Today I had brunch with some girlfriends who I’ve known since forever with the little guy in tow.
Now something happened. Somewhere during lunch inbetween offering BabyBird a different snack to keep him busy before our meal came and pushing utensils out of his reach, I realized how different this lunch was from all the other lunch dates we’ve had in the last decade. Somewhere in the midst of entertaining BabyBird and listening to the conversation that was happening next to me, it became clear to me that I was a bit disjointed in what was going on. We talked about family and updates on health, how other friends were doing, then what we’ve been up to, recent work or school adventures, and somewhere in there I summed up motherhood in the last 18 months as been fun and oh, look how adorable he is. Isn’t he just so cute sitting there in his highchair gobbling up yogurt melts?
When the customary question came around to my turn, ‘So what have you guys been up to? Planning any trips? See any good movies lately?’ I think I literally stared back blankly and pointed at my son sitting at the end of the table. I was thinking to myself, you know nothing much, I just brought a new little life into the world and then sustained life with my own boobs, then taught him how to walk, eat, and sleep.
I can’t blame them.
They don’t have children yet.
How can I possibility explain to them in words how much motherhood has changed me in the last 18 months? Carrying my child for 9 months, giving birth naturally, the joys and lows of breastfeeding, caring for a baby and tending to their every need, and the mom guilt of having a career all at the same time. That you will grow closer to your partner than ever before, and your relationship changes completely with a baby and now not only do you look at him as your husband but also the father of your child.
Motherhood and the tolls it has on you emotionally and physically. The sheer exhaustion of sleep deprivation for the first year, and the highs and the lows of being a first time mother. The pure joy of watching your offspring put one foot in front of the other and walk for the first time, when their hands meet and clap, say mommy, and how it melts your heart to get two little chubby arms wrapped around you for a hug. How do I convey to them the absolute love you feel for a tiny human and the automatic need to protect your offspring from both an outlet & oncoming traffic.
How do you explain motherhood over lunch?
All I could muster was that he’s a sweet boy, agreed wholeheartedly that he was the perfect mix of the two of us, and the conversation moved on.
I can’t explain it, and certainly not over lunch.
But when the time comes when they have cracked nipples, spit up on their shirt, haven’t showered and been wearing the same yoga pants for the 3rd day in a row and need to get out of the house for a few hours for sanity reasons. I’ll be there and we’ll have lunch.