Sunday, January 25, 2015

Mom cliches

People love to tell pregnant women “just wait”. I’ve waited. The baby is here. So how true are those tired phrases?


“You’ll experience a love like you've never known.” True.

 This one is so irritating. So holier than thou. I mean, I loved people my whole life. I'm close with my family. I'm happily married. I have long term close friends that have become like family. I thought I was pretty good at loving people.  And I would never presume to tell other people about love. But, for me, this one is true. Somehow, 31 years of loving lots of wonderful people never compared to this. He’s doing this thing now where he stops nursing and looks up at me and smiles and then my heart explodes and I can’t even deal with him.


“You’ll feel so lucky to be his mom.” Another variation is some version of how fulfilling motherhood is. True.

This is one I was sure people were just saying to pay lip service to the mom police. I mean, tell me this doesn't sound stupid, right? But as stupid as it sounds, I am constantly amazed at how lucky I am to get to spend every day with him. I can’t wait to go in and get him out of his crib each morning. I could give a million more examples but I should probably stop here.


“Your body will never be the same.” True? Maybe?


I must just have a terrible memory. I know my stomach wasn’t flat before I was pregnant. Ever. And it’s not now. But whenever I look at it, I’m like…is this the amount of flab I had before? More? Less? I don’t even know. At this point, it was my belly a year ago that I’m trying to compare the current situation to and it’s not like I ever studied it trying to commit it to memory so I could figure out if my baby ruined it or not. I know the big scar wasn’t there, and while we’re on the subject, that scar doesn’t look big enough for a baby to come through? Anyway, bottom line, my body is still functional, and it’s not like I was a super model before or something.


“You'll never sleep again.” False.


You might get blessed with an amazing sleeper! I've heard of this! I personally know babies Dalton's age or younger who sleep through the night! But I'm here to tell you that even if the universe does not give you this gift, you will still sleep. There will be nights you won't. Like everything else, there is a new normal for sleep. It's not guaranteed. It occurs in a series of segments, rather than a solid 8 hours.  A three hour stretch is amazingly lucky. The thing is though, the interruption is from a snuggly, adorable baby.
He somehow rotates in his crib every night.
Sure, sometimes that baby is crying and angry. And that's not as fun. Especially when you have to be at work in a few hours. But I still like it better than 3am pregnancy/work stress insomnia, or 5am wakeups to take my temperature to create said baby, or even being up at 2am closing down the bar (as a patron, I would never survive as a bartender). If I wanted nice, refreshing nights of sleep all the time, I wouldn't have procreated.


There are a whole bunch related to your relationship with your partner.

“You'll hate your husband. He’ll do everything wrong.” Mostly false.

I will admit, this was true for me in labor. And pregnancy at moments. For next time, we’ll have a safe word that just means close your mouth and leave me the hell alone. But since delivery, it is false. There are some things I wish he would do like me.  Then there are a lot of things he does better than me. And even though he doesn’t do everything like me, amazingly, Dalton is still growing and happy. Realistically, Dalton needs one parent who doesn’t neurotically want to wrap him in bubble wrap to protect him from the world.

Which leads me to….”Seeing your partner as a parent is amazing.” True. So so true.

Pictures just say it all. BE STILL MY HEART.


They didn't even notice me taking this.
“You'll never discuss anything else with your partner.” 75-80% true.

Babies do so many cute things. Then babies do so many things that their parents, who are obsessed with and fascinated by them, find adorable, but other people not so much. So when you need to share that amazing story of how funny he was while pooping, or how he kicked his socks off (HILARIOUS AMIRIGHT), you’re kind of stuck with a co-parent as your only option for someone who actually wants to hear it, and that takes up most of your conversations. Not all though! We do talk about other things, at times. I’m ok with the balance we’ve struck. We have a baby, and what’s that saying? This is our season of life or something? The point is he’s fun to talk about.

“You won’t be able to remember your life without your baby.” Mainly false.

Obviously bearing a child doesn’t cause sudden amnesia. I remember things as well as I ever have, which is terribly, but I can’t blame that on Dalton. But I have had weird moments, like remembering something we did over the summer, before he was born, and thinking “wait, who was watching Dalton if we were both out to eat?”. No one. He was a fetus. Or in other such cases, not even a twinkle in my eye. So maybe it’s more like the second they are born, they are a central and integral part of your family, and it seems like they’ve always been there?


What clichés did I miss?


  1. I remember life without kids. We slept all night and had money. But it's totally better now. Yep.

  2. It's funny how all of those holier than thou things are true but saying them to a non-parent is just a huge asshole move. Basically the same as pregnancy advice. I've adopted a "I won't tell you unless you specifically ask" policy.

    1. not quite as huge of an asshole move as people who say them to you after you've just confided in them that you're been unsuccessfully TTC. In which it's usually also couched with well-meaning but equally aggravating advice, such as "just relax, and it will happen" or "you should try XYZ, since this is what I did, and I conceived in my first month of trying."

      And since I'm already on this tirade, I think that part of what makes those comments so obnoxious is that it carries this implication of exclusivity, that is already so rampant these days. I used to find them so annoying and self-righteous before we were TTC, but once my husband and I started trying for a baby and found it slightly more challenging than we had expected, they come off as horrifically hurtful, regardless of intention. They create this dichotomy couched in exclusivity, which, for someone who desperately wants to be a parent but, for whatever reason it isn't happening, can be hurtful and a bit heartbreaking.

      tl; dr - mom cliches feel like junior high.

  3. Advice depends on who it's coming from and who is hearing it. The love one wasn't true for me for some reason because I think I over love everyone. Someone told me I would not shave my legs everyday anymore--they were WRONG. Another myth was that my dog would be "just" a dog. That happened--but not until #3 and cancer. The rest--spot on, if you respect someone as a person and parent at least 75% of what they say about parenting you find is true for you too.

  4. My heart melts into a puddle of goo when Jude stops nursing to stare into my eyes and smile. And as always, I agree with these points. (My belly is still a bit softer than it was but I have no way of knowing if it will stay like this forever. I'm only 5.5 months out.)

  5. My heart melts into a puddle of goo when Jude stops nursing to stare into my eyes and smile. And as always, I agree with these points. (My belly is still a bit softer than it was but I have no way of knowing if it will stay like this forever. I'm only 5.5 months out.)

  6. I'm with you on much of this. Especially the "you'll hate your husband part." We were already in a very healthy, close relationship and I couldn't believe how much closer this brought us. We also work really well as partners. We still have our snippy moments but that is the nature of living with someone.

    On a side note A used to do the thing where she would somehow turn herself around before she could actually roll. Now we're at the juncture where we will look at the monitor and she will be sitting up playing with her bink- its crazy to see! We actually just lowered her crib yesterday for this reason.

    He gets more and more handsome in each photo you post :)

  7. Not a parent, but I feel like there is some cliche about poop. Like you will probably have poop on your hands and underneath your fingernails and it won't even be that gross.

  8. Love this! We have been lucky with an awesome nighttime sleeper that sleeps 12-13 hours most night, but is a terrible napper!


Thanks for commenting! Comments make me probably more happy than they should.