Even though I still fall into that “new” mom category (and trust me, there are days that I believe I’ll be new forever) I’ve also realized that I have learned a lot in the past 8+ months. Some of the education has come through heartfelt conversations with mom friends; some of it from the greatest mom I know (my own, duh) and some of it has come via late night WebMD-ing. Becoming a mom is, by far, the most awesomely incredible and tremendously frightening thing I’ve ever done (moms, you know what I mean).
Aside from the learning aspect, parenthood has also brought on a certain “growing up.” But wait…I’m already a grown up, right? I mean, I turned t-h-i-r-t-y last year (if you spell it instead of speaking it aloud, it doesn’t count) so I’m grown, dammit. I also refuse to admit I have any growing up left to do. This, from the girl who still makes “wiener” jokes when she sees a Daschund. So I’m not growing up…I’m momming up.
There are things that I will do now, as a mom, that I would have never even considered doing before we had Miles. Adult things. Grown up things. MOM THINGS.
1. I will gladly pick boogers that are not my own. Whether Miles likes it or not, I am determined to get that booger out of his nose, with my bare hands and with spit, if that’s what it takes. Side note: Are all children’s boogers made of rubber cement? If I manage to get it out of his nose, I can’t get it off of my hand. Or my shirt. Or the cat (sorry, Pookie).
2. I’m totally okay with getting poop on my hands. Human poop! In addition to being okay with fecal matter touching my dainty, delicate hands, I’m also totally fine studying it, sniffing it, and wondering if that’s just a piece of carrot or possibly crayon that he found under the china hutch.
3. I never need to wear make-up again, ever. Okay, I’ll wear it on weekdays and Sundays. Before Miles, I needed to look presentable before I’d go to places like Publix or Target. Now? Well, if anyone notices the giant zit on my chin (STOP LOOKING) I just hold up the kid, and everyone is distracted by his overwhelming cuteness. What zit? BOOM.
4. Yoga pants are fashionable all the time. Because no matter what I’m wearing, it’s going to get a rubber cement booger on it. Or drool. Or spaghetti and meatballs. Being fashionable is not as important as wearing something that allows me to comfortably care for my son, while remaining agile (trust me, agility is an important parenting skill). Additional side note: WHY DOES SPAGHETTI TURN A BABY ORANGE?! This doesn’t happen to me when I eat it. Although, to be fair, I’m not smashing it in my face and trying to shove noodles in my ears.
5. I never need to wear high heels again. I was self-conscious about my height and totally obsessed with shoes before Miles. I am now one of those moms who will wear the same pair of jeans until they fall apart at the seams because I could officially care less about what I look like (to an extent). So I happily bid adieu to the shoes that have ruined my arches, caused endless lower back pain, and squished my toes (but I looked damn good). And I am eleventy million percent comfortable with throwing in the towel when it comes to heels…it’s way easier to chase a kid around barefoot.
6. I can admit when I need help. Being a mom is hard work sometimes. The hours can be long, and all you get paid in is poopie diapers and drool. Oh, and unconditional love. Also, millions of hugs and kisses…so it’s not too bad. But seriously, it’s hard work, and any mom who runs around pretending she’s Super Woman and has everything totally under control is probably totally lying to your face. So, I am not afraid, ashamed or embarassed to ask for help. I am blessed to have a super awesome husband who makes one hell of a partner; we can go all WWF tag team when needed. We are also blessed to have, for the most part (and knock on wood) a super easy baby.
7. I can go to bed early. Okay, so I went to bed early before…but now I feel like I’m being a responsible adult when I hit the hay at 8:30p, and not a lazy schlub who just wants to watch reruns of “Roseanne.”
8. I can make a household budget and stick to it. Because the extra mortgage payment that is tuition, food, clothes, diapers, teething rings, binkies and things to throw at the cats is important and cannot be ignored/recalculated/pushed off until the next month, I have to budget. And that doesn’t mean making a color coded Excel spreadsheet that I’ll end up ignoring after accidentally spending $170 at Total Wine (oops). It means holding myself accountable to that spreadsheet. And sometimes lying about how much wine I bought. IT WAS ON SALE.
You know those hippie moms, the ones who are far more hippie than I could ever hope to be, that talk about how carefree and wonderful parenthood is? They’re right; and maybe part of it is that we’ve just given up on certain things (let’s face it, saying I’m “carefree” sounds better than saying “I am too tired to wash my hair this weekend and I would rather finish this book instead”) but the majority of this new freedom is becoming comfortable with who you are. I was born to be a mom, and when I finally became one, it was one of those Oprah “AHA!” moments (not the “YOU GET A CAR!” kind, although that would be cool) and I realized this is who God intended me to be. I did it; I mommed up.
PS – The next time you see my husband, ask him about how he was almost edited out of number six over a single serving package of Oreo cookies. The cookies of selfishness.