I would like to start this blog off with a statement; I was once a first time Mom. If this story offends you, please keep reading, I promise you will take something out of it. You may want to send me some hate mail afterward, feel free. However, my point in writing this is that we were all first time Mom’s and there are plenty of lessons to be learned. With that being said, I want to share a story of transition that comes with motherhood.
I was sitting with a group of friends the other day talking about our kids, husbands, and the daily grind type of topics. I have three children, two of my other friends at the table have four, one girl has two, and a few of the women are new Moms. I always find it interesting when we discuss the kids, just how different our views are on parenting are.
I still remember how frantic and overzealous I was with my first child. I would sterilize every bottle and nipple with purified drinking water, wash his clothing in allergen free detergents and I even used organic baby wipes. I wouldn’t take a shower if I was home alone with the baby, for fear that he may move in his crib and I wouldn’t witness it. I would just stare at him to make sure he was breathing. I ran to him at every peep he made, as though I heard the starting gun fire for the 100 Meter dash. I remember giving a Mom in Wal-Mart a dirty look for putting her toddler in the shopping cart without the proper cart cover. How was she planning to keep away all the germs and various diseases that her Pediatrician hadn’t vaccinated her child for as of yet? How could she just throw her child into an unsanitary shopping cart? The nerve! This woman was unfit, someone should call DCF.
When I had baby number two I began to loosen up. I realized that with two I would have to learn how to juggle. Having the second made me feel like I was a member of the Cirque du Soleil tribe. Spending my days trying to chase miniature contortionists who went running from me naked through the halls after bath time. I will be honest and tell you that bottle sterilization took a back seat, and when the pacifier fell on the floor I would suck on it to disinfect it. Baby number two slept in the bed with me and I am positive I fell asleep several times while breastfeeding. Shit happens and no one sleeps when an infant in the house. Baby number two gave me some serious perspective on what being a Mom looks like. Not the Mom on the cover of the parenting magazine, the Mom that has no nanny, cooks and cleans her own dishes, and sometime goes a few days without a shower.
Number three, my special surprise blessing never had a bottle sterilized. I can guarantee that I used tap water to mix his formula bottles, and I fed him rice cereal at one month to see if I could get him to sleep longer. He was placed in several shopping carts with no seat covers, and was dropped at daycare with one shoe on multiple occasions. “I told you to put on your shoes, you didn’t listen, good luck with your day.” My daycare provider will attest to this. I’m not proud, but you got to learn how to roll. Last week he picked up a Cheeto from the car seat, ate it, and proceeded to tell me it was soggy. It must have been at least a few months old, I don’t even remember buying Cheetos. I have also caught him licking the bottom of his boots after a trip to the local Rodeo. The petting zoo may not have been the best idea.
Nine years later I can safely say I was a clueless first time Mom. Mind you, it’s not your fault when you are a beginner Mom. There is absolutely no way to decide how to do this job. No book can prepare you, and no matter what anyone says it doesn’t always come natural. “What to Expect” the series did me no favors. I can safely say nine years later that “Go the Fuck to bed” is a more riveting and truthful tale about parenting. I wish someone had given me that book as a baby shower gift. “Congratulations on your baby, you’re never going to sleep again Bitch.”
Now, life with an 8, 5, and 4-year-old is hectic and far from perfect. As we sat there trading war stories at the table, my girlfriend with four kids began to tell about her weekend adventure. She and her husband went to a concert and had a bit too much fun while tailgating. It seems as though that bitch named Fireball whiskey had the audacity to ambush my friend on her night away from the kids. After a few glasses of wine and a couple of shots, that was all she wrote. My poor friend went home drunk as a skunk, praying to the porcelain God who showed her no mercy. We can’t drink like we did in college anymore and what was once a morning hangover now tends to linger for a few days.
When she got home to her children, she was unable to feed the baby. Her youngest is 6 months old and breastfeeding him would be like tapping a keg during spring break. She continued to tell us how she needed to feed the baby but he wouldn’t take a formula bottle. Pumping and dumping would be a necessity for at least the next six hours. Luckily her sister-in-law lives across the street, also has a 6 month old baby. She ran across the street and asked, “Can I borrow your breast milk?” To which her sister-in-law happily offered up.
I will never forget the look on the faces of the first time Mom’s as they listened to this story. It was priceless. They were mortified to think that she was giving her child someone else’s Boobie juice. They looked at my friend like I looked at the Mom in Wal-Mart so many years before. I couldn’t contain myself. I began to laugh uncontrollably. As a mother of four, when your kids got to eat you find a way to feed him. In all reality it doesn’t matter which cow the milk came from. It brought me back to being a first time Mom and that feeling of control I thought I had. It made me realize how resourceful we become as mothers and how learning to let go is necessary to survival. I applaud my friend. She is a survivor and one hell of a Mama.
So please don’t be offended by my rant if you are a new mother. I am not judging you. I was you. I am letting you know that it’s ok to let it go and relax. At the end of the day, count heads, fingers and toes. If all the numbers add up, you did one hell of a job. Your child will eat its buggers, fall and get hurt, cover himself in Desitin, and paint pictures with their poop. Asking for help is vital. The saying is true; it takes a village to raise a child, a village of breastfeeding loons that is. So never shy away, and when needed just ask, “Can I borrow your breast milk?”