Guest Blog: The Mom I Thought I’d Be vs. The Mom I Am

Jill_Blog_ModuleJill 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:

20 ThingsNo One Told You About Motherhood

5 Common New-Mom Challenges

New Parent Mistakes to Avoid

How was motherhood different than what you expected? Share your thoughts!

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  1. by Karyn Climans

    On February 2, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    When I was pregnant, I was certain that motherhood as a stay-at-home mom was going to be a walk in the park. How wrong I was! Loved your article and your honesty. It’s the toughest job in the world and nothing can ever prepare any woman for the changes she is going to face when she starts a family.

  2. by Courtney

    On February 2, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    It’s funny how quickly those expectations change. Great post!

  3. by denise

    On February 2, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    Loved this. I nodded through your words, so closely mimicking the slap-in-the-face motherhood gave (and sometimes still gives) me. Great piece.

  4. by Ursula

    On February 2, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    Nothing can quite prepare you for this journey… You hit the nail on the head. Loved your insight

  5. by jessica

    On February 2, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    with my first i was like that. with my sixth not so much… you don’t worry about every little thing so much. you realize that they aren’t as breakable as you think, that they will fall and get back up, and if you love them and do your best, they will be fine. you go with the flow more and realize that you can’t control every little thing and that kids are very unpredictable and the best thing you can do is go with the flow.

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    On February 3, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    Laughed out loud!

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  8. by Jill Cordes

    On February 3, 2011 at 8:14 pm

    Hi everyone. I loved reading all your comments, and they made me laugh. And Jessica–I bow to you for surviving 6 children so far! Wow. Thanks again for your kind words. The motherhood circle never ceases to amaze….

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