My child has finally gone down for a nap. In her bed! We’re three minutes in, but I am tentatively optimistic that this time she might just go for longer than 20 minutes (it ended up being 10 minutes). Every sleep in her bed is a HUGE deal because for the last month she has only been willing to nap in her carrier, strapped to me. Not Dad. Not Grandma or Grandpa. Only me. Have you ever tried to wee with a baby strapped to your chest? If you’re a mom, you probably have.
This year will be my first Mother’s Day as a mom and I finally fully understand why we should spoil the crap out of every mother we know. Being a mom is simultaneously the most rewarding and most challenging thing I have done in my life. There have been times when I have wanted to full out cry because I was so head-over-heels in love with my little one, sleeping calmly in my arms. That feeling when she locks eyes with you and bursts into a smile is pure magic. And there have also been times when I’ve had melt-downs in the shower, or sunk my nails into the rocking chair because she FLAT OUT REFUSED to go to bed at a reasonable hour (hello, 1 am). I have cherished every moment and also, sometimes, 100% wished I could have my old life back. Suddenly going out to buy bread has become a nerve-wrecking affair involving nuclear screams bellowing from the back seat.
Since becoming a mom I have gained so much love and appreciation for my own mother, realising that she did all this for me. Sleepless nights with a newborn, tantrums with a toddler, eye rolling tweens, resentful teens, all of it. And still, she carries this heart-wrenching, all-consuming love for me.
Something else happened when I became a mom. I became connected to other mothers. Throughout the world, I knew that other moms understood. We were connected by sleepless nights, diaper disasters, traumatising car rides, sore nipples, milk-stained shirts, and an overwhelming desire to nurture, protect and cherish this new tiny human. Fellow moms – sometimes people I knew and often people I’d never met before – became pillars of support, offering condolences and advice through social media and messages. Coffee dates with other mamas saved my sanity (knowing that they understood a crying baby made me feel little less intimidated to go out with my tiny bundle of trepidation). Most of the time, it made a world of difference when another mom simply said, “yeah, my kid did that too.” Motherhood can often feel very lonely and isolated, so a big thanks to everyone who connected with me over the last three months.
So this Mother’s Day, I would like to celebrate every mom out there drinking cold coffee, with unwashed hair tied in a bun, attempting to fold a onesie with one hand. You’ve got this.