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March 11, 2015

Mom, Before She Was One

Though I’ve only been a mom for two years, parenthood has led me to question a lot of things. Like, how did my parents survive 5 daughters? Why don’t toys come assembled? What is the child-induced phenomena responsible for making the days shorter and pass quicker, but more importantly, is there an antidote? 

And as the duties of child rearing unremittingly consume me, the ongoing development of a gazillion new mom-life memories are taking over my memory bank and pushing any pre-parent recollections I had further and further out of recall. It’s as if I can’t remember a life before diapers, car seats, small hands, and a constant flux of exhaustion. But I want to. 

I like to presume that my life has more meaning now than it ever has, that my purpose has expanded much like my awareness of a crying baby, and that my life’s current state of spilt drinks, random Cheerios, and stroller pushing, is way better than its former state of….whatever it was. Still, I have to wonder…. 

What did I do with my money before I had a child? I must’ve been rich. Or at least I should’ve been since I didn’t have to buy shoes, clothes, food, diapers, or daycare expenses. Where’s the wealth at? 

What did I do with my time? I mean, I had so much of it! With no one demanding that I feed them, raise them, or take them to the park, I reckon I must’ve had so much time to blow that I could’ve called it “free” and meant it. 

What does sleeping in feel like? Long ago in a faint and distant memory, I vaguely recall waking up at 9am and considering it “early.” Now, snoozing until 9am is like the Hope Diamond- I can hope all I want but I’m never gonna get it. 

What did we fight about? Nearly every argument my husband and I have boils down to conflicting parenting practices. If we weren’t fighting about who’s spoiling the kid, who changed the last diaper, and how to diffuse a tantrum, what were we fighting about again? 

What did I eat and why did I have cookware? Since I didn’t have to cook for a family every night, why did I even own cookware? And there’s no way I skipped a meal, so what was I eating, anyway? I suspect my stomach is where the bulk of my riches went. 

What stressed me out? Lately I have a reoccurring vision of rushing my 2 year old to the Emergency Room to get a medical professional to evaluate his incessant screaming, body thrashing, and obvious agitation, only for a doctor to scold, “Ma’am, there’s nothing wrong, he’s having a tantrum!” Oh. So uhm, what exactly was considered stress before I was being brutalized by a child with such a colorful disposition? 

And honestly, what did I talk about? Yes, put me down as one of those parents that always have the funniest (or not) story about what my kid did the other night. I shamelessly whip out my iPhone to show off his cute face, and I effortlessly find a connection between whatever the hell you think it is important and my child. Sorry, not at all sorry. 

So if I happen to forget your birthday, our dinner date, or to reply to your text, don’t feel bad. I can’t even remember what I did during the 27 years preceding parenthood! (But feel free to remind me.)