I’ll never forget the day my sister called and told me she was pregnant.
I was standing in the kitchen, going from the refrigerator to the island, when the phone rang. I answered it, whole heartily expecting my sister to ask if I had any milk or cream cheese, but she said these words instead.
“Guess what?” She didn’t wait for me to answer. “I am pregnant!!! You are going to be an Aunt!”
I almost dropped the phone. I felt my heart leap in my chest. A great big sob lodged in my throat. I couldn’t speak. I fought back the tears stinging my eyes, and I whispered to God a silent thank you for not allowing her to tell me in person.
“Oh, Patsy! I am so happy for you. I really am. I am so excited”. I lied, partially.
I was happy for her, far beyond happy actually, but I also felt a sadness, I find difficult to put into words. With a baby, my sister would feel joy unimaginable and a love she has never known before, and she would also, for the first time in her life, really feel the weight of worry. A worry that is difficult to contain and impossible to soothe at times. A worry that only a mother knows.
Being a mommy is downright, hard and exhausting. You give so much of yourself away, one piece at a time. You trade Jersey Shore for Mickey Mouse Clubhouse; your size 4 skinny jeans, for size 14 mommy pants; and days off without an agenda, for days off with trips to the pediatrician. The swaps and trades can go on forever, and the fears are infinite. Are they eating enough? Are they eating too much? Why are they spitting up so often? Do they have GERD? Why are they not crawling yet? Why are they not walking yet? When will they ever get a tooth? Should I take them to the dentist?
I imagine, I am painting a lovely picture for those of you who do not have children. You are probably speculating on whether I enjoy being a mother, and the answer is Yes! Yes! Yes!
After five years into this Motherhood thing, and knowing what I know now, I would never, ever, want to go back. My life is definitely different but so much richer. Now, I have tiny hands to hold, teeny toes to tickle, and little voices that yell, “I love you, Mommy!” I’ve never been more tired, but I’ve never felt more complete. My children are the half that makes me whole.
If you asked my sister, I am sure she would echo my sentiments. She delivered her baby girl in April, and I have never seen someone take to parenting with such ease. She slipped one shoe off and put the other shoe on. No tears. No baby blues. No mommy meltdowns. My fears for my sister, as a new mother, vanished. Just look at this picture.
I know, me neither!