So far, motherhood has surprised me at every turn. These surprises have been both good and bad…
Good Surprise: It can be unexpectedly funny, absurd even.
Since becoming a mom there have been times when things have become so precarious, ridiculous, or insurmountable that all I can do is laugh. In many situations, I only get the chance to laugh quietly to myself, like, when I’ve had a prolonged, unintentional, “nip-slip” while ordering coffee from an unsuspecting barista.
Bad Surprise: It can be tedious.
I’m not sure if this is the case for everyone, but I find that being a mom can be a tad (quite) tedious. I feel a twinge of guilt even writing that, but I suspect that I am not alone in finding it difficult to always match the mindfulness of children. Maintaining patience/sanity can be a challenge when your 2-year-old insists on walking slowly through EVERY SINGLE puddle on his way to the park.
Good Surprise: It can make you less judgmental.
I like to believe that I’m not an overly judgmental person, but, then again, maybe we all like to believe that about ourselves. Either way, I definitely feel that becoming a mother has made me less likely to judge others. I think this is because motherhood has made me guess, second-guess, and triple-guess myself. It’s hard not to feel humble when the only thing you’ve managed to figure out is that you’re not exactly sure what you’re doing. When you find that you have suddenly become the mom in the grocery store who is giving in to her screaming child, you reflect on times gone by when you may have passed a quick judgment or made an assumption about such a scene.
Good/Bad Surprise: It can make you more empathetic, but somehow less friendly.
Since having my first child, I have felt a deeper love and understanding for the people around me, strangers included. I find myself thinking a lot more about the fact that every person was somebody’s baby once. Remembering we were all babies makes it so much easier for me to see the sweetness and fragility in us all.
On the flip-side, having children can make you fiercely protective and this can sometimes mean being less friendly. Recently, my friend made me laugh when she described her system of keeping strangers at bay while riding the bus with her baby. She keeps her stroller covered at all times and wears headphones (with no music). This helps her avoid having people touch her baby, ask to hold her baby, or engage in a line of questioning about her baby. Apparently, before she started doing this, the frequency of all of these things happening was driving her bananas.
If you’ve chosen to embark on the crazy-train called parenthood I’d love to know what has surprised you…