People always tell you when you become a mother, you’ll understand a new level of love.
With that love comes a big old asterisk in the fine print of the motherhood contract.
*May cause sudden, severe damage to your body, marriage, career plans, social calendar and brain cells.
Sure, there are probably some women that won’t admit to losing their control on some or all of these things. That’s because they’re big fat LIARS. If I had enough brain cells to string together more commentary on why that is, I would. But Abby’s crying in the other room because she doesn’t want to go to sleep, and I can’t concentrate.
Sometimes I can’t remember my husband’s birthday. That’s a true statement. I thought his birthday was February 26 for two years. It’s actually the 25th. Instead of judging me, my mother-in-law told me an easy way to remember it. It’s exactly two months after Christmas. Now you’re ALL going to remember Ev’s birthday!
I can’t recall what I ate yesterday, when that load of laundry was put in the washer, if I shaved both legs or the last time I actually felt skinny in a pair of skinny jeans. Weirdly, I can remember when my kids pooped last and the words to their favorite books. I can tell you when Jackson’s surgery to remove his tumor was (May 8) and how many days Abby spent in the NICU (104).
The Mac guy that works on our computers at work says my laptop works better when I turn it off more often. He’s right, you know. I feel like that’s the problem with me. There’s no turning off, EVER. I’m on all the time and so are you. Moms would probably work a whole lot better if we turned off every night and rebooted in the morning, but who would nurse the baby? Who would hear “Mommy, I have to go potty!” or the cough that’s a precursor to throwing up?
Today’s been a worry day for me. Another matter in fine print in the mother contract: anxiety. First it starts with enough wet diapers, then it moves onto gaining weight, teething or sick, shouldn’t they be crawling by now or walking by now, why are they not napping well, are they talking like they should?
I never had complete inner peace before kids, but I never had such inner turmoil like I do now. My worries as a mom are things I can’t solve easily. How can I get Jackson special accommodations in class without him realizing he’s different? Why has he had two bad headaches this month? Once Abby’s 30 PT sessions insurance has approved runs out, how do we get more covered? Will she ever catch up fully on her gross motor skills?
I really hoped the more experienced I got at this “mom thing”, the more I’d have it all figured out. It’s just not the case and I’m starting to think that’s the norm. The kids just keep getting bigger and their challenges change.
Thankfully God gave us the ability to love.
There is something completely unique and empowering about a mother’s love, both for the child and for the mother. A mother’s love doesn’t need rebooting or powering up. Loving these little monsters…that stays the same…even when I’m ready for them to go to bed at 3 in the afternoon. Even when I’m rocking them in the Emergency Room with tears running down my face, while the doctor tells me about cancer. Even when I feel my blood pressure pulsing during the umpteenth phone call trying to figure out insurance pre-authorization.
And even after the third visit to a sobbing three year old’s room because her nightlight isn’t working right.
I may forget words or find a random pickle spear lying on the pantry shelf and not remember how it got there. But even if I’d know the fine print seven years ago, I’d have signed it anyway. I may have gotten in one more vacation to an all-inclusive resort someplace tropical first, but I’d have signed it.