A certain someone recently told me, “Don’t take this the wrong way, but your belly looks bigger now than it did right after you had him.”
It had been a long day. Who am I kidding. It’s been a long 4-almost-5 months. Motherhood is the most beautiful, amazing miracle I have ever experienced, but motherhood is hard! Sleep deprivation is just really freaking crazy difficult.
No one ever tells you when you are pregnant just how difficult it will be. No one prepares you for the amount of time you will spend not sleeping. For nursing your fussy baby during the witching hour for almost an hour, & sleep nursing at 10 when you go to bed in hopes of making it 3 hours, & then waking to feed your baby at 12:40, then 2:18, then 3:35, then 4:23, & then wake up with them at 5:28. Mothers don’t talk about what it feels like to be this exhausted. Dizzy tired. Soup for brains tired. Functioning monkey tired. No one shares anything about Motherhood except glowing pictures on Facebook & Instagram. I’m guilty, so let me be real for a hot, sticky minute.
No one shares just how selfless you will have to be. How things like taking a daily shower are not part of your daily routine. How you will go around for a week with one leg shaved. How you will eat meals cold & shovel-sized bites at a time in between poopy diapers & giggles, cries & nap times. How going to the bathroom with the door shut is a memory. Privacy is pre-baby. Post baby means that your body is no longer yours. Your time isn’t spent crafting perfect meals, redecorating the living room, accessorizing your outfit, blissing out after a 90 minute yoga, working on tightening your buns, guns & abs.
Your day will be spent sharing moments with a little soul learning a big & beautiful world. Time, your body, & your expectations will have to soften a little. At least mine had to for the sake of my sanity.
Before motherhood, I remember watching other women chase after their children in sweatpants & greasy ponytails & thinking, “I won’t be a mother like that.” I remember looking at moms lugging car seats around & love handles leaking out & thought, “I won’t let myself go like that.” I made mental lists & painted images of this fit, fun, perfect mom & wife I’d be. I didn’t paint having a stubborn 14 pounds stick to my post-partum hips 5 months later into my pretty picture. Dark circles, an army of crow’s feet, uneven leaky boobs, unshaven everything–these were not on my list of the kind of mom I was going to be. Not me.
And now I see people looking at me with the same look in their eye. Man, she’s let herself go a little. I won’t be that kind of mother. Or! To the mothers who aren’t this kind of mom–to the fit & fab & fashionable moms-looking at functioning but flabby moms like me, you win.
Motherhood is hard enough without sharp expectations to meet-whether they come from other mothers, your significant other, or your own type A mind.
At the end of the day, when I’m nursing my child & my newly softened body is hanging out over my old jeans, please dear someone–I’m asking you to soften your eyes. We mothers need it.
With Love from Colorado,