I’ve been wanting to write this blog entry for a while and I really hope it doesn’t come across the wrong way. I’m starting to doubt the title at this point… It makes me sound like that mom that’s anti-stroller because only real moms carry their babies!
When really I know that strollers are a Godsend and my back thanks me for coming to that conclusion. What am I even babbling about? This post isn’t even about strollers! It’s about changing my outlook on certain mommy situations that were once so awful for me and, in my opinion, has helped me to be a better mom.
Here’s the awful truth: I used to resent some things about having a kiddo. Don’t get me wrong, I love my son with my whole heart. But before I came into motherhood, my life was full of playing WoW until the sun dipped into the horizon and started coming back up, sleeping through ungodly hours (passed 7am thank you very much!), eating Ramen or whatever else lived in my bare cupboards, making plans last minute, and all other sorts of fun non-mommy things. After my son arrived, that all changed. WoW time happened during nap time and couldn’t last passed 11pm because my natural alarm clock was going to be getting me up at 3am, then 6am, meals need to be well-balanced, and last minute plans depend on if my mom feels up to babysitting. Pre-motherhood you know that you’ll have to make sacrifices and that your world is about to flip upside down but you don’t completely understand the growing pains until it happens. And I hate to say that the 3am/6am/whenever-am wake up calls became a huge resentment for me. It’s rough getting so little sleep and it certainly makes you incredibly emotional.
And then Sandy Hook happened. It was shocking and awful and spoke volumes to my emotional self. I don’t know how those parents grieved the loss of their children but I couldn’t help thinking through every 3am/6am/whenever-am feeding with Baby K: “I bet those parents miss even these trying moments.” I think tragedies always put those sort of things into perspective for even those that aren’t directly affected. All I know is that if I were to lose K somehow, I would miss every snuggle, hug and kiss that we never had. And I would miss the hard parts too. The annoyance of figuring out that he’s screaming because he’s teething, the “I don’t know what I want but I want it NOW!!” kicking temper tantrums, the singing bouts at the top of his lungs while I’m nursing a migraine….
I’m not saying we should all coddle our kids because we just never know if something will happen to them. That’s the last thing we need on this planet: a generation of over-snuggled brats that got everything out of their parents who were too scared to actually parent. What I am saying is that an awful tragedy taught me to love being a mom in all aspects. I don’t love zombie walking into my dresser because my kiddo is sick and needs me when I’m sick as well and only have a couple hours of sleep under my belt. But I love that I get the chance to zombie walk into my dresser. I love that my kiddo acts like a 19 month old. He may get out of control at times and he may need to be disciplined and I love that! I love that I get to be a mom in those moments. I love that I get to be a mom at the playground and watch my kiddo try to figure out why he fell down and how he can pick himself back up. I love that he whines and cries when he wants something because I get to be a mom and tell him why whining is unacceptable and he needs to communicate calmly.
So mommas, that’s why I say “hug your babies.” Hug them, kiss them, tell them “no” when they need to hear it, give them their timeouts and everything in between and love every moment of it. Because it’s a pretty awesome job, one that takes so much time, dedication, tears, joy, and sadly, doesn’t last forever.