I’ve sat down to write this post about nine thousand times.
<I wrote that three days ago.>
As I was saying, I’ve sat down numerous times [I’ve lost count by now but am pretty sure I started this blog post a few months ago] to confess, share, and muse about my experiences as a new mother.
It wasn’t until reading Nancy’s post about breaking our silence as women that I finally said enough is enough – I need to get this blog beast out of my system.
Initially, I started writing to confess things about motherhood that my alter ego Miss Independent is not fond of: a screaming baby, vomit caked on my Seven jeans, not being able to go to the movies, a bigger ass (but no bigger boobs to accompany said ass), and generally everything associated with taking care of a small person besides (a) his adorable smiling face and laughter and (b) my new 5 p.m. wine
guzzling sipping ritual.
Throughout the day I make note of hilarious and simultaneously depressing happenings in hopes of conjuring some sort of witty rant about why motherhood is mind-numbing and frustrating but beautiful – to no avail. My witty muse has escaped me. Rather, she sits at the bar at Morton’s in Boston wearing a ridiculously form-fitting Hervé Léger bandage dress, tapping her Louboutin-covered toe against the bar, puffing a cloud of smoke from her Lite 100 and smugly saying, “You’re on your own lady, this shit is cahraaaaaazay.”
So I’m not here to tell you some wit-laced tale about motherhood being so hard but hilarious and at the end of each grueling day I smile and ask for more because, in the end, it’s so wonderful and I’m overcome with love for my baby. I mean, I am overcome with love for my baby. But honestly? Babies are not all bunnies and kittens and shit. Babies are exhausting [they’re kind of like very unreasonable drunk people]. When my son goes to sleep, I feel like I just won a special prize because maybe I’ll have three minutes to myself TO PEE and brush my teeth. When he cries, I wish on everything holy to MAKE. IT. STOP.
No, I’m not here to tell you that after ten months of incessant nausea, two failed inductions and 19 hours of grueling labor (with no epidural, thankyouverymuch), that it got any better. It’s only gotten harder and sometimes I want to quit and run away. Now, don’t mistake my words as an attempt to quantify “suffering” or as an expression of ingratitude – I am certainly grateful. In fact, I am infinitely blessed. My words are no attempt to diminish that fact. I’m simply here to tell you that yes, I wanted to get pregnant. I wanted a baby and a family. And I still do. I love my baby boy beyond measure – sometimes I cry just looking in his eyes because he is such a miracle. But in the moment – these new moments of babyhood and new motherhood – it really blows. It really, really blows and I am not apologizing for feeling that way.
I’m willing to wager that years from now I’ll reminisce about this time with the utmost nostalgia and exclaim to new mothers things like “Enjoy every moment!” and “It goes so fast!” [If I hear either of these phrases again my head may actually explode]. But it’s easy to feel that way in retrospect – it’s easy to say you’d give anything to have just five minutes of this time period back once you’ve gotten through it and you’re not too busy trying to survive to appreciate its beauty. I get that. And mark my words, I’ll be one of those people. But is it really possible to live in that awareness AND be trying to merely survive?
Who knows the answer. All I know is that motherhood means experiencing every human emotion in a single, 24-hour period and then doing it all over again the next day. On a positive note, motherhood also means mastering the ultimate form of multitasking, developing crazy strong biceps, and watching a human being learn how to live [it’s pretty amazing]. So I end my confessional rant with no moral story, no message, and no real survival plan – only the intention to stay present enough to avoid utter ruin [and make it to happy hour at Morton’s without poo-stained jeans].