Dear little Mama with the bulging belly:
I see you standing there in the baby aisle at Target looking, desperately, at the descriptions of the bottles trying to discern the difference between ounces and BPA Free and nipple type. Your basket is full of items you really won’t need but you feel secure in having them in your nursery – helps you feel like you have this under control. You are ready to be back in control (spoiler alert: you will never be, truly, back in control of anything).
I know you’re scared.
But mostly scared.
I get that your fear at this very moment is mostly about how that human you’ve been growing inside you for the past several months is going to get out. Especially since the way out is significantly smaller than what needs to get out. You haven’t truly processed what life will be like when he/she gets to the other side. You can’t really. If you could, you would be out of your mind terrified.
It’s okay. Everyone else is scared, too. Some of us just hide it a little better than others. And most of us ‘already Mamas’ don’t have much more than you figured out (I’m not really sure what BPA is, I just know that I’m supposed to buy sippy cups and crap free from it).
There is so much to tell you, little Mama. So much you wouldn’t believe or understand right at this moment. So much I still don’t understand, five years in. Two deep.
Some days, I wake up and barely know the girl staring at me in the mirror. And really, she’s not a girl on the outside. She’s a woman. A lady. A middle-aged lady. With pretty good style. And a rare sense of self. But she feels like she’s twenty-two. Well, until 9pm. At 9 pm, she’s out. Like a light. Or a log.
Some days, the realization that I am the Mama sweeps over me, consuming my thoughts and I’m sure that there has been a mistake. How could I be allowed to be a Mama?
There are days when I’m praying for time to speed up so that bedtime will get here faster and I can just sit, in the quiet, and cry.
But God knows the needs of our hearts better than we do. And sometimes I feel as if I completely missed my purpose because I found out too late how much I love babies. I love getting them here. I love snuggling them when they are here. I love watching and helping them grow into little people. I am the Mama because my two little people need me. But I need them more. You see, little Mama, there are days when I cry because it’s bedtime and I feel like I haven’t had enough time loving on my babies. I read an extra story. I rock longer than I should. I squeeze in a thousand kisses because I’m desperate that they will somehow run out. I for go cleaning for snuggling and laundry folding for dance parties and the slight guilt I may feel from the mess of my house is washed away with giggles and again, Mommy, again and just a few more minutes.
There are some things you will never have enough of: time. love. money.
Kids are crazy expensive. I thought we had money until we had a kid. And then, we had the bright idea to have another one. There never seems to be enough money. But the reality is how much stuff do you really need. It’s the lack of time that kills me. There is never enough time to play. To laugh. To be still. The more I get the more I want. And there are moments when I’m afraid that time is passing by too quickly. And I long to soak in every. single. minute. in an effort to not miss anything. It’s as if time stood still for 29 years (or, barely crept by) but the day Caroline was born, time decided to speed up, indefinitely.
But even though there never seems to be enough time or money, there always seems to be enough love.
Just you wait.
The money and the time, you can figure that out. But the love part. The complete unconditional love you feel for that little human growing inside of you. It never ends … it only swells, like your ankles. And you wonder if you will ever stop feeling every single moment with such intensity – and the answer is yes, you will. But there will be a moment when he/she looks at you and knows that you are his/her Mom. And you will feel your love in the tips of your fingers and tingling in your toes.
And it won’t matter that you have no control.
Because, let’s be honest, who wants to be in control? Isn’t life much more wonderful when you can just be and love and feel and do without worry or expectation? Who cares that your house is a mess. So is your life. Finger paints and Playdoh – they make messes. Toys strewn all over the house and sassy attitudes. A mess. Books and ice cream and syrup and pretty much anything that you eat for dinner. One. Huge. Mess. A wonderful mess. Floors clean. Counters wipe down. Don’t let the mess deter you from the memory making.
I know many people have offered well intended advice. And there is much I can tell you (and maybe, in the future, I will). But besides the fact that you don’t need that bottle warmer, I want you to know that in a few months something inside you will change – the day your baby is born, you will be born, too. A new you. A different you. Someone you will want to know.
You will be Mom.