Something incredible has been going on here in Casa de Maren. The life of craziness– of late night classes, homework, and stress over deadlines is behind us. The much-less-stressful time of no income, Maren being away from me all day, and constantly being scrutinized, is on the downward slope.
And instead of being scared of our future– like we have been for the last several years– Mitch and I have found ourselves in a very weird place. You see, we’re eyes-wide-shut types. We live in this moment, right now– looking at each other and grinning. Pretending that in all the world, there is only this moment, only us, and nothing else can get in here and hurt us– because we love each other too much.
But now, we’ve opened our eyes– and we noticed something…. the world doesn’t look so bad. The future is looking pretty good. In fact… it’s almost a sure bet. We’re going to be okay.
Which has caused this most uncomfortable sensation for me.
Internet: I have a terrible case of the baby crazies.
Everywhere I go, women are having babies! Okay, okay– so I haven’t gone into my neighborhood coffee shop and discovered a woman with her feet up in stirrups JUST yet…. but trust me, it’s coming!
I remember when Maren was a baby, one of my friends told me that she really wanted to get pregnant.
“Okay,” I scoffed, in that I-know-everything sarcastic voice that only New Moms can really master. “Just be sure that you’re ready, you know? Because everything changes. Everything. Just as simple as wanting to run out for a cup of coffee is completely different now.”
“I know,” She said, “But isn’t that okay? I mean, do you really care about that?”
I stared at her like she was speaking Russian. I also, simultaneously, wanted to slap her.
“DID YOU NOT HEAR WHAT I JUST SAID TO YOU?” I wanted to scream. “It’s Saturday morning, it’s nine AM, you’re just waking up and stretching, and you think to yourself, Oh, Hey, you know what? A hazelnut latte and a cinnamon scone sound ABSOLUTELY FREAKING DELIGHTFUL. And so you get up, you put pants on, and you go and GET SOME. JUST LIKE THAT. But once you have a baby, you’re up at FIVE– IF you went to bed at all, the coffee you’re drinking is Folgers, and you made it yesterday– you hope– and now you’re microwaving it because you are ready to KILL someone for the caffeine under their fingernails, and you don’t even have time to DRINK it because the Light-Of-Your-Life is screaming at you because she’s hungry, thirsty, wet, pooped on, vomited on, or some combination of all of them. And if I sound really upset it’s because I AM.”
And then I probably would have dissolved into sobs.
I don’t want to scare you. I have always loved my daughter. But when you aren’t planning on having a baby, and then you spend most of your pregnancy feeling sorry for yourself, the transition to really truly loving motherhood is just really hard, even if you love your baby.
Recently, I’ve found myself in that cozy little space that most other moms are always talking about. I rush home at night so that I can be with her. I love looking at her. I have found myself, very recently, putting a paper bag on my head and waving my arms around in order to get her to giggle.
I hate that she’s growing up, but love how much she’s learning. I all ready know that no person who comes into her life will be good enough for her.
I want another baby. Actually, I think I might want another three babies.
I used to always say that becoming a mom didn’t mean that I had to end who I used to be. I think that’s kind of how I coped with the sudden change: the idea that I could still be me– just only sometimes. Most of the time, I was Maren’s Mom.
Not exactly a double life– mostly because of the crippling guilt. The few times that I crept away (usually during finals week) to sink slowly into a soy hazelnut latte with extra whipped cream, and the world’s biggest and freshest chocolate chip cookie staring back at me, all I did was think about what was happening back home. Sometimes, even if I was just in the next room I was missing her so much.
Now, I’m so jealous of all those Moms who got it right away– who understood immediately– that being their Baby’s Mama was the best thing that they could do for the world.
I feel that I’ve tipped my hand a bit. Moms aren’t supposed to admit that they had a hard time with the whole Mom business. I hope I’m not the only one. And I hope, if there are others, that they found themselves in this wonderful place, too. Grinning at their baby, their partner, and the next fifty years.