|My son, Tuck, throwing a fit at 2 years old.|
My friend, Mary, invited me out for a visit because her husband was going to be out of town for the weekend. While a few years ago, this might have meant late nights and karaoke, maybe even a crazy adventure, these days it is all about family. And survival. With a new baby only a few weeks old, plus an active two-year-old, I was there to be an extra pair of hands and feet.
I felt honored to be asked. It made me feel like a seasoned pro since I know what it's like to be a mother of two boys, though mine are 10 and (almost) eight now. I should have known my inflated sense of self, and mothering, would be taught a valuable lesson. It happened. This weekend. Big time.
Here is what I learned from my time in Arizona:
1. I like my sleep. Newborns don't sleep. I've become selfish about sleep now that my kids are older. #SELFISH.
2. The energy of two-year-olds is incredible. I wish I could bottle that shit. I mean, seriously, how do you they not tucker out after hours of jumping, talking, laughing, and running from you? I'm getting exhausted just writing this.
3. Poop and spit up. All the time. Plus, someone always needs milk (out of your breast or out of the fridge). You are a helper every minute from dawn until dusk. Unfortunately, you can't even pass out after that because you're on for the night shift, too.
4. Time makes you forget the overwhelmingness of new babies. This may be so you'll eventually have more babies one day. Sadly, it also makes you forget and become a little less empathetic to those mothers, and your dear friends, working the day, evening, and night shift. Hug them tight. They really do need it.
5. Becoming a mother is one of the most bonding experiences you'll ever have with your girlfriends. No one can explain the happiness, tiredness, love, fear, and exhaustion that consumes you every minute those first few weeks. Well, your whole life really. Only a mother knows.
When I returned home, I hugged my own boys tight, who looked gigantic from those sweet babies in Arizona. I cried, too. I was reminded how fast the years have passed without my consent and how I've moved on to an entirely different phase in my life. A good one, just different. I am now the mother who spends hours at the table doing homework versus rocking her babies to sleep in the nursery. It was a humbling and heartfelt experience.
I then took a three-hour power nap. Parenting is exhausting.