I never knew many things before becoming a mother. I had heard “stories” from other parents but like many people, I thought “surely those are myths.” And then I became a mom and boy did things change.
I never knew how scary it was caring for another tiny little human. How delicate I’d think she was. How afraid I’d be to make the wrong decision in even the simplest of situations. I never knew I wouldn’t leave the house on time ever again. Or that when I’d finally leave, I’d be toting around a giant bag of everything in the house.
I never knew I’d be cleaning up explosive poops and excessive spit ups or that I’d be getting it on my hands sometimes…and clothes. Or that I’d be smelling my child’s butt to check for poop. Or that maybe, just maybe, this precious child would spit up in my mouth.
I never knew she would end up a bad sleeper and 9 months down the road, I’d be a complete zombie and losing my mind. Or that she’d only sleep cuddled next to me, holding her monkey. I never knew that a cup of coffee held so much power or how amazing a long, hot shower would feel and how laying down in bed at night would make me love my mattress a thousand times over.
I never knew I’d be sitting on the floor hand feeding her for what feels like a million years because she’s learning to eat real food and takes forever to “chew” one bite. That teaching her to use a sippy cup would be such a dramatic experience. That sitting in her bumbo would occasionally lead to meltdowns because her tray was attached and life was magically better as soon as it was removed.
I never knew I’d be singing songs on repeat or reading the same book over and over again. Or waving back at her all day when she learned how to wave and taking on the role as her #1 cheerleader. I never knew I’d be so exhausted from her getting into everything all day and constantly trying to divert her attention and keep her occupied and teach her all the things of life and developing. That some days I’d be wishing it was nap time just to get a bit of a breather or that other days I’d wish she’d never grow up because I love every single cuddle she gives.
I never knew I’d have so much anxiety. So many moments of self doubt. Of forgetfulness and tears. Moments of being completely overwhelmed by it all. Overwhelmed by the never ending demand of it but also overwhelmed by how much love I have for her. I never knew that, because of her, I’d be a better person. That I’d strive to live all of life’s adventures with her or that she’d give me purpose and make my life complete. I never knew that when she’s crawling all over me while we’re sitting on the floor playing or when I’ve walked away and come back in the room and her face lights up that I could ever love her more than I already do but she proves me wrong each and every day.
I never knew any of this and so much more…until her.
Chelsea is part of the Contributing Writer Network at Thirty on Tap. To apply to become a Contributing Writer, please click here.