I was 29-years-old and in, quite frankly, the best shape of my life. I was exercising, eating normally for the first time in, oh, maybe forever… I was feeling good, and living a pretty nice life with my husband.
Even with the odd late work night, we still had so much time on our hands. So we made THE rookie mistake: we got bored. Over beers one random Tuesday night at our favourite local microbrew (See? See how much time?) we asked, So, is this it?
Because the thing is, you’re never going to have “enough” money. You’re never going to be scrambling around in the morning before work and think, Hmm, you know what would make this mad rush better? Tossing a baby into the equation!
You simply get as ready as you’re ever going to be, and you decide to do it.
In all honesty, you don’t really understand WHAT you’re deciding. Even our wanted, planned and loved children… These precious gifts… These beautiful baby angels. We don’t KNOW them.
We don’t understand the assignment. But we accept it.
And that’s how, one night, that seemingly high functioning 29-year-old woman goes to bed and wakes up an exhausted 34-year-old mother of two without a skincare routine.
That’s the real life “And Just Like That”.
Suddenly that question, the only one we ever bothered to ask about our entire life, is this it?, becomes, well, silly.
Because becoming a mother gives literally no shits about those kinds of bourgeois musings. You haven’t got time! It is FULL ON.
The initiation is, er, dramatic. The first days and weeks are a delirium. And in a haze of sleep deprivation, you’ll be certain you’re failing that whole first year (or you’ll look back and realize how delusional you were about your “excellent mental health”).
And it doesn’t end there. Your whole entire relationship to the life you thought you loved, or at least understood, gets turned upside down.
Your relationship shifts. Actually, all of them do, but for starters, you may hate the partner you once loved (though that, I promise, can pass). If, however, you had some low key hate bubbling under the surface for them before, well, that’s COMING UP!
And you won’t necessarily see it coming, but you will probably lose friends. For a lot of reasons!
Some will ghost you (wtf?). Others, you’ll see so clearly for who they really are that, between drop offs and vomits, you’ll just be done. And you’ll almost certainly see sides of your family that you couldn’t before. Ouch. That one will hurt.
Oh, fuck, and you can’t bend time anymore.
Your spacial relation to WORK literally changes. Your body needs to be everywhere.
You’re still gonna need to throw your hand up and volunteer as tribute with that smile you used to easily affect but now, while you do it, you better also be peeling and halving grapes and reading a childhood development book (or podcast, at least).
Oh and come closer cause this one is pretty critical: don’t even fucking dare dream of taking a shit alone ever again. Ever ever ever ever ever ever ever. Ever.
This one’s probably a given but you’re also in therapy now, that is, if you weren’t before.
But if you’re not in therapy, you’re most definitely on NarcTok being diagnosed as a closeted lesbian with ADHD and poor boundaries, flipping back and forth between body positivity and “let’s skip to the good part” body transformations while navigating the dark night of the soul-Tok.
Suffice to say, there’s a LOT to unravel, Friend-o.
Because no one will show us how far we have to grow quite like our children.
Why, no one could love us as much – so wholly, so deeply, so sweetly and with so much honest-to-goodness dependance – while shining such a glaring spotlight on our pitiful weaknesses.
Motherhood is a ride that will turn over every aspect of your life. Even wondering, quietly and in YOUR MIND, what the fuck an NFT is, will be filtered through your new lens of “Snack Bitch”.
And the weirdest part? You’ll never, ever really want to be separated from these little mirror-sponges. They’re your life. Your true, truest love now.
So I’m done fighting it all and instead, I’m on a tour of active duty reporting from the frontlines. Horses and bayonets or trenches and guns, it’s probably always, always been the same.
This series is about the reality of parenting and what it means even years after you first became "mama." Let’s talk about all of it.
Note: You'll notice blogs from earlier dates in this archive. All of my first person essays from the last few years have been added to this blog section.