When I was pregnant for the first time, I remember veteran mothers telling me how rewarding being a mommy would be– how when I peered into those bright tiny eyes for the first time, my heart would never be the same. And although these statements were very true, I wish I had known more about this new stage of life I was about to begin. There’s a truth that we moms are too ashamed to admit in fear we will sound like terrible, unloving mothers, but it would save new moms much needless heartache if we would just let “the cat out of the bag.” If I could write a letter to my pre-baby self, it would probably go something like this:
You know how you’ve been told how rewarding motherhood is? Well, it might not seem very rewarding at first. Actually, let’s just get real. It plain stinks. There will be long, sleepless nights, hours of endless crying (the baby sometimes, too!), moments where you feel more like a milk-producing cow than an actual person, and new body image insecurities haunting you when you look in the mirror. Your house will never be totally clean, and you’ll wonder how one tiny human being could create so many piles of laundry. Your new fashion statement will be spit-up stained t-shirts and yoga pants, and your hair…well, let’s just say you’re lucky if it has actually seen shampoo in a week. You’ll permanently have the odor of poopy diapers in your nose, even smelling them when you get a few minutes away from the baby. And you will no longer be able to go on spur of the moment dates with your husband. Life as you know it will disappear, and you’ll think you’re somehow living in a parallel universe where you have lost complete control of your surroundings. Your emotions will be up, down, and topsy-turvy, creating tear-filled eyes as you view the latest Huggies commercial.
When you find yourself hiding in the bathroom with a handful of chocolate, don’t think that you’re the only one who has been there or that maybe you are the absolute worst mom in existence. The truth is, motherhood is an array of hysterical laughter and uncontrollable weeping, dying to self and making time for yourself, giving treats to your kids and sneaking chocolate in the bathroom. It is demanding, exciting, blissful, wearisome, and beautiful all at the same time. And in those moments when you think you have reached your breaking point, you’ll find yourself gazing down at those plump, rosy cheeks and playful, precious eyes and realize that nothing else matters. This is your calling, one of the greatest callings there is. So Mommy, don’t fret. The greatest reward you have ever known is coming. Just sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride!
Your Future Self