Thursday, April 17, 2014

Disclaimer: Real Mom Ahead

A couple weeks ago, I received an email with this subject line:
"Stephanie, your blog was meant for me :)"
This had to be spam, right? I was pleasantly surprised when I opened the email to find a Wife Mommy Me fan, praising me for being open and honest about my experience as a Mom. As someone who puts it all out there, it's ridiculously rewarded to find out that there are folks out there that relate to all my nonsense. Not only was Gwendy a fan, but she wanted to share an experience she went through as a Mom with my readers. Of course, I said yes. Meet Gwendy, first time Momma and your newest best friend. 

I’d like to start this whole confession off the right way—with a disclaimer: I’m a first time mother.
Prior to the arrival of our baby girl, I believed myself to be at least moderately experienced in the realm of child-rearing. I had, after all, been around babies and young children for the majority of my life. In fact, if you were to have taken a tally between my husband and myself as to who had changed the most diapers (prior to the birth of our baby) I would be the hands down winner (although it was difficult not to beat his whopping total of “0”). I’d even acquired keepsake boxes (like these cute ones here) to hold mementos (like baby’s first tooth). Are you laughing hysterically at my pathetic definition of preparation yet? Just the thought of how “ready” I thought was is enough to make my own maniacal laughter erupt like a volcano.
Although there have been multiple motherhood learning curves that I’ve encountered, none quite got to me the way that sleep deprivation did. The whole living-zombie thing has been written about, talked about, and blogged about; but for some reason, I thought it couldn’t be any worse than my sleepless college nights (which came courtesy of test-cramming or having too much fun). Wrong! So undeniably wrong—what the hell was I even thinking?!
I remember the moment my need for sleep nearly broke me (spoiler alert: it didn’t take long for me to crack). A little over a week after we brought baby home I put her down for an eons-overdue nap. We were already pretty delirious; I couldn’t remember what real, uninterrupted sleep felt like. With the baby down, my husband headed to the store (I swear, if I had had any residual energy, I would have fought him to the death for a chance to leave the house) while I began to reluctantly address my rapidly multiplying to-do list.
Fifteen minutes into nap-time, I was frantically trying to half-ass fold the laundry (more or less “pile it” if you will) whisper-talk my husband through deciphering my hieroglyphic-looking grocery list (over the phone) and start some semblance of a dinner. I was getting rapidly irritated with my inability to talk on the phone and function, so my voice was gradually getting louder (read: basically yelling). At some point in my rant about why my husband should “just know” what I need, I heard our baby crying. I panicked and threw one last load of clothes in the wash, then ran back to the nursery hopefully caudal at least another twenty minutes of precious sleep out of her.
While I was patting and rubbing her little back, I smelled something…burning? What idiot started a fire in the house!? Cue the (dim) light bulb. I tripped over myself running to the kitchen to see what I’d even started cooking—I’d forgot making dinner was even a thing, let alone something I was trying to accomplish. Smoke started billowing out of the oven, and I yanked whatever it was I’d put in there out and ran it out to the porch.
The smoke detectors were going off full force by now and the baby was screaming bloody murder; I felt glued to the ground. I knew I needed to open windows and doors and grab the baby (maybe get her some fresh air??) but I didn’t do any of that. Instead I crumpled to the floor and started crying. Hysterically. Like snot-bubbling, tear-pouring, straight-up blubbering.
I don’t really know when I would have snapped out of it if my husband hadn’t come home. He helped me pull my shit together, and I took the baby outside while he salvaged our home from my dinnertime smoke out. I must have told our baby I was sorry a million times; I felt like a failure at motherhood already and it hadn’t even been TWO WEEKS! I was a terrible mom, and this HALF AN HOUR ALONE had only proved that. I decided that maybe I’d call my mom and ask her for help (real independent of me, right?) because, really, who else could see me like this?? Wasn’t I supposed to be rocking motherhood with Food Network recipes and freshly-washed skinny jeans??
It was in this moment that I couldn’t remember what I did with my phone post-laundry. As it would turn out, I wouldn’t be calling anybody (at least on my phone) anytime soon, as electronics don’t take kindly to being washed.
Flash forward a few (10) months, and I have to say; nothing can prepare you for parenthood (except, of course, being a parent). I know I’ll continue to drop the ball, to feel like I’m failing, and to need help. But as I watch our baby grow into a little person, I know that there’s nothing in this world that I love more than her. And even if I have to spend the rest of my life trying to get this whole parenting thing right—she’s worth every second of it.
Gwendy Taylor is a first time Mom discovering no matter how many time she checks the diaper bag, she always forgets something important. When she's not trying out the latest homemade baby food recipes, you can find her writing about family life. 

Be sure to connect with Gwendy on Google+ and follow along as she continues to share her story of motherhood, in all it's messy, wonderful glory.

11 comments:

  1. Ha Ha.. I will have to check her out and my advice to a first time mommy... have a second child and BAM you will become an overnight pro ;-)

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    1. I've heard a second child solves a lot... I can't even imagine.

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  2. Oh man - what a story you can laugh at after it's over. Being a parent is tough. You totally don't understand until you are one. And, man, I think we could all use a week just to sleep!

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    1. When you are knee deep in some moments, you never think you are going to to survive. But of course, you do and you have something to laugh at when times get rough again.

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  3. Aimee that advice is music to my ears--because eventually we may have another little Taylor!! Until then--I'm holding strong at rookie status ;)
    Becky--Amen sister!! In those moments, sleep is on par with the Holy Grail :)

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    1. We are a one and done family and I am so okay with that! There is no way I can do an infant again... no way, no how!

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  4. My brother always says...becoming a parent is one (and maybe the only time) in your life where the day before is totally different than the day following. You go into the hospital and when you leave -your life never is the same again.

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    1. October 30, 2012 my life was "over" as I knew it and I started a whole new journey. One I love more than I ever expected.

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  5. I love readers who send email. Makes this blog thing all the better.

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  6. It's so true that nothing can prepare you for the emotional and physical exhaustion that becoming a mom entails! Thanks for sharing!

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  7. I love happy email and most especially when you get to meet really awesome nice people who are moms.

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Thank you so much for commenting on today's post. I reply to comments via Disqus so if you are curious as to what I may have to say in response to your message, just visit this post and check your comment. -- xo, Stephanie