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Being a mom is the most thought-provoking, challenging job balanced by the most valuable reward. It’s waking up with a smile to the world’s cutest alarm clock. It’s hearing a little voice say, “I love you” and being needed 24/7/365. It’s getting to be called ‘Mommy.’ Its an ordinary happening made into an extraordinary experience with a unique bond to be cherished forever. It’s the greatest gift and blessing, never to be taken for granted. Being a mom was something I longed for and fought for during 3 1/2 years of painful infertility and loss. I was in true always the bridesmaid mentality, but instead, I was always the caregiver or Auntie, never the mom.
When my time finally came, I imagined how it would feel. Or when it would click that I was a mother. Looking back, I realize it wasn’t the cliche first time they put my miracle daughter on my chest, although there was an instant connection and feeling of love I had never experienced before. I sang to her, cried with her, thanked the universe for her.
As they wheeled me through the labor and delivery unit with a pink bundle of joy in my arms and everyone fawned over her, I beamed with pride during the introductions. We had kept her name a secret for so long, it came spilling off my tongue when I could shout it to the world.
When just us girls left our hospital room to go to a nutrition class together down the hall, it dawned on me that she was really mine. But it wasn’t until the day we brought her home that I truly felt like a mother.
All along I had heard tall tales of new moms…and seasoned moms… unable to have time for themselves. They would share stories of how it was impossible to take an uninterrupted shower, potty in peace, or have a minute for self care. I’ll never be that way, I confidently convinced myself, wondering what all the fuss was about. How could that even be true? How difficult could it really be to wash your hair in silence?
I remember it like it was yesterday. My loving Hubby was rocking our sleeping beauty in the glider, gently singing classic rock. Our dog was perched on the shared ottoman, and my heart turned to mush.
Hubby insisted I take advantage of that opportunity so for first time in many months, I comfortably got into our home shower, turned the water on warm, closed my eyes and soaked it in. Like a giddy child, I opened brand new bottles of scented spa scrubs—pampering products I had saved for this occasion, after 9 months of using all-natural, unscented soaps for sake of the baby.
I smugly thought to myself, these other moms have no idea what they’re talking about. Then, mid-loofah, I hear the aforementioned heart-melting Hubby frantically beckoning me to get out and help him. With a wet mop of hair dripping down my face, shampoo in my eyes and salt scrub glued to my elbows, I rushed to his attention, barely avoiding a cartoonish-like banana peel slip on the soaking tile floor.
Our precious, 3-day-young angel had explosively sh*t herself up her back, soiled her dainty ensemble and had proven me wrong about that whole getting time for yourself thing. I instantly sprung into action, unfolding the onesie tabs at her shoulders and washing the clothing in the sink. I prepared a sponge bath and snuggled myself into our 6 lb hooded toweled princess before changing her into a cozy outfit. It’s like I had found my calling, and knew just what to do. I was happy to be doing it.
As I stood there, still sudsy, and fully interrupted, I smiled to myself. If this is what those moms were talking about, it was totally, utterly worth it. This was all I ever wanted. I was finally, finally a mother. And I could feel it.
“Messy, Messy Motherhood” is part of Bump Club and Beyond’s “Like A Mother” series. These submissions detail the first time amazing moms around the world felt like mothers. Stay tuned for more “Like A Mother” blog posts in the coming weeks.