I heard a gal without kids who was working a full time job say, " I wish I was a mom...then life would be one big vacation." I have no idea what planet she was on, but in real-world, motherhood has been one of the biggest hardest jobs I've ever had. Don't get me wrong, I love my kids. I cherish them. They have been the greatest sacrifice and journey of love and self exploration I have ever faced. I wouldn't trade them for anything...but motherhood is not for the faint of heart. It is not for the feeble minded dim-whit-sissi-fied-chick. It is not, by and far stretch, a big vacation. Case in point, I have adopted some rather strange habits as a direct result of motherhood, and I don't think I am the only one. In random thought order...
1. I started repeating every thing I said at least five times, sometimes in different languages then finished by asking myself, "am I talking"...nobody answered. The nice young men in the lab coats didn't show up...but I bet they would've answered me.
2. I asked other mothers about their children's bowel habits...without any reservations whatsoever, and over any meal. It didn't matter because I finally had adult conversation.
3. I washed my hands fifty three times a day. I asked my husband if he washed after using the "potty". (Sometimes other adults as well...yes, I said "potty". Sad isn't it.)
4. I smelled like stinky cheese for a few solid years...and it wasn't from eating cheese or buying cheese of any sort. I also could eat mustard, even after changing a newborn. That was a sure sign of advanced motherhood.
5. I Noticed "sippy cups" in odd places and even ventured to smell the contents to see if they where still good. That's how I got my first sourdough starter...okay, that's not true.
6. Found cheerios down my shirt and didn't mind. No, I didn't feed them to my kids. I fed them to the kid in play group who's mom forgot snacks. I'm nice that way.
7. I once asked my doctor, in all sincerity, if a person could die from lack of sleep. Stupid to ask a man that question. They have no idea. My husband still thinks my kids slept through the night regularly.
8. Found out that I am a real stinky brat when I don't get enough sleep...and even then, it's not a valid excuse for being a stinky brat. By the way, that may be one of my truest confessions yet. When I don't get sleep...I am cranky as crap. Go figure. I bet y'all thought I was always happy and smiling and singin' square dance songs after flour sack races right? Nope. I, Chef Tess, can also be a total brat. Ask Ace.
9. I figured out that Carol Brady was brilliant for having Alice...and that it was a pretend show. Pretend people. In real life, mom does it all until the kids are old enough to pick up their own junk...and cook...and tell lame jokes. Yes, I still tell lame jokes. The Brady Bunch was a big fat lie. A LIE.
10. Found myself humming the theme to "Elmo's World" at the grocery store when I didn't have the kids with me...and kept singing it anyway.
11. Allowed myself to be puked on, pooped on, cried at, whined at, hair pulled, earrings ripped, necklaces broken, and sunglasses absolutely mutilated by someone smaller than me... and amazed that I didn't end up smacking them in the forehead.
12. Found my heart expanded, patients increased, humility questioned, sanity destroyed, and yet loving beyond measure a tiny little soul.
13. I considered cooking at a summer girls camp for 200 people twice a day...a vacation.
Motherhood is not a vacation...it's an institution you check yourself into...and are never released, if you are a true mother anyway. True motherhood is a mind altering drug...and it changes you forever.
That's all I have to say about that.