I can say with complete and total honesty that I love being a mother. I love spending time with my children and some of my favorite life moments have either been shared with my children, or inspired by them. Children are great! They are innocent and when they grow up to turn out successful, the product of all of a parent’s hard work and dedication.
Most people believe that from the time of conception until a child is grown and rusty, everything that happens is cute and special. While this may be true of some things, other things just don’t evoke feelings of warm and fuzziness within me. Let’s keep it real, certain jobs expected of a mother are just downright punishing!
Thus far I’ve only had the pleasure of raising boys and I must say that of all my mommy duties, this is the most dreaded one. I put his little body on top of the changing table and remove the wet diaper. He’s a little squirmy of course because he’s wet and he doesn’t like the feel of it on his bottom. Once removed, I place the diaper into the genie. Now because I am a mom and that means that I have super powers, a clean diaper magically appears in my hand as I am throwing out the used one. Coming up to re-diaper the tiny body of a male human, he pee’s dead in the center of my face. As if he was aiming a pistol and has a master shot, the pee lands squarely in between my eyes. A human has just urinated in my face! His bodily waste is cascading down over my nose and leaking off of my chin. Call me crazy but in my book, getting peed on is in no way cute!
So, now that I’ve showered and changed my clothes, I no longer reek of urine. I’ve gotten into the shower and scraped my face until it is raw and sore to the touch (because of course I’m grossed out by my little baby’s bad manners.) It’s feeding time and I hold him cradled in my arms. Having his fill, this little guy needs a good burp now so that he won’t be gassy. Holding him with his little head lying just a bit over my shoulder, I pat his back trying to coax it out. Wearing only a thin shirt with spaghetti straps (for comfort) I become aware of something slowly oozing down my back. It feels warm and disgusting. Vomit! My heart is not filled with sunshine. I am not smiling. Pride does not bubble over within my soul. Time for the second shower of the morning.
Depending on how fast your baby is “moving” you may experience his want to stand sooner rather than later. In my case, J.R. is two months old and has been demanding to stand since he was about four or five weeks. I’ll hold him in the cradle position and try to snuggle but no, he’s not going for it. He straightens his whole body out and holds it stiff as a board. His toes are pointed, little arms unbending, hands curled into tight fists, his back is ram-rod straight and his knees are locked. This does not feel good on my arms and I know that in his nonverbal way he wants me to know that I better stand him up or else. I don’t want any trouble and so I stand him up. He has beaten me. Little J.R. has won the match and beaten me. I am his slave and he is calling all the shots. In what way is this cute and special? It’s NOT! It doesn’t make me feel proud of myself as a big grown adult to have to acknowledge that an infant is running things!
Some people really think that a crying baby is cute. I have heard people say, “Aw listen to him cry! He sounds so cute with his little voice!” Really? I must be totally out of my mind because a crying baby has the potential to make me go stark MAD! In my case, when my oldest (who we call Bird) was a baby he could cry for what seemed like an eternity. He was so used to being held that whenever I would try to sit or lay him down, he would scream at the top of his lungs. My mother’s advice was to allow him to cry it out for short intervals at a time and eventually he would get used to not being held all the time. I always thought my mother was a pretty smart lady. I really thought she knew everything and could solve any problem bought before her. Boy was I wrong! No matter how short or long of an interval I attempted to let him cry, my Bird never gave up. I knew he was never going to be a quitter because he won every single match! I was so determined to beat him at this game that while he was crying, I’d sit right in front of him giving him the challenge stare. Letting him look into my eyes and see that I wasn’t afraid of him. He’d scream at the top of his lungs looking me right back in my eyes with a look that said, “You’ll never win so you may as well accept defeat and PICK ME UP!”
Mothering is challenging but fun and rewarding. This is the one job that I know for certain I am very good at. I enjoy all aspects even though I may not always see the humor while in the moment. I think one thing that can take away a lot of the stress of being a mom is having a sense of humor; being able to laugh at your little people AND yourself. Just throw your head back and let out a big loud belly laugh at the fact that this little person has you running in circles and wrapped around his little finger!