Lots of lists are being traded around these days in e-mails and on Facebook. I’ve been intrigued reading other people’s lists of “My 25 Things About Me” and “99 Things I’ve Done,” but I’ve not yet tackled any of these “list projects.”
What I have done is devise my own “momhood” list called “What I Know About Being a Mom.” I stopped my list at an even dozen and just so you know, I hardly made a dent in describing my experience of “momhood.” The list could easily be titled “101 Things I Know About Being A Mom.” That being said, here are 12 things I know to be true about being the mom of daughters, one, two and then three:
1. Unconditional love is both a miracle and a mystery. I fell unconditionally in love with each daughter at the moment she was born. More miracle and mystery — mom-love is forever. Those three grown women out there in the world raising their own kids and living their lives remain unconditionally loved by me, their mom.
2. Breastfeeding is terrific. It was healthy and sensuous and way easier than carting bottles around during the day and tromping to the refrigerator and then the stove in the middle of the night.
3. With breasts constantly refilling, even a passing thought of a baby daughter brought a milk rush that soaked every blouse I wore. There was so much with my firstborn that I naively considered wet nursing a real possibility.
4. All three infant daughters slept on their tummies and survived. The dos and don’ts of putting babies and small children to sleep in cribs have changed. My grandbabies go to sleep on their backs. They’re surviving too.
5. Pacifiers do just that — they pacify. What mom doesn’t relish pacification as often as possible?
6. A baby on my chest was just about the best thing I ever felt. It ranks up there on the list right by dancing.
7. Raising kids means that floors are ever encrusted with Cheerios and squashed green peas. Babies and small children could seed the universe with Cheerios and peas if left unattended for too long.
8. Unattended? Did I say that? A misnomer. Unattended for “too long” means a few seconds at best. As a young mom, I learned vigilance and attentiveness. I practiced patience, often unsuccessfully.
9. This is a confession. I failed all little girl hair care tests. My daughters had bad hair days until they learned to make their own French braids or sculpt their hair like Farrah Fawcett. Here’s the real part of my confession. There was an afternoon when I took my youngest daughter to an old-fashioned barber who spent a full hour sorting out a rat’s nest of tangled hair that lived at the base of her scull under her pony tail. The barber was kind and I was humiliated.
10. “Sesame Street” was a brand-new program when my girls were little and I loved watching Big Bird and Grover almost as much as they did until I realized that “Sesame Street” created a possibility for leaving small children “unattended,” allowing me to tear myself away to sweep up Cherrios.
11. Bathtime signals the end of the day, right? Not for my second daughter, who learned to climb over her bed railings, drop to the floor and crawl down the hall over and over again. She possessed all this agility and determination even before she could stand upright or walk.
12. Did I mention determination? The way I see it, both moms and babies are determined to love, to grow and to finagle for as much space and time as each will allow the other. As I remember it, the whole process is messy and it sure isn’t easy.
I’ll eventually get to the entire list of “101 Things I Know About My Momhood.” Funny thing is, once you become a mom, it’s “momhood” forever, so I have some time to finish the list. To this day, I’d say that the whole “momhood” thing remains a miracle and a mystery.
–By Mary Margaret Hansen, DEEP SOUTH MOMS BLOG
This is an original post from the Deep South Moms Blog (http://www.deepsouthmoms.com). MMH is a mom and grandmom whose daughters and grandchildren live far away in the Pacific Northwest. Therefore, MMH commutes and flounders in efforts to master Skype and Twitter so she can hear and see the ones she loves. Read more at http://rockbridgetimes.blogspot.com and http://www.secondseatinghouston.blogspot.com.