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On Motherís Day, A Letter to the Pregnant Me

Posted by Lara Salahi  May 12, 2013 02:05 PM

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Dear Pregnito,

Itís Motherís Day and Iím sure youíre well aware. Right now, youíve eaten more for brunch than you ever have on a pre-pregnancy day, researched registry items, gone over your birth plan again and again, and even looked into some maternity swimsuits for your babymoon. Sounds relaxing. Your husband has brought home flowers and is trying not to drop the ball by celebrating a new version of you. Because youíre a mom, right? And you deserve to be celebrated, right?

Oh no no no no no. You haven’t earned today, yet.

What you need to be doing is sending an extra gift to your own mother. Then call her and thank her. Since you canít turn back time and make motherhood easy on her, being a better daughter from here on out is the best you can do. Once baby comes, you'll realize this. Youíll develop a guilt complex. Your remedy: Apologize and thank her. For the rest of her life. Right now you think you deserve something for carrying a bump. Thatís cute. You donít know it yet, but by day two of having a real-life being to care for, youíll begin to question why mother's aren't awarded medals equivalent to a purple heart.

Did I just hear you say that ďmotherhood begins at conception?Ē A few kicks and you think youíre roughing it. Your head hurts, your back hurts, your feet hurt, your bum hurts. Milk it loud to your partner every other day Ė no judging you for wanting those hot fudge sundaes and massages. But milk it silently on Motherís Day. Those mamas who havenít had a straight back in close to a year because theyíre hunched over breastfeeding, playing, carrying 11+ pounds, and wiping up poop and puke bombsÖ THOSE mamas donít want to hear it.

I know, having to sleep on your side is keeping you from a good nightís rest. You havenít yet religiously woken up every 20 minutes to check if your baby is still breathing. Is she comfortable? Was that a sick cough, or a clearing her throat cough? Is she snoring because she canít breathe? Is she too hot? Is she too cold? The reality is, just because your baby sleeps through the night, doesnít mean your mind will let you do the same. You will sleep (not really) with that baby monitor under your pillow. Donít worry, your husband will make up for all the sleep youíve been deprived of by snoring beside you. Maybe then you can get in on what today is about.

Stop obsessing over your registry. The items you put on it wonít shape your child. You will. You did get a few things right, though. For one, you walked right passed those cloth diapers without giving them a second look. You kept it real. You saved laundry detergent. You saved your nose. You saved your sanity. You saved yourself a big runny mess. She and you will appreciate a quick wipe and toss and itís back to play time. You gained extra time to spend with your daughter. Good job. But you donít really know you made a good decision yet, so telling you this doesnít mean youíve earned Motherís Day.

Stop judging parenting styles. Youíve looked at other babies and thought theyíre being burped wrong, theyíre not being held enough, their drool hasnít been wiped in the last 5+ minutes. Whatever is in your head for that perfect baby... news flash: thatís not going to be your baby. She’s not a robot. Sheís a wonderful baby now because youíre colorful parents. Youíre wacky, youíre spontaneous, and your husband and you love each other and her with everything (seen and unseen) that you have. When it comes time, youíre going to let her play in dirt and color outside the lines. If she wants to be a lefty, so be it. She doesnít have every toy that Fisher Price makes. At four months old, she tells you about her day and you respond like you know what sheís talking about. She smiles a heck of a lot more than she cries. Maybe you lucked out, big time. You donít know all this yet though, Mrs. Judgey. Iím sure you have high hopes now and Iím sure people have told you youíll do great. Donít celebrate yourself today because of the type of parent you think youíll be.

Of all these things Iíve let you in on, what Iím sure you will never understand is this: As much as you love that being thatís growing inside of you, that love is just the tiniest sliver of whatís to come. Thought you couldnít love your family more than you do now? Iíve divulged enough postpartum secrets to you today, so Iíll just let you experience this one for yourself. But for now, give your husband a break. He doesn't need to preemptively honor you on Mother's Day. Honor him instead for putting up for your hormonal antics.

Carry on (quite literally), mom-to-be, but donít jump the gun by celebrating yourself. You ainít seen nothing yet.

Now go call your mom.

Sincerely,

youÖ just one year later.

Oh, and enjoy that brunch. Because this time next year, you wonít remember ever having a full meal uninterrupted.

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About the author

Lara Salahi is an award-winning multimedia journalist whose specialty is reporting health and medical stories. She has worked in local, network, and cable television, international print, and documentary film. She More »

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