As you read the following list, please know that before my mommyhood days, I was a champion sleeper, shopper, and girlie-girl extraordinaire. I never left the house without sporting a great outfit, complete with accessories, and never saw another person without the perfect makeup, down to matching lipstick. Slush money meant trips to Macy's or TJ's, always a trip to the Starbucks drive-thru, and lots of trips to restaurants to hang with girlfriends. Free time meant shopping, reading, watching movies, and oh yes, sleeping. In my current mommyhood days, though...
- I have watched the sun come up for the last two mornings in a row, rocking my son who is ill and irritated and fussy. And that's after being up at midnight and 3 a.m., too.
- The minute I get settled in bed with my enormous pregnant belly balanced just-so on a pillow and my back in the least-painful position, my daughter starts kicking me like she's practicing some new self-defense techniques and sleep eludes me.
- My living room is never clean. There are always toys on the floor where Will drags them to and fro in his crawling adventures. If only I could bend myself down to pick them up without sending my lower back into spasms!
- I have stepped on many a toy in the middle of the night and had to squelch the urge to utter an "ouch!" because I'm carrying a (finally) sleeping baby back to his crib.
- I have had the thought many times in the past few days to be thankful that my kid is not a projectile vomiter. When he spews, at least he does so semi-neatly, right in front of him or even on the bib when we're really lucky.
- Laundry time for me means going through baby clothes with my enormous orange can of Shout, spraying various pureed food stains, spit-up and puke, and my favorites, the accidents that sometimes happen during diaper changes.
- I sometimes forget to eat, I practically live in my pajamas, and my personal bathing routine is completely random, but my son always eats on schedule, is always as clean as I can keep him, and he wears the cutest clothes I can find for him.
- When I go to TJ Maxx or Target, I no longer immediately head for my-size clothes. I go straight to the 18-months' boy clothes or the 0-9 months' girl clothes.
- I make coffee in the mornings but sometimes don't get to it until it's gone cold. I drink it anyway.
- I sit down to watch a show maybe once or twice a week. But I can sing you the themes to "Dinosaur Train," "WonderPets," and "Go, Diego, Go."
- I get so excited thinking about planning Will's first birthday party and all the birthday parties for our kids in the future. I spent my last birthday in my bed, in the miserable first trimester of pregnancy, trying to keep down a popsicle.
- Marty and I spent the first 9 months of our relationship long-distance dating, and all we did was talk, talk, talk on the phone. Now our conversations often consist of our son's diaper activities and who gave the last dose of Tylenol and when. Then exhausted silence follows. When we were alone last weekend, we couldn't shut up, we were so geeked to be able to TALK!
- I used to take time off from work to go on vacations. Now I take PTO in hourly increments here and there, to cover well-baby appointments, sick-baby appointments, prenatal appointments, ultrasound appointments, etc.
- When planning our grocery budget and list, I no longer plan for a couple nice filets or a bunch of tulips (although I must confess, those occasionally come home with me). Instead I add up how many dollars we need for diapers, wipes, formula, boxes of cereal, tubs of baby food, and so on. And it's a LOT of dollars!
I could go on, listing a million more examples of how my life has radically changed since becoming a mother. Some of the changes are great fun (raspberry-type kisses on my cheek, my son's delighted face to see me in the mornings), and of course, some are not so fun (the 5-ish hours of sleep I average per night).
But today is the first time in my life I get to celebrate being a mother on Mother's Day. There is nothing like it in the world, and no amount of sleep or great clothes or free time could ever compare to it. I wouldn't go back to my former life for anything.
Thank you, Father, for my babies. May I always be grateful, even in the hardest moments of mommyhood!