Yesterday I spent some time talking to one of my oldest, dearest friends, who is pregnant with her first child. And suddenly I understood why people have this need to share all their stories and advice with pregnant women. It’s not that I don’t think she’ll be just fine, because I really do – she’s going to be a GREAT Mom, and her hubby is going to be a GREAT Dad. That’s one lucky little boy she’s growing.
I know that any advice I give her is based on my one data point, and I know from experience that there is absolutely no way I could ever in a million years prepare her for what she’s about to embark on. I know that her experience will be HER experience, and will differ from mine in a million ways, because every mother-child experience is unique in a million ways.
The truth is this: I just want her to know how excited I am for her, precisely because there is no way to explain it, absolutely no way on earth to explain the thing you feel for your child, the hundred million things every single day that make your life and your SELF completely totally different once you’re a Mom.
There is nothing on earth like being a parent. It is the most hellish fun I have ever had. It is the most exhausting, exhilarating thing I have ever done.
This morning, I got up before C, who was sleeping in my bed. I got as far as turning on the coffee machine, when I heard the cry from the bedroom: “Mommyyy!! Mommy!!!”
I walked back, and as I entered the room, he said, “Ni ni time, Mommy!” So I climbed back into bed with him. He snuggled up against me and said, “I need cuddles, Mommy.” We lay there cuddled up for a couple of minutes, probably no more than two or three, and then he sat up, flung the covers off and said, “Okay! UP!”
And… I just… That’s the thing. Today his day couldn’t start without mommy-cuddles. It doesn’t happen every day, but today it did. And it made my morning just a little bit sweeter, a little bit softer, a little bit more beautiful.
Then he threw his lego all over the floor, and got mad cos I wouldn’t put Thomas the Tank Engine on, and then the cat scratched him cos he was bugging it, and you know, business as usual.
The thing is though, I have a hundred million of those little stories. He’s growing so fast, and he’s just hit the oh-my-god-why-did-no-one-warn-me-about-this threes. He’s all temper tantrums and “I want a cheese sandwich, no not anything else, nothing else EVER AGAIN, a cheese sandwich NOW PLEASE MOMMY AND FOREVER”, and boundary pushing, and it is exhausting thankless tiring work. My carpet is horrendous, and I can’t be assed to do anything about it, because even if I paid someone to come in and clean it properly it would be gross again in a few weeks. It’s hard to keep cooking good food when all he wants is cheese sandwiches. It’s hard to do ANYTHING when he lies on the floor yelling “mommy, mommy!” over and over again for twenty minutes straight.
But every moment, every tiny thing, every little piece is a piece that is turning him into an awesome human. I’m doing that. He says please and thank you, he’s kind, he’s empathetic. He’s fucking hardcore when it comes to scary stories! Bring on the daleks, my little dude’s not afraid! He makes up stories all the time, complex imaginative tales.
And some days can’t start without mommy hugs.
My need to give my friend advice is not because I think she needs it (eventually the advice I gave her amounted to: “Fuck all the rules, and look after your nipples!”), but because I want to welcome her, I want her to know how exhausting and wonderful and terrifying and astonishing and frustrating and ALIVE this thing we do is. And she can’t know yet. But she will. And it’s so bloody exciting.