If you aren't a mom, you may as well stop reading now. You will probably just get annoyed with me. The point of the blog is: if you aren't a mom, you just don't get it. And this not meant to be disrespectful in any way. You can't help it. All of us moms felt the same way you do before we had our kids. I know before I had Emily I thought, "Oh, I know... life will change, it's hard, blah blah. I know! I understand!" But, I didn't. And if you aren't a mom, you don't either. No matter how much you think you do, or you want to.
This enlightenment is automatic, like a light switch. Not the moment the baby is born. Mostly because you are either in a drug-induced haze, or in a lot of pain. Either way, you are not completely coherent. And the whole idea that you just brought a life into the world (Nevermind how it came out! Natural or c-section, that's a lot to wrap your head around!) leaves you in sort of a cloudy state so you can't fully comprehend these things. Plus you have a ton of nurses all around taking care of the baby for awhile, helping you figure out nursing/feeding, diapers, cleaning. All that jazz. It's that moment when they wheel you out of the hospital and you stand up, put the baby in the car seat and realize, "Oh, shit. This thing is my responsibility for real now. For like 18 years. At least." That ride home is probably the longest one you will ever have.
And after that light switch is turned on, the bulb only gets brighter. There are tons of moments where you just suddenly "get it." The first night where the baby cries constantly for no reason. Even the best sleepers have this night. The first night the baby bumps their head or falls down (usually at some fault of your own). The first trip you take with your kids. The first trip you take without your kids. All these moments, the little and big, lead up to "getting it." And I don't claim to be all knowledgeable - I'm only knowledgeable up to a (almost) 7 year old girl and 3 year old boy!
I've been thinking about all this a lot the past couple of days. First, I was at the OB/GYN for my annual violation (as I like to call it) and when she asked my occupation and I said "mom" she said "Ah... the hardest job there is." I kind of wanted to hug her. Since we met about 90 seconds before, I decided that probably wasn't a good idea. Later in the week I got a lot of "I know what you means" about some mom stuff. Though most of them were coming from non-moms. With all due respect, no you don't! I felt like a bitch because it was the first thought that came to my head. But after a few texts with my go-to Mom friend (Thanks, as always, Erin), I felt better about my initial bitchiness. Then I went to see Sex and the City 2. Far and away my favorite scene took place between the two moms of the foursome, Charlotte and Miranda, because they said the things you aren't supposed to say: kids drive you nuts. Sometimes you just want to hide in the pantry closet and cry it out. And by "sometimes," at least for me, I mean a lot of the time. And moms who don't have nannies have it harder than anyone. No job is harder. I had a job that stressed me out so bad my doctor told me to start my maternity leave a full month before my due date to avoid an early labor - and even that job didn't make me want to hide in a pantry closet and cry it out.
A know a lot of you just had babies over the past year. Somewhere in the vicinity of 4815162342 of you. (Teehee.... I miss Lost.) And I'm sure so many of you are starting to realize all that "understanding" you did before wasn't really understanding. You can sympathize, of course, but you can't understand. So new moms - welcome to the light. (Not the light from Lost. That wouldn't be good.) And non-moms - It's ok, you don't have to understand. We don't expect you to. And we love you for it. There is a part of us (whether or not we admit it aloud) that wishes we could be the non-mom again for a couple days. Preferably in our friend's beautiful NYC apartment with a closet full of couture, of course!
As I finish this post, I realize I ignored two kinds of moms - adoptive/foster and step. As for the adoptive/foster, you are the same as the bio-mom, for sure. Just without the stretch marks. Bio-moms are crazy jealous over that! :) As for step.... well that is an entire other bag of worms, and one that I don't feel I can discuss. I am not a stepmom, I don't have a step-parent of any kind. So like non-moms who should not talk attempt to understand moms, I would not even begin to attempt to understand being a stepmom. I'll leave that blog to my soon to be sister-in-law! ;)