Friday, April 8, 2016

You Won't Want To, But You'll Do It Anyway

Contrary to what marketers of Mother's Day cards might have you think, motherhood is not all rainbows and sunshine and soft pastel cuddling. Sometimes being a mother absolutely sucks. No one tells you when they lay that sweet mewling cone-headed bundle in your arms that you will have to do so many things that you utterly and viscerally just do not want to do... but you'll do them anyway.

You won't want to wake up five times in the middle of the night to nurse your infant, while all the world peacefully dozes and you can hear your dear husband snoring in the next room . . . but you'll do it anyway.

You won't want to deal with leaky sore breasts that drench your blouse at the worst times... in the grocery checkout line, the DMV, Thanksgiving dinner with your in-laws, the middle of a conversation with your pastor . . . but you'll do it anyway.

You won't want to feel resentment over feeling glued to another human being, wondering what you're doing with your life, surprised by the haggard sleep-deprived reflection in the bathroom mirror . . . but you'll do it anyway.

You won't want to count wet and poopy diapers, stressing over nutritional requirements and weight gain (the baby's. not yours) . . . but you'll do it anyway.

And you won't want to stress about your own weight gain, either. Or the stretch marks. Or the multiplying gray hairs . . . but you'll do it anyway.

You won't want to redecorate your home with toddler safety devices like outlet covers and baby gates. Nor will you want your house adorned with random pacifiers, half-eaten teething biscuits, baby toys, and emergency packs of diapers. You are far more stylish than plastic Gerber products and bright gaudy diaper boxes . . . but you'll do it anyway.

You won't want to deal with the screaming and fussiness of a teething tyrant that has literally worn you down day after long exasperating day . . . but you'll do it anyway.

You won't want to wander around the playground, playing escort to a toddler who only wants to eat sand, hit strangers, and climb the slide 17 billion times . . . but you'll do it anyway.

You won't want to hold your two year-old down in the emergency room, as she levitates demonically 18 inches above the examining table, while a doctor attempts to extract a small plastic bead from her right nostril . . . but you'll do it anyway.

You won't want to have your child run to you with every tiny perceived injury, shoving random body parts in your face. You won't want to kiss every silly, ridiculous, crazy booboo . . . but you'll do it anyway.

You won't want to love anyone else as much as you love your first, but when the second one comes along (and the third and the fourth) . . . you'll do it anyway.

You won't want to yell at your child over the crystal vase that was a wedding gift, the one he broke after running through the house with a broomstick even after you told him not to do it at least 27 times . . . but you'll do it anyway.

You won't want to apologize to your kid for losing your cool. You'll want to feel angry and self-righteous and justified. You won't want to help him clean up the shards he can barely see through his hiccupping sobs and flowing tears . . . but you'll do it anyway.

You won't want to comfort your child, blood running down his head and all over his favorite Winnie the Pooh shirt because his best friend pushed him down and he whacked his head on the brick steps. You won't want to fight your own sobs and the queasy feeling in your stomach from the sight of so much blood, your child's blood. You won't want to shush him and speak to him in a calm and soothing voice. You won't want to tell him that everything will be alright when all you want to do is panic . . . but you'll do it anyway.

You won't want to confront the best friend's mother and tell her what her child did to yours. Conversations like that are uncomfortable . . . but you'll do it anyway.

You won't want to cry years later when that scar shines silvery bright through your son's Army buzz cut . . . but you'll do it anyway.

You won't want to watch your children struggle to learn to read or master multiplication. You won't want to worry about their future . . . but you'll do it anyway.

You won't want to let them fight their own battles, stand up to bullies, or deal with difficult teachers. You won't want to fight your own urge to swoop in and save them, to make everything easier, safer, better . . . but you'll do it anyway.

You won't want to cry alone in the middle of the night, convinced that you're doing everything wrong . . . but you'll do it anyway.

You won't want to soothe away tears of hurt over a best friend's betrayal or a bad breakup with a girlfriend. You won't want to ache with them in the hollow pit of your stomach and wish you could do anything, ANYTHING, to make it better, frustrated that you no longer have mommy super powers to kiss away the boo-boos . . . but you'll do it anyway.

You won't want to be encouraging and supportive as they devise their exit strategies, plans that are awesome and wonderful and amazing, but only lead down paths that take them away from you . . . but you'll do it anyway.

You won't want to stand on the sidewalk as your firstborn slings a pack over his shoulder and boards a bus that will take him two states away. You won't want to remember his bright red and blue Thomas the Tank Engine backpack that he once slung over the very same shoulder . . . but you'll do it anyway.

You will feel overwhelming pride and satisfaction and a beaming sort of love rivaled only by the love felt the moment he was first placed in your shaking, exhausted arms. You won't want to feel the overwhelming sorrow and worry, or the deep melancholy that rolls around at odd angles in your gut . . . but you'll do it anyway.

You won't want to worry about your grown children, knowing that they are strong and capable and independent in ways that you helped create . . .

But you'll do it anyway.

Mothers have been bravely doing things they don't want to do everyday for centuries. Mothers are probably the bravest people I know.



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