Let me start by saying, I am not a fan of a day honoring Mothers. I have always believed that everyday should be about celebrating those individuals who raise tiny little humans without losing their shit. But, there are unrealistic expectations attached to the holiday, along with those who may be in a period of grief either from losing a mother or perhaps a child. Perhaps, their children are of the four-legged variety. Instead of my usual speech about the side effects one can suffer from this particular holiday, I thought I would share my own motherhood highlights.
When Bailey was born, I was elated. Not just because I was excited to meet him, but mainly I was thrilled to get him out of my body. Pregnancy was not a pleasant experience for me. Vomiting for close to 7 months along with just feeling like crap, left me convinced that I would only have one child. He had some health complications along with being diagnosed with Down syndrome, that lengthened his stay in the hospital. On the day we brought him home, I was terrified. Not because of his disability, but because I couldn’t believe that these professionals were trusting us to take him home without some sort of supervision. It took two of us to buckle him in the car seat. For several weeks after he came home, it took both of us to dress him. No one alerted me to the delightful experience of pee showers when I changed his diaper. There was no handbook. Oh, sure there were those really annoying parenting books written by people who probably didn’t have children. I was sure that I wouldn’t survive. But, I did.
Apparently, I forgot the unpleasantness of pregnancy since I got knocked up again. When we brought Bryce home, I thought I knew what I was doing, but he challenged me by not sleeping. No kidding. That child would only sleep attached to me. I had an appendage for at least two years. I tell him that I am still catching up and he doesn’t even seem sorry. So ungrateful.
Being a mother isn’t limited to just the female gender. It isn’t limited to just two-legged humans. You don’t have to give birth to be a mother. You simply have to be willing to commit. Being a mother requires having a sense of humor sprinkled with a dose of insanity. There will be tears. There will be laughter. There will be struggles and celebrations. But, that is all part of the process, right? But, most of all, my children, including my four-legged ones, are my greatest teachers.
In the words of Erma Bombeck, “Mothers are not nameless, faceless stereotypes who appear once a year on a greeting card with their virtues set to prose, but women who have been dealt a hand for life and play each card one at a time they best way they know how. No mother is all good or all bad, all laughing or all serious, all loving or all angry. Ambivalence rushes through their veins.”