Last night I was surrounded by childless friends, which doesn’t happen often these days. So, even though Liam is 7 months old and I feel like I’ve been a mom forever, I was getting a lot of new-mom questions. What’s it like? Do I just die from loving him so much?
I could have spewed off about how we still don’t get any sleep, how it takes 2 hours to do things which once took 30 minutes, it’s the best thing and maybe the worst thing that could happen to your marriage, every piece of clothing I tried on before I left the house had drool or snot on it, and didn’t they notice that I hadn’t even showered today? HOWEVER, I must have been in good spirits having had half a beer and as we all know absence makes the heart grow fonder, so I was only thinking about my little cherub at home in the kindest of thoughts.
I told the girls a different truth. One that I haven’t admitted to anyone in my outloud voice yet. That the stupid, cliche saying about having a baby means your heart is living outside your body is true. I know, I know, I know, I said. If someone had told me that pre-baby I would have smiled politely and given an obligatory, awwww. Then I would have turned my head and gagged my throat with my finger. But, I tell the girls, I seriously look at him crawling on the floor and it hurts to watch him. My chest aches and the only description is that your heart is missing and it’s crawling around in front of you.
I told them they have permission to gag themselves and think to themselves that they will be way cooler moms than I am managing, but when it happens they’ll know. As with much about motherhood.
On another note, but similarly related, tonight my friend told me her six year old boy told her he hated her today and she is the worst mom ever. I immediately burst into tears. I KNOW that every child says that to their mother at some point in their life, but holy shit that’s going to break my heart when Liam says it to my face. Not only will I burst into tears again, but I will probably fall to my knees and just wail. Which will probably make him “hate” me more. Husband says he will take care of Liam for making me cry and I had to laugh at having a conversation about an alleged future event. But pre-baby I would have looked at my friend, stuck my lower lip out and said, awww. Having no way of knowing that those words are like a physical, debilitating slap. No, like being beaten by a sack of oranges. (Because a sack of oranges will hurt like hell and leave you with internal bleeding and damages, but no bruises. Or that’s what I’ve been told anyway. Haven’t tried it yet.)
This post qualifies as an Unexpected because I truly didn’t know how vulnerable having a baby would make me. It makes you feel like if something happened to your baby the easiest way to deal with it would be to just die. I was watching the show Hoarders last night. I always get sucked in but can’t imagine how an illness like that happens. I never empathize, I usually sneer in disgust. But one of the women last night started her hoarding tendencies after her 3 month old daughter died of SIDS. She took pills and then heroin and never threw away anything of the baby’s, which then apparently turned into never throwing away anything at all, EVER, but I finally felt empathy for this one hoarder. I don’t think I’d turn to the crack pipe and I don’t think I’d start living in my own filth, but I get the complete breakdown after losing your baby.
I have got to toughen up a little, right? I mean, how does a parent deal with the kids who hurt your baby’s feelings, when they fall and break their arm, when that stupid, no-good, ho-bag hussy breaks their heart?? Oh, my bleeding, crawling heart. What have I gotten myself into?