The thing about being a mommy………

is, there are a lot of variables that make being a mommy pretty unpredictable. One can control many variables with schedules, but even those have flaws. There is no guarantee that the whipper snapper(s) involved is going to adhere to the “rules” imposed. I like a schedule. I love nap time and the time it gives me to take a deep breath. I love that every day has a moment that allows for reflection on the unexpected that invariably already happened that day.

The first time I got pregnant I didn’t mind throwing up everyday. I didn’t mind gaining 50 lbs. and looking like a beached whale. I didn’t mind any of the weird things that the body goes through to grow a baby, but I did mind one thing. And it took me years to admit it. I saw plenty of births in childbirth class, yet I don’t remember or forgot that many times they don’t clean the baby before giving him/her to the mommy. After I birthed my first baby, they promptly put her on my stomach and I literally didn’t know what to do. I was crying because I had just experienced the greatest joy of my life, yet I was perplexed. Was I supposed to pick up the slightly stinky, bloody baby, or just touch her? Worse yet, I didn’t know if there was something wrong with me for really just wanting to hold her once she was swaddled and cleaned? That was my first experience with the conflicting emotions that motherhood brings.

While I was pregnant, I fully committed to breastfeeding. I knew that it would be easy, economical and the best thing for my baby. A few days after the birth, my milk came in. I was a little shocked. By everything, even though I thought I knew all about it. I DID not know that it (human breast milk) didn’t come out in a single stream. How was it that no one had ever told me this? I had commited to breastfeeding, yet for me it was one of the hardest things I had ever done. It was stressful for me, and I didn’t feel like it provided an opportunity for extra bonding. I wasn’t expecting this.

The latest revelation that has shocked me is that even though I love to read, I don’t love reading with my children who are learning to read. This is supposed to be a magical time, but I find myself going crazy waiting for each word to be deciphered. I think it must make me a bad mom in a way, but perhaps it just shows how much I love my children in order to do these things that I don’t love.

In fact, that must be it. The thing about being a mommy is love. In all it’s unexpected forms.

Wow, I think this just turned into a suitable submission for Scribbit’s February Write away contest.

Comments

  1. 1

    Churchill says

    Being a mother is much harder than it looks on the outside, that’s for sure. And I could not agree more about how much of it means doing stuff you don’t love because it is the right thing to do. I admire you for doing it five times over. Just having two is running me ragged.

  2. 3

    Are You Serious! says

    ♥ Great post! I love to watch new mom and especially their birth plan. I know I had an idea of what I wanted but the thing that the classes don’t tell you is that it’s probably not going to be even remotely close to what you’ve “planned”!

    I go crazy with the learning to read part too. Once we got past the phonics part its not so bad but like you said the waiting for them to dicipher each word… 🙂

  3. 4

    Yes, my name is Arizona says

    There definitely are so many things, unexpected things, that you learn about yourself when you become a mother. I love breastfeeding and long to hold a slimy just-born baby. I hate that all mine have been cut out of me and handed to me already clean. But I’m kinda gross like that. Funny what you said about breastmilk not coming out in one stream. I didn’t know it sprayed out like a sprinkler, either. WHen I’d be lying in bed nursing Luke I used to shoot some over at my husband when he was trying to fall asleep. He didn’t think it was funny, but I used to laugh like a maniac.

  4. 6

    Laura says

    No one ever told me that not all babies “know” how to nurse. AHHH! I never have had the experience of holding any of my newborns after they were born (unfortunately). Oh and you are not the only Mom who hates reading time. I suffer through it too. It’s getting better though because I changed when we what time we did it. It seems that if we read before bed (instead of going to bed) he is suddenly a lot more willing and helpful. Timing is everything.

    Great post. I think you found your muse, great post!

  5. 7

    Charisse says

    I loved your insight into motherhood. Your thoughts on nursing really hit home with me as well. Nursing was also one of the most challening things I have ever done. No one told me how really painful it was going to be.

  6. 9

    girlytwins says

    LOVE this post.

    There are so many things we do as mommy’s that go unnoticed by others and by our children. There are so many things that we do that we may *dislike* that we do anyways. And we do all of these things with hearts filled with love.

    I remember breastfeeding very early on with my nipple so cracked that part of it had fallen off. My husband tried to get me to stop feeding from that side but I knew I needed both sides to keep up with my girls. Now that’s some love. I haven’t got to the reading stage yet 🙂 But I can already imagine being crazed by it.

  7. 11

    Robin says

    Ugh, I hated those early learning to read days, and *I* was the one teaching him to read in English (Hebrew he gets plenty of in school, but no English until 2nd grade and I wasn’t willing to wait).

    It’s always the unexpected things that trip you up, isn’t it? Great post.

  8. 12

    latree says

    Being a mommy is the best thing in live, and breast feeding is a great moment I still miss now. I enjoy holding and looking at the baby so secure in my arms.
    Ya, so many unpredictable things happen even if you have read books and been told by those who experienced it before. Different things always happen to different people.

    Great post.

  9. 13

    Don Mills Diva says

    What a great post. I too have found that the things you always thought would bring you so much joy as a mom are not the ones I enjoy most and the times when you least expect it,the joy and love are overwhelming…

  10. 14

    Debra says

    This is a GREAT post Angie! I found myself nodding my head saying YES, she gets how I feel, over and over while reading it.

    Reading… have you tried the Leap Frog DVD’s? That is how my kids learned to read. They needed the songs to help them. I guess they learn better with music like I do.

    There is a song by Martina McBride called”In my Daughters Eyes”.. on part says this:
    And when she wraps her hand
    around my finger
    Oh it puts a smile in my heart
    Everything becomes a little clearer
    I realize what life is all about

    It’s hangin’ on when your heart
    has had enough
    It’s giving more when you feel like giving up
    I’ve seen the light
    It’s in my daughter’s eyes

    Sometimes it is SO hard to give more when you want to give up!!! But, that is what mother’s do!

  11. 15

    Laurie M. says

    I am with you on the breastfeeding. It was always so stressful for me. My last baby only nursed for 2 months and I was grateful to give it up! Great post!

  12. 16

    Laurie says

    You defitenitely hit the nail on the head! LOVE in all it’s forms. The whole after birth messy baby thing…if you are a bad mom so am I. Aaron was so covered in vernix I told the nurse(who was trying to shove him into my lips) that I would wait until he was clean. 🙂
    I remember that momentary debate of what do I do? alls well that ends well. He is still my little boy.
    I know I’ve said it before but I love to read your thoughts. If I only had the amount of writing ability you have in your little pinky….:)thanks for sharing

  13. 17

    Casey's trio says

    What a great post Angie…your muse came back! So true that we do so many things out of love that we normally wouldn’t do. I always wondered what all the fuss was about with vaginal deliveries….never felt the need to experience it. I was thrilled to be guaranteed a c-section!

  14. 18

    Katie says

    angie, I so enjoyed this post. to me a mom is such a hard job. i am always honest with my non mommy friends about what is ahead, because nobody was honest with me. everyone i talked to told me labor didn’t hurt, sleeping and eating was not an issue in their home,a nd their husband’s never changed one diaper. hmmmm. I think the must have had selective memories.
    you know you are not alone in all of these feelings. i cried for the first week, everytime I breast fed my baby because it hurt so much. it is a huge commitment.
    my kids are too young to start learning how to read now, but i think it will drive me crazy too!

  15. 19

    kailani says

    I TOTALLY agree!

    When I was giving birth they asked if I wanted to reach down and feel the head coming out or look in the mirror to see her being born. Are you kidding? I told them I didn’t want to see her until she was cleaned and wrapped! Even then I didn’t feel the immediate bonding I was expecting. All I wanted to do was go to sleep. It’s a good thing DH was there so that she had someone to carry her.

    However, now my girls and I can’t be any closer. 🙂

  16. 20

    carrie & troy keiser says

    Wonderful post on motherhoods emotional rollercoaster!
    I thin most of us have a hard time waiting for our learning readers to figure out WHAT they are reading! I want them to sound it out loud so I can help and not just guess… sometimes I really wonder what they teach kids {word assoication I have a BIG problem with! teach the kid to sound out the word not look and guess!} Enough already, Carrie! 😛 🙂

  17. 21

    ispeakbeanish says

    I think everyone has some thing(s) like this that pop up when they become a parent. Being a parent really strips you naked doesn’t it.

    I’ve tagged you for the What’s On Your Fridge Meme. I hope you can participate.

  18. 22

    Colleen says

    I truly think that working outside the home is so much easier. Since being at home my patience seems to have disappeared, but I also have seen my love increase. I wouldn’t change being a mom for anything.

    I am so glad that I am not the only one in the family who thought breastfeeding was the hardest thing ever.

    I totally admire you Ang. You really have the cutest kids and man are they so well behaved.

    You are wonderful!

  19. 23

    Shannon says

    So true! being a good mommy doesn’t mean loving every task you do but doing it even though you don’t love it. That is true love! If we loved it all, it wouldn’t be the hardest job on earth… and it is! Great post!

  20. 25

    Kristin says

    Love this post. I agree with it all. When my milk came in, I stood in the shower crying, at the two shower heads coming out of my chest! It still is bizarre to think about.

  21. 26

    Missy @ It's Almost Naptime says

    When I was pregnant with my first, my biggest concern was that I wouldn’t want to touch him with all the goo on him!! Fortunately, my doctor wiped him off very vigorously before handing him over!

  22. 28

    Jojomama says

    So true! Motherhood is the roses with the thorns- and full of surprises. I never dreamed I would ever have days when I could be unnerved by the pitter pat of little feet- partly because it usually is more like a clunk, clunk, crash!
    And yet, the sweetness…

  23. 29

    Bake Me A Cake! says

    I understand what you mean about not really enjoying reading with kids who are learning to read. It takes SO MUCH patience. I have one learning to read right now and it is a real struggle. They do eventually get the hang of it but my hat is off to kindergarten teachers! Keep up the good work…

  24. 30

    Teachin' this mommy new tricks! says

    I was totally unrealistic when I found out I was prego. I thought when I decided to stay home that I would have a whole lot of time to do my photography and art get things done around the house….man I was sooo wrong. I am so busy now and don’t really have time for the things that I love to do. But it is totally worth it

  25. 31

    ~Denise~ says

    I was feeling this myself today as to the love of reading, but not feeling the reading with my daughter bit. She gets frustrated and I get frustrated. It stinks.

    Love your blog!

  26. 32

    Rebecca says

    Oh, this is just too perfect of a post, Angie! I felt every word of your paragraph on the stinky newborn baby thing. The great push-pull of motherhood.

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