I dont know why, but I have been in a very introspective mood this summer. I have been doing a lot of soul searching and reflection. Maybe it’s because I turned 35 this year? In one of my first posts I wrote about my Mothermorphosis. In case you missed it, here’s a quick definition:
Mothermorphosis – (muhth-er-mawr-fuh-sis). Noun – First stage of motherhood when one realizes they will never be the same again. Ever. Progeny takes over woman’s life, smears banana all over her wardrobe, and disrupts her sleep pattern for the next 18 years.
As I re-read that piece and now that I have been at this for 28 months (not including pregnancy), I began to think about how I have evolved as a mother. Still with me? I am no parenting expert by any means, but I think I am starting to feel a little bit better about this whole thing. So here’s my take on M2:
Mothermorphosis Part II – (muhth-er-mawr-fuh-sis-too). Noun – Second stage. Acceptance that life will never be the same again. This form of acceptance is derived from experience with a few bouts of the stomach bug, at least one mental breakdown, and surviving the growth of progeny’s molars.
In order to have reached M2, I had to go through (and survive) the different stages of my daughter’s life. Here are some stories. I am sure many of you can relate.
THE FIRST 6 MONTHS
She was little, she was cute, she was attached to me for six.months.straight. Anxiety, paranoia, and emotional exhaustion are words that could describe this time. An example of my paranoia: Breastfeeding in public made me feel weird and uncomfortable. I would go to great lengths to make sure I was covered up and made my husband sit in front of me so I could hide while constantly asking “Can you tell I’m nursing?” I would feel anxiety leaving my baby with a friend or relative for a quick errand for fear of a meltdown. I exhausted myself in making sure she had cloth diapers, glass bottles, and was as vigilant as humanly possible that she avoided any toys made in China. And of course my baby was a tad colicky. And allergic to like everything I ate.
LIFE WITH A ONE-YEAR-OLD
She detached from the hip long enough to roll around on the floor, learn to crawl, and start having a personality. This made things more fun and allowed me to enjoy this a little. I went back to work when she was eight months old and felt conflicted. On the one hand, I really missed my daughter but on the other, I was doing meaningful work and enjoyed being around adults. I vowed to continue nursing when I went back to work, because that is the one thing I wanted to remain unchanged. I pumped religiously every 3 hours. This was stressful at first but then I learned to actually enjoy it, because it was the only true alone time I had all day. However, this was the time when the worrying kicked in: worrying about introducing solid foods (would she choke on the carrot I just gave her?), about her first bout with the flu (I took her straight to the ER for her first high fever), about missing her first steps (Thank GOD I didn’t miss those!), and on, and on.
I no longer fear nursing in public – pretty much all of the Eastern Seaboard has seen my goods. I go to work secure, knowing she is loved by her friends and caregivers. I am pretty sure many of the toys she plays with are made in China. I feel more confident in the choices I have made because I can see her thriving and happy. Plus, she can talk now, so she actually tells me that she is happy! I don’t know why I was so stressed out in the early months. Or maybe I feel better about things because I am just suffering from Momnesia?
Momnesia – (mahm-knee-sha). Noun – A woman’s ability to forget the pains of labor, birth, and raising an infant/baby/toddler so that she may 1.) Survive 2.) Procreate again to continue the path of human existence.
Whatever the case may be, I feel comfortable in sharing with you all the conclusion of my Mothermorphosis II:
Hypothetical Kid Number 2, if we are ever blessed to have you in our lives I want you to know I’M READY. This time I’ll be bulletproof. No more panic attacks or (unreasonable) fear of plastic. No more stopping the car and pulling over on I-84 to console your every cry, because you’ll be just fine. And if your daddy swings you upside down by your ankles, I promise I won’t go bullshit on him. Or so I’d like to think 😉