Recently I came across a quote about motherhood by an Indian guru who was apparently quite popular in the ’70s and ’80s (according to all-knowing Wikipedia):
“The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new.”
Well Mister Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, I couldn’t agree with you more.
The first time I met this new woman, I was laying in a pool of clammy sweat on a hospital bed while a handsome young doctor shook hands with my cervix. I was in labor and he was bored, or so his facial expression led me to believe. I don’t think my contractions were happening quickly enough–maybe he had a lunch date? As I opened my mouth and began to ask questions to help pass the time, I heard a frantic voice inside my head sound off, “Small talk?? REALLY??!! WHO is this woman? Who is this polite woman who feels compelled to make small talk in the middle of delivering a baby??”
I’d never chatted my gyno up before. I’d never felt the need to have a nice little catch-up about the weather while he did his thing with his scary instruments, so why then?
Before I pushed Baby’s little prune face into this world, I was already morphing into someone who hadn’t existed before.
I was becoming a mother.
Allow me to introduce you to this person who hadn’t existed before Baby:
- I am now a nose picker. Without even thinking about it, I snatch boogers out of her nose and toss them in the garbage. Nope. No Kleenex, just booger. Kleenex gets in the way.
- I drink backwash. This is a big deal. I used to gag if I saw someone spit on the sidewalk. Now I succumb to Baby when she demands to “sip” from my glass and watch as the water enters her mouth and then tumbles back into my glass, muddled with bits of scrambled egg and toast. I don’t always have the time or the third hand to pour myself a new glass of water, so backwash it is. Refreshing? Not really.
- I eat mushed up bits of food off her face. On busier days, picking avocado sludge off her chin and eating it is the only way I get to have lunch. I just wish she’d hand me a Corona and some tortilla chips to go along with the guacamole on her chin.
- I smile before I’ve had a coffee. Okay – maybe not… But I don’t frown as deeply.
- I play peek-a-boo – in the shower. Often Baby Daddy will bust in on me while I’m showering because he claims Baby wants to grab the shower curtain and play. My old self would have yelled and demanded to be left alone – but this new version seems fine with being blasted by frigid air in the middle of a nice hot shower. It’s like the poor woman’s version of a hot and cold spa treatment.
- I’ve left the house with Baby’s barf streaked down my shirt and didn’t notice–until days later when I wore the shirt for the second time and someone else pointed it out.
- I stick my nose up another human’s butt and inhale deeply multiple times a day.She has clothes on when I do this, but still. Sniffing stinky butts wasn’t on my to-do list until Baby came along.
- I’ve cried while watching this YouTube video–but that may have been the sleep deprivation bawling.
- I’ve become accustomed to constant noise. Lucky for you, the reader, this new version of me no longer needs silence in order to write, because currently Baby Daddy is serenading Baby with the only song he knows how to play on the guitar: the first few chords of a Pink Floyd song. Over and over and over again…
- I’ve opted for Haagen Dazs and a chick flick over a hot date night. Okay, maybe I did that once or twice before Baby, but now I have a valid excuse for doing so.
- I’ve only known this version of myself for a year, but I must say I like her! She’s hard-working, kind, thoughtful and makes a mean sweet potato puree…