Guest Blog: The Mom I Thought I’d Be vs. The Mom I Am
Jill Cordes, mom to a 14-month old daughter and host of the popular web series My First Baby, shares a personal glimpse at how nothing can quite prepare a woman for the rollercoaster of motherhood:
The telltale red light is blinking on my blackberry. I’m about to go on stage as part of a panel discussion about Moms and the Media. I see a text: it’s from my husband.
Can u call me if ur not in middle of thing yet?
Panic sets in. Something happened to the baby. Oh dear god. I frantically dial home. No answer. I try again. And again. Then I try his cell. 3 times. Then the sitter. No answer. Then I text him, Is everything ok? I am freaking!!! Then I text the sitter. Then call another sitter who I knew was in the building. No answer. I was prepared to ask if there were ambulances outside our building. Oh no, they are all avoiding my phone calls, because no one wants to tell me what happened.
At this point, about 20 seconds have gone by since receiving the initial text, and NOTHING. NOTHING! And they are ushering me in to take the stage.
Here’s where it gets a tad embarrassing. I signal that I’ll be there in one minute, and I call the pediatrician. The receptionist answers.
“Hi, is my daughter Fia there?”
“I don’t know. Did you have an appointment?”
“No, but I thought my husband Phil might have brought her in?”
“For what?” she asks confused.
Oops, red light blinking. Switch screens. Text from Phil: everything fine. Sitter late.
I promptly hang up on receptionist, knowing I will now have to switch doctors.
I take a deep breath and walk into the presentation.
As I wait for my introduction, I ponder these three words: Who am I?
I bragged to people while pregnant, “Yeah, I ran marathons and climbed mountains. I know how to keep my cool under pressure. Motherhood can’t be that hard.”
But truth be told, Motherhood kicked my ass. Especially those first 4 months when Fia was just a blob (a cute one, don’t get me wrong). I felt like I was in a torture chamber—sleep deprived and trapped inside–as winter crushed the city. My bragging words haunted me. I know how to push through. It’s like mile 24.
“Um, no, actually, it’s not!!”’ I’d yell back at my brain. “It’s like mile 10,000 on a never ending journey of monotony. Feed. Change. Get barfed on. Pump. Fall asleep. Baby wails.” (Cue the 2-year old in me, as I’d throw the saturated burp cloth across the room and burst into tears).
But then things got better. She slept through the night and stopped spitting up. Then she smiled. And giggled. And I took neurotic up a notch. Now fully rested, I had time to contemplate the what-ifs and let my imagination run wild.
Which brings me to my current state, in which Fi is a toddling 14-month old, fully capable of getting in harms way. Needless to say, I’m giving my therapist lots of hours.
Here’s where I give myself credit. When she cries, I am saddened. But Frustrated? Never. For a type-A with a short fuse, this has been a shocker. When she falls, I don’t gasp. I clap and tell her she’s such a big girl. That action usually produces smiles, not tears. And the love I was so worried I wouldn’t have? Or that I’d love my cat Wayne Sanchez more? Well, that’s just mind blowing. Not to mention absurd. (No offense Wayne). She has opened my heart into a bottomless canyon where love has no end.
Maybe as a parent there is no end to the worry either. And for that, I apologize in advance to all those people who I will call and text frantically in the next, oh, 5 decades. I can’t promise I’ll stop. Motherhood is a far cry from a marathon. In motherhood I’ll be pushing through that 24th mile for a lifetime without ever reaching the end. But what can I say? I wasn’t sure I’d like being a mom. And now, I can’t get enough of it.
For more on Jill and her parenting adventures, be sure to check out her hilarious and always candid blog!
Plus, check out these helpful parenting articles on Parents.com:
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