When you pop that little nugget of joy out of your exhausted body, something magical happens. I’m not talking about the life changing moment where you finally meet the life that’s been brewing inside. That’s a different story. I’m talking about the instant club motherhood membership you involuntarily become a part of.
Imagine a gym where the only option is a free, lifetime membership that can never be cancelled. Sounds great, right? But you scan the contract and find that pesky fine print has some strange and demanding stipulations. You’re looking at your membership to motherhood.
The lady at the counter next to you has a full face of impeccably done makeup, perfectly curled, glistening hair, and a newborn baby peacefully swaddled to her chest. She signs the contract in beautiful flowy letters and practically floats down the hall. Meanwhile, you hide your dirty unbrushed hair under your Lenny Lemons mom and me beanie and you’re still living in the same pajamas you left the birthing center in. Have you even brushed your teeth today?
The desk worker enthusiastically welcomes you to motherhood. You cluelessly wait for some kind of introduction but instead she picks up your baby’s car seat, hands it to you and ushers you into the unknown. This is what becoming a mother feels like.
No one tells you how clueless you’ll be, just that it’s the best feeling in the world and you’ll be a great mom. Trust your motherly instincts and you’ll do just fine. Well Susan, is it motherly instinct telling you to check your baby’s breathing every 5 seconds or just the paranoia? How about when your baby squeaks in their sleep sending you into a googling black hole that requires multiple reassuring texts from your husband that you don’t need to call the doctor? Right now motherly instinct seems to be telling you to stick that tiny 3 day old baby in a bubble and leave it there until it’s 12.
Back at club motherhood you feel a sense of relief that you’re not the only one with a new baby. That sense of community feels reassuring and warm. That is until you start a conversation.
How is your baby sleeping? Megan lets hers cry it out but Brooke thinks you’re a monster if you do that. Kelly slams her barbell down to join the conversation and adds that either way, no one is getting any sleep. Are you breastfeeding? Molly thinks breast is best but Hailey lives by the slogan “fed is best” and Alicia brags about her frozen milk stash. Has baby gotten their shots yet? More moms seem to flock from out of nowhere to put their two cents in as the babble of clucking hens grows louder and more overwhelming.
Motherhood is hard enough without being condemned by other moms for not 'momming' the same way. We all want what’s best for our babies and try to correct others with good intention but at the end of the day mom’s going to do what mom’s going to do and no one knows your baby better than you. So if you don’t agree, just let it be.
When all you need is a baby to gain access to club motherhood it’s not exactly exclusive. Sometimes you may feel like a drop of water in a sea of so many moms. Sometimes you may feel like you never asked to be a part of this club and try to do it all on your own. You may not find your gym partner in the crunchy mom group or the boss mom group or the college moms group but there are always other moms struggling through the stipulations of mom guilt, comparison, breastfeeding woes and colicky babies. The best thing that club motherhood provides is connection to other moms like us and of course the miracle of life. So don’t stop looking for your mom tribe.
- Author: Jessica Carlson
- Instagram: @jessi.ca.rlson
- Facebook: /jessica.carlson.9083
- Blog: bloodtearsandbreastmilk.