too much to ask?
Perhaps I should have paid more attention.
I knew becoming a mother would change me, and yes, I had nine months or so to prepare for it, but no. . .I don’t think we’re ever quite prepared for the impact of motherhood. It hit me hard on day one.
I gave birth at my workplace. It’s not as exciting as it might sound–I was an administrator at the same hospital where my children were born, so one day I was trotting down the halls in a suit and heels, and about 36 hours later, I was exhausted, elated, and quite a mess after the birth of my baby boy. How’s that for connecting work and family?
I was thrilled, but of course I was wiped out and feeling really grimy. As most of you know, there’s no rest for the weary in the hospital (isn’t that ironic?) with the constant flow of nurses and all those other people who appear to check on various things. And soon, I knew, my esteemed colleagues (not to mention family) would come knocking on my door to visit. Unless you have a really good reason (like giving birth, maybe?), that’s how it rolls working at the hospital.
I was okay with the visits, but all I wanted was a shower. After giving birth, you know. Is that too much to ask?
Because every time I tried to move in that direction, someone needed a piece of me. And when the umpteenth nurse asked for one more thing, I just about lost it.
Her sympathetic reply: “You’re going to have to learn, Mama, that you can’t just do what you want any more.”
I was ticked. But she was right. Did I mention that she wanted me to feed my baby boy?
When I remember that moment, I still feel ticked at that nurse, because I wasn’t her Mama, her delivery was condescending, and I didn’t want to hear it. But I also have to laugh at how clueless and self-absorbed I was. Of course I had to delay my shower to feed my baby. Little did I know how quickly those things I once thought were necessities would become indulgent luxuries. Such as showers. Or sleep.
There’s no denying it: motherhood changes us, and in so many ways, there’s no going back. Last week I talked about mourning some parts of the me I used to be before launching into parenthood. I believe it’s not too late to tap back into some of those elements.
I also know that I’ve grown in ways I never dreamed possible before becoming a mom. The joys and challenges refine me on a daily basis. We’ll talk about those benefits next.
But for today, if you’re a parent, when did you realize parenting wasn’t quite what you had in mind?
Inspired by Caryn Dahlstrand’s Rivadeneira’s new book Mama’s Got a Fake I.D.: How to Reveal the Real You Behind All That Mom. Click here for my first post in this series.