Before I was a mommy…

I saw this line on a blog recently and it really made me sit back and ponder what there was before I was a mommy.   I would acknowledge the blog, but did not bookmark it, so I apologise for that.

I know I existed and was happy in my childlessness.  I recall the free and easy manner I would go for a shower – on the drop of a hat.  Spend a  few hours lying in the bath reading a good book.  I would even go to the toilet by myself – and finish what I needed to do …. oh the good old days.

I had time to sit and stare into the distance. I could and would wander around stores uninterrupted.  I could go out late at night and not worry what time I was going to wake up the next morning.  I could sleep late and if I wanted to go and have an afternoon sleep.  I ate my meals in peace.  I would even decide on the spur of the moment to drop in at a corner shop for a loaf of bread and some milk, and it would be easy and non-complicated.

I really can remember the “before” part.  The “after” part has become a bit hazy with the fury at which it has evolved.  Some days I feel like I am starring in an episode of 24.  Sidebar:  I really would like to have Jack Bauer skill set – when he stares at someone and his eye twitches, assume that person has less than 15 minutes to live.  Imagine if you had that as your super power! But I digress. 

I know that you can never wish to go back to a “before mom” stage as that would mean you are then wishing for your kids not to exist, and well that sort of behavior is only condoned for a few people – Mr and Mrs Hitler Snr for instance.  So it really is socially improper to ever voice that longing.

I have been a mom for just over 8 years, and I really have no idea what I am doing.  Like no idea – still!  I keep thinking that there has been a terrible mix up and some how I have appeared in some one else’s life and mine is going along in another direction without kids and blissfully unaware.

Here are some of my thoughts around

Before I was a Mommy…

… I never thought I had any sort of maternal instinct. The idea of a small person coming near me would fill me with dread.  Never held a baby, babysat only once and it was a frightening evening – for all concerned.

…. I knew I never wanted to have children. (How’s that working out for you then?)

.…  I had no empathy for mothers who worked and were struggling to balance the two.  I would get really annoyed and wonder why these women could just not balance their lives.

…. I thought I had a handle on how to juggle home, work and all things relationship.  Throwing a baby into that mix, has showed me that I am totally fallible.

…. I could look at a child who was abandoned or in need, and it would not affect me.  Now I see all these children as someone’s son and daughter and I always seem my children in them.  It makes me so deeply sad and my soul bleeds.

… I had not factored in how much puke and baby poo would actually become part of my day, and somehow it would be considered normal.  I often end up with poo under my finger nails, and it does not bother me as much as I thought it would.

…. I did not realize that some days I would be so busy that brushing my teeth, combing  my hair and getting out my jammies would feel like a luxury activity.

….I didn’t understand that no matter how much you try not to be like your parents – part of you is wired to behave just like them.  It’s not always a good thing, and takes a great deal of self-control and awareness to break the cycle.

…. I did not appreciate how easy it was to get in a car, start the engine and drive away.  Now if I can get everyone in, buckled up and not have to return to the house three times for shoes, underpants and my cell phone, I am making a fast get away.

…. I did not realize how something so miraculous and life changing can be treated as such a pedestrian event.  To have and raise a child is awe-inspiring and is often taken for granted.

… I did not realize how much guilt I would feel.  It starts when that baby is in the womb and never stops. 

… I did not realize how having a baby would make me question who I was and how I fitted in to society and really make me ask the question  “who am I?”

… I did not realize that I could look at another human being and literally feel my heart swell.  I think we love our partners/husbands/significant others and we love them dearly, but when you are lying there at night with your soft baby in your arms and feeling that weight of them sleeping, your soul turns to jam.