Being a mom is complicated and beautiful. I was prepared for the eewy gooey love stuff. The cute baby, tiny clothes, sweet smell after a bath, fun of being a mom. However, there is this one thing that I was not fully ready to embrace:
THE CONSTANT NAUSEA!
I don’t just mean the first three months or so of morning sickness
(or the entire nine months that my first born blessed me with, thanksalot!),
but the constant sense of being sick to my stomach over a million little things I can’t quite put my finger on and the handful of things I can readily identify immediately.
Here is my list of things that make me sick as a parent. It is not comprehensive. You feel free to add in whatever I’ve missed, either because it was soooo horrid that I’ve blocked it from my memory or because it just would take me too many days to list them all.
Morning Sickness: First, let’s give a nod to the initial blush of belly aches that a child gives his mother. This will be the only time as moms that we actually may welcome being sick for our child as it means we’ve finally become a MOTHER! Keep in mind that feeling also only lasts for the first child and for the first few sessions with the Porcelein God. After that we hate being sick and the rose colored glasses get flushed with whatever we ate five minutes ago.
Sympathy Nausea: This is a commonplace malady that strikes both moms and dads. It hits whoever gets up first when a kid makes “the noise.” You know it. 3am vomit. There is no other sound like it and both parents wake to it instantly, but at least one of you pretends you didn’t. Don’t lie. Sympathy Nausea is usually sight or smell induced and there is not much you can do about it unless you are made of steel. (One tip: keep flu masks and Vicks VapoRub in the house. Smear the Vicks all over the inside of the flu mask and wear while cleaning up Vomit Kid and the mess she left behind. You won’t smell a thing. I can’t help you with what you see. Sorry.)
Real Stomach Nasty: Immediately follows Sympathy Nausea because, well, you just cleaned up someone else’s puke. You’re gonna get sick.
Stranger Danger: This is a broad scope full body ache brought on by any number of horrible imaginings a mom has as her child begins to explore the world without her. First day of school? I don’t know the teacher. What if she is really an escaped ax murderer? Drop off birthday party? Um, no, but nice try, Child Abductor. Riding a bike with no helmet?! I barely escaped my own childhood with my life! I like your brains INSIDE your skull! Here’s some full body bubble wrap, too, just in case. Moms aren’t always reasonable. As the kids start to head out we see in a fraction of a second every single thing that could go wrong and hurt our babies. Do we let them go? Of course!!! Then, we go wolf down a bottle of Tums and start to pray.
As your child grows up, the sense of unease changes. You can’t see them all of the time. What are they doing?
Who is THAT Kid?: This is a nausea brought on by the introduction of never before seen smart-assed friends.
Our kid acts differently around them. This is typically a tween to teen years development. I like to stink eye the really offensive friends, but my husband says that doesn’t help much. It seems to make me feel better. (Consolation to the Moms: the rotten friends tend to fall away. Your kids figure it out pretty quick.)
Concussion Nausea: The sick-to-my-stomach feeling that comes from beating my head against a wall because no one ever listens to me. This is a stage of illness that a mom might experience later in life. While it can start as early as toddler years, it is a common occurrence in the tween to teen years. “Do you have everything you need for the day?” “Could you please do your chores?” “I’d really appreciate you NOT dating that boy who looks older than your dad.” “Hey, what about that D in Spanish you’ve had for three months?!” Standard answer? “OH MY GOSH, Mom! *epic eye roll* Staahhp! I’m fiiiine.”
I’ll just be over at the brick fireplace.
And a rum and Coke.
I’m Doing It All Wrong: This is the worst of them all. The sick feeling that hits when you realize you might have screwed up this parenting thing. You’ve made a mistake, a misstep. You wonder how everyone around you has smiling, happy kids and yours seem to hate you and won’t come out of their rooms except for food. This always hits me the worst when I realize a “teachable moment” conversation has deteriorated into a shouting match and a crying kid and no one knows how it got there. I’ll let you in on a little secret:
Everyone feels like this.
A lot of the time.
Eat your Tums. Apologize to your kids if you should. Hold your ground when you have to. Love them all the time.
Those first few months of morning sickness are supposed to prepare us for the rest. Little did we know, right?
Being a mom is not for sissies.
It is a tough job only for a bad ass chick.
It requires style, grace, class, a level of sneakiness that should never, EVER, be underestimated, and more love than can be measured or held or seen. The best part is that moms are hardwired for all of it. You already have it in you. You were built to withstand the nausea, Moms. So eat your Tums, stock up on your favorite beverages, and send Dad out for snacks. It’s a long ride, but you’ve got this!