I'm Pam, and I'm glad you're here. I hope my thoughts on family, faith, and the flux of life help you laugh, fire you up or just make you think.

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too much to ask?

who are you?

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?

Apparently so. 

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 MomClick here for my first post in this series.

Creative Commons License photo credit: bies

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7 comments to too much to ask?

  • Great post! Wish you lived in the Oakland County area, as I am working on a Mother’s Day piece for The Oakland Press Mother’s Day Sunday edition. Am gathering quotes and writing about mothers looking back and reflecting on what they *might* do differently if they could go back to the early years of motherhood. The whole time I’m working on this story package, I am feeling so very blessed, and grateful, for the honor of being a mom. What a journey!

    Cindy L’s last blog post..As others see us

  • Satchel Pooch

    … when did you realize parenting wasn’t quite what you had in mind?

    Hmm. That would have to be when my daughter was born a month prematurely, and immediately developed life-threatening pneumonia. I checked out of the hospital 5 hours after giving birth to follow her to the hospital with the neo-natal intensive care unit, where she (and we) stayed for a week before she could go home. But she did get well, and we did bring her home, which given how sick some of those poor babies were, was miracle enough for … well, forever.

    Which is not to say that I didn’t (don’t, still!) have to have my attitude adjusted occasionally. But it was easier to discern who and what was important, and what could slide.

  • pam

    Cindy: Sounds like a great piece. There are so many things I might do differently, but actually, everything has turned out just right so far. Funny how that works.

    Satchel: What a rough start–my mini crisis pales in comparison. So glad she came through to be your miracle. And thanks for the photo. It speaks volumes!

  • For me, the realization was that my idea of being a mother and running my business full-time (actually, full time PLUS) did NOT go together. It took a few years of planning and work, but today, our lifestyle is perfect for us.

    I wrote about the transition in:

    to work or not to work, that is the question

    Julie Stiles Mills’s last blog post..t minus 5 days.

  • pam

    Julie: Excellent insights and advice in that link for those weighing the options. Thanks! And I’ll be praying all goes well for you this week.

  • The first day I brought home my oldest, I was totally overwhelmed! Then when my second was born, I felt like a mom! Fortunately I have come to appreciate the fine and not so fine aspects of being a parent. And it is still my favorite job!

    Annie’s last blog post..Quick Quote

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