It never really hit me what motherhood was before I in fact became a mom. I'm not talking pregnant pre-birth mom, but the "in the trenches, surrounded by poopy diapers, trying to figure out what sort of cry this is, Oh My God what have I done?" mom.
My own mother and I are close, we always have been. However, she never once let on what I was in for. She never warned me about the intense emotional ties that would form. I was never warned about that feeling of constant worry, the "is the baby breathing?" fears in the middle of the night.
The night on which Curlylocks was born I had been induced at 6:30 that morning. By 11:32 that night, when she was finally delivered and plopped on my belly, I was exhausted. I was so sick and terrified that I panicked, unsure of what I was supposed to do with her. This baby was gooey, squirmy, and MINE. Forever.
Then instinct kicked in. I didn't react out of conscious thought. It was pure animal instinct. I held her close. I checked out all her tiny little parts. She looked at me and it was love at first sight. Having the nurses come and take her to check her over and clean her up was my first mama bear experience. I didn’t want anyone touching MY kid.
Since those first few terrifying moments of motherhood, I often reflect upon the awesome responsibility that lies upon my shoulders. I see my own inadequacies in fulfilling them. Yet somehow Curlylocks reached the age of three pretty much unscathed and I started to feel more confident. When I became pregnant with Stripperella, I figured, “ok, I can do this.”
My mom also failed to mention that no two children are the same. Maybe she figured that since I'd been alive for 30 some years, it would be blatantly obvious that people are individuals and that people come into the world as children.
Turns out I'm slow on the uptake.
I handled the birth and immediate after effects of Stripperella better than I had with Curlylocks.
Then we came home.
Life with two is nothing like life with one. Once again, something that should have been obvious but didn't really hit home until I was home.
The personal schedules of two individuals who are not old enough to care for themselves and adapt easily, never coincide.
Having a fully mobile three and a half-year-old and a newborn requires a source of constant supervision of all parties.
Having a four year old and a newly ambulatory baby will rock your world. Honestly you can't baby proof enough for that.
Having a mild mannered, not as adventurous first child, does not prepare you for a highly dexterous and curious second.
I've been a mom for six years now. I'm learning daily how much I DON'T know.
D.E. Mongomery is a member of CharlotteMommies and the author of “The Adventures of Curlylocks and Stripperella: A Modern Mother’s Tale” which is available on Amazon.com and the author’s E store at: https://www.createspace.com/