“That which is the most personal is the most universal.”
I have no idea where I read it. I have no idea where I found it. I just know that it is true. The more I learn about being a mom and push myself through these daily barriers, the more I learn about myself. And others.
While every child and mom is different, we are all very much the same.
We carry our babies. We pee ourselves when we sneeze. We birth them and go through postpartum woes. We wear mesh panties and can’t lift anything for weeks. We push our discharge instructions to the side and pick up our toddlers who miss being the only thing in our arms. We do night after sleepless night just to keep our babies fed in hopes they will sleep one hour longer.
We get a surprising shot of baby urine to the face and shirt when the peepee teepee appears to not be as foolproof as we had hoped. We cry when we stumble upon burp cloths that never made it out of the drawer when put away weeks ago. We take video after video of coos and crying tummy time to send to daddy and grandmothers.
We go to the bathroom with little hands on our knees and big curious eyes staring us back in the face. We wipe poop off of our clothes with a baby wipe and keep on trekking because changing clothes requires more time than we have sometimes.
We yell at our kids in the grocery store to stay within eyesight to keep them safe yet hope no one can hear us screaming. We apologize to onlookers who see us in the trenches and have forgotten they were once there too. We walk to a bedroom to put toys away only to forget why we were there in the first place because tired. We cry in our cars because our last little walked into mother’s day out and didn’t look back.
We worry about other kids and other adults.
We worry about their feelings and their fears.
When new mommy friends ask me questions or tell me funny stories of their babies it always sends a ripple of nostalgia through my veins. I remember those questions. I remember those silly moments. I remember sitting right there. I remember feeling that shock, that uncertainty, that obsession, and that hope that I can be everything that they need me to be.
Each phase of childhood comes with new highs and new lows. I now know not to hide behind my embarrassment or worry. The mom down the street is going through the same things I am. She’s worried that she’s going to fail. She’s optimistic that she can do better.
Just like me.