I have always wanted to have kids, ever since I was little, as soon as I understood what parents and kids are, what the parent-kid relationship represents and basically ever since I learned where kids come from. I knew I wanted to get married and have my own family. Last but not least, I wanted to be a young mom. Not too young, but to be able to watch them grow and learn as I grow with them myself!
I have never been asked whether I wanted kids or not, but I am now facing the one and only question: what is it like to be a parent, a mom?
You would be disappointed to find that I only have one word answers to the question. Yes, many answers. There is not a right or wrong answer. But there is a story behind every word.
Being a parent is not a state of mind, nor is it a feeling, but a mixture of feelings. Being a parent is something totally different from what you have every experienced so far.
It is a story.
Something new. Old. We all have series of new beginnings, but none like this one, something you have never experienced, yet you’ve had it in you from the moment you wanted them in your life, craved for them, to hold and kiss them, pictured what they will look and be like.
Easy. Hard. If they say there is nothing easy about a baby, then they are only seeing the negative parts, that are not even there to begin with. We make them seem negative and therefore hard. Everything is easy and hard. It’s all new, they don’t talk, they cry when they ask for something, but you are there, you’re THE MOM; nothing and no one comforts them as you do. NO ONE, do you understand me?
Sleepless nights. Joyful days. Yes, yes, these two are two-words answers. Sorry.
Making everything seem harder and more dramatic than it is is normal, if you ask me. But then again, I am the queen of that, so you might want to ask someone else for a second opinion. To justify myself, you are tired and sleep deprived, you ask yourself what the hell did you get yourself into, when you just fell asleep and she just started crying her eyes out in the other room or in the bassinet next to your bed, whatever your choice is. We did both. Bassinet at first, but A was always either too loud or annoyingly quiet, which was a little scary, I must admit. When she woke up for her night feed, she used to scratch the bassinet. That was her way of letting me know she was up. I know what you’re thinking: “awww!”. No! No “awww”, but “Oh my God, do you literally have to scratch everything: bassinet, couch, pictures, books, toys, ME, your face until you bleed and scream your lungs out while scare the crap out of us?! I mean, you even managed to wake up Alex, who got into your room before me. That must count for something.” Ok, she is cute and nice, I’ll give her that.
There were some nights when I tried to ignore her (scratching)… that doesn’t end up well, don’t try that at home!
Now that she is in her own room, I just turn the monitor volume on Mute. Works wonders.
Understanding. Guilt.And there comes the next morning, welcoming you with a teeth-less smile (enjoy it as much as you can!), making you feel guilty for having your own thoughts no one else even knows about. Ok, your significant other might know, because who the hell are you going to yell at, if not him because you’re tired, overwhelmed and no one understands you? Uhhhm, !!no!! the baby is not an option!
It is the morning when you understand you were like that too, needy and helpless; that is the moment you get it. Then the night comes and the story repeats. Don’t worry, it will go away! Even I can say that and I am dramatic, emotional and crazy.
Beautiful. Scary. Everything is beautiful, the entire journey, from the moment you found out about her, heard her heartbeat and felt her stretch to the moment they placed her in your arms and her tiny finger held on to your thumb and never let go; from the moment you took her home and asked yourself (on the way) what in the world are you going to feed her because your milk supply wasn’t on time as your daughter was?! Of course you got mad at your husband because he found himself in front of a whole shelf, full of all kinds of formula, from companies you have never heard of and he didn’t know what to get. Would you? No, but he still took too long. Everything is beautiful, wonderful and amazing: from that day and night until now and forever.
We never co-slept, yet I had nightmares. I have always had nightmare and during pregnancy they reached a peak. The biggest problem here is that I remember everything. I thought it would end once she comes around. Ha! Jokes on me!
I would suffocate her, kick her out of the bed and suddenly wake up to find my plushy on the floor. I still sleep with my plushies, whether that had something to do with it or not, I don’t know! But it certainly made it worse.
No worries, it gets better!
Delicious. Disgusting. There is nothing disgusting about a baby! Oh really? What about the poop and smelly diapers? You’ll get use to it, now get over it. Ok, there is nothing else I can think of. Maybe the moment she puked.. not on me, but in my mouth. Luckily she was breastfeeding so basically, I had a taste of my own milk, except it was second hand. Whatever, she was amused and so was I.
Do I still have to mention that there is nothing like a newborn? Their skin, their smell, you want to bake them and have a delicious meal with some fries on the side. Oh, you want to lose the baby weight? Forget the fries, then. A salad, maybe?!
Energetic. Tiring. You wake up all pumped and positive, excited for a new day where your baby will roll over, try to sit up, or maybe crawl. These are the moments you discover your hidden talents such as singing and poetry. Psh, I could swear I come up with the best rhymes. I am not sure Alex thinks the same, but who cares what he thinks, right?
8PM. Oh my God, isn’t it 9 o’clock yet?! Can I just put her to bed already?! I want silence, silence is what I need. I have so much to do until I fall asleep 10 minutes later and call it a day.
No, don’t even think about touching that beer this late. You will get fat! Ok, I will stick to my cigarette.
Happiness. Frustration. Do you feel the happiness through your veins? Give credit to your baby. Do you feel frustrated again and don’t know why? Blame your hubby. Reasons I bet you can find, you’re a woman. Then get out of the house, go spend some money, come home, kiss him and say you’re sorry, but that it’s also his fault. He says he doesn’t understand you and there you find another reason to blame him for: “you never listen to me! If you did, maybe you would understand. Just maybe!”
Never admit it is 100% your fault. Never, do you understand?
Creative. Boring. Having a newborn might be a little boring at first. Might? A little? Oh, Jesus. All they do is eat, sleep, poop, repeat. A “grew up” quite fast; when she was about one month, she began to stay awake for long stretches, got frustrated and bored in her bassinet. I mean, wouldn’t you? Starring at the ceiling all day long can’t be very entertaining. She talked to and scratched the bassinet for a while but soon lost interest in that too, so we had to start using the swing although she was a little too little for it, but the world was totally different from that angle. Damn, wasn’t she happy!
Happy baby, happy wife, happy life! In case you were wondering what the secret to a happy life is..
As she grew I let my creative side go nuts and sometimes, I come up with the most random things to do, I look up ideas as well, then have too many, go crazy because I forget what the initial plan was and don’t know which one to start with. So I quit everything and lay on the couch. Problem solved. No, I don’t have ADD. I don’t believe in that.
I let some days go by and try again. I am not sure how much she understands, but I make her do stuff she doesn’t always want to do; I want her on her tummy, she hates it; I want her to reach for things, instead she destroys the props I carefully put in place for her.
In other words, we bond. Or at least that’s what I call it. English is my second language, so excuse me if I am misusing the verb “to bond”.
They grow too fast. Now go give your baby the biggest hug and kiss!
Or go make a baby, whatever fits your needs better