Never put your kid on a bus in an ice storm.
We all remember that moment when we found out we were going to be a mom. For some, it goes like this: You roll over in bed and before your eyes even open your mind immediately goes there- Flo is due today. You stretch, and stumble into the bathroom, pull out the First Response, pee on the stick and through groggy eyes, you watch and wait. Then, it happens. Those two magical, pink lines appear and you’re flooded with emotions that you have never felt. You are going to be a mom, ekk! All at once you feel an overwhelming emotional cocktail of happiness, elation, and excitement combined with what I like to refer to as the “motherhood mixer…” worry. Literally, from the moment those faint lines appear, your mind races-what if I have a miscarriage? I had a glass of wine last night, did that affect the baby? Will I be a good mom? Oh my God I have to push this baby out of my vagina in 9 months!?!?!?! The worry is instant, it is endless and it is exhausting.
People tell you stories, even before you are pregnant, about how wonderful motherhood is. “You’ll never love someone as much as you love your child, it’s a feeling like no other.” You watch moms coo and get all glassy eyed over their tiny humans. That baby smell is intoxicating and we crave to have one of our own. With these premonitions of how amazing motherhood will be, you also get the warnings- you’ll never sleep again, your body will change, morning sickness, etc. However, what no one tells you is just how much you will worry. You’ll never go another day without feeling that ridiculously intense need to protect and control.
I work at the preschool that both my babies attend and I am eternally grateful for this position & the fact that I basically get paid to hang with my kids! I was recently spending time in one of the older classrooms, and this suffocating feeling came over me. My mind started racing as I thought to myself, what would I do if the building caught fire? How would I get downstairs to both kids? How would I choose where to go first? What if I couldn’t get to them -well, let’s be honest, that’s not even an option, I’d just walk through the fire…. and the “daymare” went on and on. Yes, I may be crazy for having these thoughts and experiencing this type of emotion, but I’d be willing to put my money on the fact that the majority of moms deal with very similar thoughts. We exhaust ourselves creating scenarios that most likely will never happen, but the thought of “what if” is too just much to handle, so we continue to torment ourselves in preparation for the unimaginable.
A co-worker and friend of mine, consistently reminds me of a time, before my kids were born, when I convinced her to put her son on a bus, despite an impending ice storm. As the story would have it, the ice came, and the bus took forever to get to school-the roads were AWFUL and she was a wreck. Well, now that I have kids of my own, we joke that you should “never put your kid on a bus in an ice storm.” I never understood the love, if we can even call it that, because the feeling is so much deeper than love, that we have for our children. I never understood the innate desire to protect your young with every cell in your body. I never understood why when I was sick my mom would say “I wish it was me.” I never understood that I would never, ever, in a million years want to put my tiny human on a school bus on a bright, sunny day, let alone in an ice storm, until I became a mama.
So yes, go ahead and make yourself your very own little baby. Let this be your “warning.” It will be exhausting. You will worry and stress virtually every second of your waking (and probably sleeping) life. My kids are little, so I cannot speak for the future, but I am told that the worry never goes away. If you’re prepared for a lifetime of worry, then go ahead and have a baby. But, I can promise you that along with that lifetime of worry comes a love greater than anything I could ever put into words. Every, single time you look at your child, kiss their little face, wipe a tear (or nose), you’ll get to experience the miracle that you brought into this world. I would take a lifetime of worry, to enjoy one waking minute of the overwhelming joy and love that my children give me. To all of the mamas out there, who may be losing a little bit of sleep tonight, to all the mamas who are making their coffee extra strong, to all of us who’ve given up a lifetime without the freedom of a carefree night out with our husbands, let us not forget that with that worry comes an amazing, unconditional, and unfathomable love. So here’s to the insane worry of glorious motherhood, after all, isn’t that why we have wine?!