If you read my last blog that described in what may have been too much postpartum detail (see 10 things to enjoy as a woman before becoming a mom), then you understand how… let’s say challenging the first few months of motherhood can be. You’re exhausted. You’re not used to taking care of someone else all the time, and have little chance to take care of yourself.
After having ranted about all the things women can’t do once a little human escapes from within, I feel the need to produce a blog detailing the other side of the spectrum, you know, the side that makes you want to be the best mom you can be and offers a beaming bright light at what can, at times, seem like a very long, very dark, very lonely tunnel.
In essence, this split between ranting and glowing is what characterizes parenthood; the simultaneous ups and downs triggered by a mixed sense of helplessness when your baby is fussy and of accomplishment once you finally figure out what was wrong, and how to fix it. As a mother, you hit extremes of both sadness and happiness you never knew existed. You feel emotions you didn’t know you had yet to experience. And you start understanding the real meaning of both patience, and unconditional love.
So, without further ado, here is a list of (the first of many) wonderful moments that really do make being a mom, feel like the coolest job on earth.
Your baby’s first smile (that is, in no way, tied to gas)
Your heart will melt and you will spend every waking moment trying to earn the next.
A full night’s sleep
This is the day you wake up panicking because the clock says 5:30am when you put her down at 11pm the night before – and then realize she’s fine, and just gave you 6 and a half hours of uninterrupted slumber. Magic.
Seeing your baby splash around in a pool full of water reminds you how comfortable she felt in the womb and is a nice way to reconnect with your little love-nut. She really did love you (love you/need you) before she was even born. Note – Putting enough water in the tub and making sure it’s nice and warm is key to a happy bath time experience!
You will swear she’s talking to you. And then you’ll answer her. And then the conversation will go off in hilarious directions that make you feel less alone and more in the company of someone who really gets you.
The moment you realize that your little one can not only see you, but recognize who you are makes all your hard work worthwhile. It’s the little bit of thanks you need for milking like a cow, looking like a slob and being at the beck and call of a pint sized rug rat.
A good pooh
Honest to God, who knew that feces could bring a woman such happiness? Two in one day of appropriate colour, texture and smell? You just won the lottery. Twice.
A solid belch
Runner up only to a good bowel movement is a nice loud burp! There is no sense of accomplishment like hearing the resounding exit of gas from either extremity following a feeding. A job well done for you, and baby.
Being the perfect pacifier
Having your little one fall asleep on you or stop crying when she’s in your arms can at times feel like you’ve tamed a wild beast, but it’s more than that, it’s the sense of trust that comes with responding on a daily basis to the cries, discomfort and whimpers of a little one who can’t tell you what’s wrong but hopes you understand anyway. I can’t help but smile when I’m visiting friends and family and notice Luna’s eyes scanning the room, following me everywhere I go. In my head I’m saying “Yeah, that’s right! Who’s your mama!?” Having your little one look to you for comfort seriously validates your efforts as a (possibly reluctant and used to doing fifty billion things at once) stay at home mom.While I in no way hope to have a child who can’t be away from mommy for more than a minute at a time, it does feel good to know you’re meeting some or most of their needs on a regular basis. Maybe I really can do this after all?
The moment they raise their little fingers and wrap it around yours as they’re feeding, or refuse to let go of your finger as they drift to sleep. Bliss!
Hands down. When they burrow into you like they’re digging for lost treasure only to fall asleep face up, mouth gaping wide open, arms clasping you on both sides. It’s heaven. Pure heaven.
Yup, it’s a tough job (some days, it’s tougher than others) but somebody’s got to do it!