Depression because my vagina was no longer recognizable to me. They forgot to mention that it would never look the same after an 8 pound baby came through, or that my husband would be scared of it, along with my new stretch marks and gaping navel.
Looking back, I am glad that nobody enlightened me and frightened me; no expecting lady wants to hear about how much hell she will be put through by the beautiful baby growing inside of her. Those are lessons that need to be learned firsthand. I am also glad that nobody ruined the sweet surprises that were in store for me either.
Like how nobody told me how it would feel when my baby looked at me for the very first time, knowing that I was her mommy by the sound of my voice. Nobody told me how much I would miss her when I left her for the first time (and every time after that, too). They didn’t tell me that I would wake up a half dozen times each night and put my hand on her chest to make sure that she is still breathing.
Nobody told me that her smiles could make my heart so happy that I would feel like it was going to burst out of my chest. They didn’t say how much fun she would be, or that she could make me laugh by doing nothing at all. They didn’t warn me that I would get lost in her eyes, staring at her for so long that I would lose all track of time. Not one person told me that I would cry and hold her close because I could not believe how lucky I am to be her mother, and that I would constantly worry that at any minute she might be taken from me.
Nobody told me how much I would love her. How much I would be IN love with her. How sweet her kisses would be. How much she would love it when I rub her feet. Nobody told me what it would be like to be a mother.
But then again, nobody could have.
Sure, they might have tried, but would I have believed them? No, probably not. Now I know that they already knew what I did not. Being a mother is something I had to experience to believe, and no words could have described it. Being a mother, it’s a feeling. And that’s why nobody told me.