Living with other moms in Guatemala taught me something about myself. Well, two things if you count not being able to make good conversation while wearing teeth whitening strips.
Some people's standards are too high.
Now, before the wailing and gnashing of teeth starts let me explain myself, eventually ending with proof this is a good thing.
I first noticed it when shopping for a card to take to a baby shower and caught myself looking through sympathy cards. (that didn't really happen)(maybe)
At another baby shower, while we were eating cute little sandwiches and whatnot, the hostess asked us all to share the one item that we couldn't have lived without when our kids were infants. I blurted out, "Wine!" thinking everyone would commiserate. It took me a solid minute to realize I was the only one laughing. (Mental note: set aside a dollar for the awkward jar.) But really? That was a way better answer than a good butt paste.
*Editor interruption* If you found my blog my googling "good butt paste", welcome. Everyone is welcome here. No matter your need.
Back to my confession: I would sometimes talk to other moms about my frustrations in mothering infants and their reactions were different. They cherished what I couldn't deal with. While they couldn't wait to have another, I couldn't wait for this stage to be over. When people sign up for foster care and say "infants only" or I hear stories of foster moms taking 0-3 year olds only, I shudder a little. It's just simply not for me.
Foster care? Yes. Motherhood? Yes. Babies? No.
God's given me the cutest, most amazing 2 babies on the planet and I'm still the worst version of me for a solid 12 months. Arguably 12-18months. The worst.
It's taken me years to not only figure this out but to feel comfortable saying it out loud. I LOVE being a mom. I could not be more in love with my children. There's just something about those very long days with an infant that makes me feel not like myself. Saying it out loud though? I felt guilty. Everyone knows how hard we fought to create a family and now they'll think I don't even enjoy them.
The thing is, I DO enjoy them.(perhaps you've noticed my obsession with taking their pictures?) I DO think they're crazy cute and super squishy. However I DO NOT enjoy myself in that season.
So, why is this a good thing? Because we don't add to our family the way most people do. And if you ask any person working in adoption or foster care they will tell you there are waiting children. "But they're older" is always added with a hesitant expression, assuming you want a baby.
So, as soon as we're ready, (this is not an adoption announcement) we can figure out what's next and walk confidently knowing we don't want to be put on the infant adoption waiting list.
Turns out my quirky not-normalness is actually meeting a need,thankyouverymuch.
All that to say, if you're a mom of an infant, whether it's your first or fourth and you're taking a few extra deep breaths to get through the day, but your friends aren't, it's okay. Or maybe it's not, I'm not totally sure. But at least you know of one person who said it out loud. If you and I were sitting at the park and I asked you how motherhood was going and you broke into tears, I'd sympathize. I wouldn't remind you to cherish these beautiful fleeting times, I'd pull a bottle of wine out of my diaper bag. Cuz that's just the kind of classy friend I am.