Five things about motherhood that caught me off guard
- The love. Don’t get me wrong—I knew I would love my daughter, but this kind of unconditional love is unlike anything I have ever experienced before. She doesn’t just have my heart, she is my heart.
- The obsession with poop. Everybody poops, of course—but not until I became a mom did I ever concern myself with the color, texture, or regularity of another person’s poop.
- Sleep deprivation. I lost count of the number of people who attempted to warn me about sleep deprivation when I was pregnant. I thought I knew what I was getting myself into. I thought I understood that sleep would be in short supply. I was wrong. Take my expectation and multiply it by “Oh my dog, I can’t do this anymore.” And then do it some more. And that’s the level of sleep deprivation I’m talking about.
- The guilt. I wish I was better at tuning out this particular voice inside my head. I feel guilty for working. I feel guilty for being grateful for the ten minutes between when I get home from work on Mondays and when my mom drops her off at home. There’s guilt that her dinner was an afterthought of whatever I could find in the fridge. Guilt that I would rather wash the bottles at night sometimes than have play time with my daughter because I want to tune out for 15 minutes. Guilt guilt guilt. Constantly.
- Fear. I was scared when I was pregnant that something would happen and I would lose my baby. That fear does not compare to the fear of losing my baby girl now that she’s here. She’s awfully still in her crib—is she breathing? Oh my god—she just put that leaf in her mouth—do I call poison control? Is she eating enough? She hasn’t done (insert milestone here) yet—when do I worry?
What am I missing? What were you totally unprepared for?