We’ve all been there? You hit a point in your mothering adventure and you are blind-sided by something that comes up. Shocked, you reach out to tell your friends (who are also mothers), only to find that it has happened to every single mother out there — everyone just forgot to mention it to you.
Here are three things I wish might have been shared with me, even a bit, before it actually happened.
Don’t let an image like this fool you. There really is no physical pain in the world quite like labour, even if you get the epidural. Looking at the photo above, my diagnosis is a bad case of gas.
Had this actually been labour, sweat and tears would have wiped away that beautiful makeup, and that woe-is-me look would resemble something a little closer to a possession from The Exorcist. And I would have slapped that quizzical look off my new baby daddy hours earlier. He’d be wearing whatever is in that cup, and his shirt wouldn’t look just ironed. He’d be lucky if the sleeves were still attached.
In the end, the thing that surprised me the most that I didn’t think about, and was never told until after the delivery was that you will bleed — a lot. And it will make your regular periods look like a small scrape in comparison. It will last weeks.
You will be wearing a pad inches thick and you will be ecstatic the day you realize that you get to graduate down to a regular maxipad.
Thinking back, it makes sense now, but back then I was focused on having our baby, then spending the rest of my life trying to keep my baby alive (I don’t have a great track record with plants, so there you go).
The terrible twos
Oh yes, people talk about them. What everyone forgets to share is that the terrible twos are just the swelling of the storm.
I came out of the terrible twos thinking that I had gotten worked up for nothing. People omit telling you about the two years that follow; the thunderous threes and the fiendish fours. It’s a lot like the terrible twos except your
gremlin child has a larger vocabulary, they can run away faster, they are taller and can see/reach more things that they want right now and they’ve perfected the art of the deafening scream followed by the dramatic drop and flop in a public place trick.
They’ve become more aware. They see other kids do it, and if they see it work even once, they will latch onto that gambit like a Kardashian to publicity.
It’s a terrifying thing being out in public during a throw down with your child, but stick to your guns mom. You will be judged by people who don’t matter, regardless of what you do, so you do what you need to do for your family in this moment.
No matter how good of a parent you are. No matter what you do or sacrifice for your child, you will reach a moment of doubt where you question if it was enough. You will question one rash comment in a sea of loving words. You will replay one scenario over and over again where you didn’t have your game face on.
That’s why the #momfail hashtag is so popular. It’s because this happens to every mother. Even our mothers had their moments and we turned out fine, mostly.
It’s in these moments that you need to show your child that you have the capacity to love and forgive yourself because perfection is a myth.
There is no growth in perfection.
Being YOU is enough.