In my very short three months as a new mother, I have already come to realize that this is a thankless job. More thankless now, I assume, as my twin babies cannot speak. And while I don't normally condone what are really just Hallmark holidays, Mother's Day is a complete necessity if for no other reason than moms deserve to feel slightly appreciated one day out of the year. Plus, because it is Mother's Day, The Today Show gave this mom of 10 a car the other day, although I can't say if getting a free car is really worth having 10 children.
But since I'm a new mom, my level of "need for gratitude" is slightly different than someone who's been a mom for much longer. I don't "need" a night out on the town with my husband; I'd like one, but it hasn't been that long since we had one of those. I was way fatter and pregnant, but those times were some of our best dates because I actually ate. I don't "need" a bubble bath, I mean, I probably do because I smell like milk puke, but in terms of relaxing, soaking in a hot tub isn't going to do much for me when there are crying babies outside the bathroom.
This is not to say that new moms don't deserve to celebrate Mother's Day: Oh, we do. It's just that you can't buy us the things we really need at Zales or Edible Arrangements (although I would rock a fruit arrangement any day of the week). The things we need, don't exist in the real world; they are imaginary.
The Promise That Our Boobs Will Go Back To Normal I have yet to meet a mom who said that after she stopped breastfeeding, her breasts went back to the way they were before. I don't know about celebrities, but I'll assume they've all had boob jobs. The only thing that I have heard from breastfeeding mothers is that post wean, their bosoms disappeared. Gone, evaporated, or perhaps deflated is a more accurate term. If there are any genetically blessed moms out there, please send me before and after pictures of your boobs if that's not too weird for you.
An Endless Supply of Clean Bottles/Spit Cloths/Changing Sheets/Etc. Understand that my situation is slightly different as two babies came out of me which is double the mess, but I am sure that there is something, cloth diapers or Onsies or your bedroom sheets that keep getting vomited on, that all new moms wish would just clean themselves. Or rather how Jesus made unlimited wine, it would be fabulous if these items would just magically appear before us brand new. Or an even lesser wish: Let's make it socially and hygienically acceptable to use these items dirty, which maybe it is if you don't tell anyone that you are doing this.
To Be Deaf For Like Five Minutes New moms - we've read the books, the blogs, the message boards that all try and convince us to let baby cry it out, even for just five minutes. And we say to ourselves, "Hey, baby is fed, changed, secure; I have to take a poop and I'm just going to let him/her cry for a few minutes." And then that first tiniest of whimpers comes slipping off of their little tongues and we run as if we just saw a guy in a ski mask with a machete and only moments before we were skinny dipping with our boyfriends at Camp Crystal Lake. "What if the baby is choking or gets SIDS or cancer and here I am taking a dump while it happens?" But if we couldn't hear baby for just five minutes, that's all I'm asking, knowing that our little one is absolutely fine and just crying to be a jerk, our days would be five minutes easier.
This story continues on the next page.
A Break No, I don't mean a time out for a walk or a glass of wine or even a television program starring Nell Carter. By a "break" I am referring to something new moms need to give themselves when everything isn't going right or the way they imagine it should be. I had a playdate with a friend who also has a newborn and we must have both said, "You're going to think I'm a terrible mother because..." at least ten times each. And the reasons for these insecurities were silly. Why should we beat ourselves up because our babies' socks don't match or because we let one twin finish his brother's bottle? Our children are still alive after three months and that's a huge accomplishment. I know that all mothers need to give themselves a break, but new moms need to know that giving ourselves one is OK.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
To Have Our Husbands "Get It" Maybe I'm being unfair; our husbands our great and wonderful and they clean the house and pick up dinner and take the baby away from us when they see the crazy growing in our eyes and they rub our feet even though we haven't showered all day and they tell us we look beautiful when we feel fat and flabby and there's a baby that just spit up on our boob and then went back in for another round and that cannot be attractive and they are a huge help. As amazing as our husbands are, it would be nice if they got how hard it really was. Really got it, though.
If We Could See The Future New moms, we all know in our hearts that raising a child is significant and our lives will forever be filled with meaning just watching our babies turn into little people and then amazing adults blah blah blah, but trying to picture all that crap is impossible. Right now it is especially not feasible because you haven't slept in several months and even visualizing what the natural arch of your eyebrow looks like under all of those unplucked hairs is a challenge. How nice would it be to have a really quick look in a crystal ball just so we could see how worth it this all is?
Sleep What? I said that all of the things that new moms really need for Mother's Day are completely make-believe. That's right. Even if our husbands, mothers, sister-in-laws, homeless men on the street corner gave us time to take a nap, the sheer amount of ZZZs needed to catch up would take years. Hillary Clinton says that it takes a village to raise a child, but what she means is that one-by-one it would take a village of people to watch your baby to give you enough time to make up for the lack of sleep you have going on.
Happy Mother's Day to all my new moms out there and to the old moms, thanks for giving us something to strive toward!