Motherhood: The good. The bad. The what the hell did i do?
Not long ago I shared with you, fair reader, my thoughts on motherhood. This post was mostly in light of my becoming a mother for the fourth time (with a fair space between babes) and the things that I wish I’d known before I ever considered having children in the first place. As a part two to that piece, and in light of my willingness to share the secrets I keep, and my desire for a world that is honest and true, I give you this post:
What it’s *really* like to have four kids. Not the sunshine and rainbows and pooping butterflies motherhood but rather the gray skies, clouds and vomit on your shoes kind of motherhood.
Before you proceed, and lest I be flamed for my disrespect of the institution that is motherhood, let me say this: Being a mother is the best thing I ever did. Ever. My life would be reading a pathophysiology textbook level of boring without my kids.
1. Baby #1, who is now a sassy, beautiful 15 year old, was a Fussy Mc Fusserton. Not like “wah wah hold me” fussy. Like screaming from 5 pm until the end of David Letterman’s monologue (which is 11:45 for you non-Americans) kind of fussy. Every. Single. Day. For like 6 months. There were times during her infancy where I wasn’t sure which one of us, if either, was going to survive to see her adulthood.
So far so good.
2. Also she wouldn’t sleep. Ever.
She does now.
3. Baby #2 wouldn’t latch on correctly to save my life. I had mastitis like a 157 times when he was a baby. I should have known…
This was only the beginning.
4. He was also a really ‘high-needs’ toddler. And, let’s keep it real folks, by high needs I mean pain in the ass. My god I love this kid like you wouldn’t believe, but I’m not going to lie to you. He threw tantrums. He screamed incessantly. He wouldn’t go to sleep without me. Ever. He woke up at 5 am for chocolate milk. Every. Single. Day. I thought I was going to die. Remember when your mom said, “When you grow up I hope you have a kid JUST LIKE YOU.” Well, yeah.
He’s exactly like me. And he is outstanding.
5. There was a year, I think 1999, that we never managed to all be well simultaneously. I exclusively breastfed and yet… Baby #1 (a toddler by this point) had ear infection after ear infection after ear infection after… you get the point. Baby #2: Oh he had pneumonia. At 7 months of age. And every other ailment known to man. I slept sitting up in a wooden rocking chair (Wooden. No padding. At. All.) for a week straight. Everyone threw up. Except me. But instead of throwing up, I had a case of incurable non-viral pink eye that literally made me blind. I bled from my eyes for a week. I parented, while their dad worked, with my eyes closed. Literally. Closed. I was physically unable to open them. The 17 year old doctor at the after hours clinic almost lost his lunch in the trash can when I walked in. I wanted to die.
6. Baby #3 wasn’t *exactly* conceived on purpose. I was absolutely not ready. I had a 3 year old. And a one year old. Once he arrived it was clear that I was outnumbered. I had two hands and three children age 4 and under. And a migraine. And I wanted a bottle of wine. Or beer. Or vodka. But I wasn’t drinking at the time. Which is probably a good thing. It wasn’t always bad but there were days I thought I was so far in over my head I was destroying everyone’s life, including my own.
6. Also I was depressed. Like really REALLY depressed. Not taking a shower for like 7 months can do that too a woman.
I’m not now.
7. Also I was fat. Eating children’s leftover food every single meal and never leaving your house because you can’t figure out how to take out 3 small children without losing one can do that to a person.
I never did lose anyone. Wait, let me check….
Yep. They’re all still here.
8. Baby #3 was thankfully a good sleeper, eater, nurser and overall person. He must have known…
I was at my wits end.
9. At some point I decided I’d better get my arse back in school. So I went to nursing school while raising 3 little kids. Also I worked during that time. A lot.
I’d rather not discuss it. It was a dark dark time.
10. I forgot what it was like to have hobbies, interests or any free time. I forgot how to work my sewing machine, how to use scissors and how to spell. I felt like my brain had completely atrophied.
It comes back.
11. They got older and I got hobbies again. And interests. And I got to read some books that weren’t text in nature. I gave kids chores and I stopped making everyone’s bed.
Then I had another baby.
12. Now I don’t sleep. I don’t sew. My hamper is never empty. Going to the store is an Olympic event. Some days I don’t even wear a shirt. I can’t seem to find time to exercise. My breasts are huge and leaky and making it so no shirt made for a human being fits me. My nights are spent bouncing a baby to sleep. Then trying to transfer her to bed without waking her. Then laying by her to get her back to sleep after I wake her. Then sneaking out of the bed to try to see if I still have a husband. Then getting to the bottom of the stairs only to hear her crying.
I am a mother.
And I love it.