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Thursday, July 12, 2012

welcome to the club

I was in the middle of folding my fourth load of laundry tonight when I got a text message saying that my friend's first baby was born about an hour ago. A little boy, 7 lbs 5 oz and 19 inches long. Noah, they named him. As I texted her back something along the lines of "I'm so happy for you, tearing up right now, so so happy, congrats, enjoy every second..." I could not help but smile through the happy tears, thinking, wow, she's a mom. She's finally a mother, something this friend has wanted so long and now it's her turn.

As I put the Boppy cover over the pillow (it needed to be washed... spit up does that to a Boppy...) I thought of my friend, probably in recovery right now, maybe even trying to feed her baby for the first time, smiling at the little miracle that he is. I thought about how she'll be using a Boppy pillow soon enough. She'll know what a Boppy pillow is in due time and why it's so magical and amazing. Maybe even a few months ago she had no freaking clue what the hell a Boppy pillow was... and yet now she'll not only know but she'll understand.

And I thought, "welcome to the club, dear new mommy friend, welcome to the mommy club."

Isn't that how it goes? We get pregnant or even start trying to get pregnant. And then within a few months we find ourselves walking up and down the aisles of Babies-R-Us wondering what on earth a little tiny baby is going to need all this stuff for and how we're going to fit it into our home and whether we should go for practical or cute. And then we end up at our baby shower thanking everyone for the sweet, adorable gifts, and then those gifts are put away in our home in preparation for a little bundle to arrive to enjoy them. And then we're in the hospital staring at something we created and that we now are to take home and use all the baby gifts with. And it's overwhelming and exciting and scary all in one. And that is the precise moment we realize we need something, someone. We need mommies around us. We need to know we aren't alone in this overwhelming state. We need to know that somebody else has been here before and done this and survived it, and indeed raised a healthy, happy child.

So we reach out to moms. Moms of all kinds really. Our own mother, first and foremost. Then good friends who are moms, maybe a cousin or two, or that girl we used to talk to in high school/college/work but have sorta lost touch with over the years but now find a reason to be re-connected due to having survived the baby bump status. We might even find some random people on Facebook or as part of some blog group to help us out a time or two. We cling to our co-workers and old friends.

This club is the reason why we can be in line with someone at the grocery store who has a child throwing a tantrum and know what she is going through and end up talking about how our own child threw a tantrum just yesterday and it stinks but it's just a phase. Or how we can be at the playground and end up saying "How old?" and nodding to their adorable child, and before we know it we're talking about our battle scars from labor and how annoying our husbands are for not changing enough diapers. We become instant friends with these moms. Because we all get it. IT, the "it" we're going through that is mommyhood.

We join a club. THE club. The one we've dreamed of becoming a part of since we were kids really. That deep friendship that only exists among people who really get it, who know what the hell Boppy even means. It's not like we think we're cooler than those who don't have kids. It's just that we belong to this group of people now who understand this HUGE thing we are doing and going through, that's all. We love our friends outside "the club" just the same as we did when we were not part of the mommyhood either. We just need this mom thing surrounding us because being a mom is so HUGE in itself. Because in this "club," we are part of something bigger than we ever imagined came along with that plus sign on the pregnancy pee stick. And it's amazing, so helpful, and something we can't do without once we find it.

I hope all moms out there have this, this so-called "club." You need your mommy people surrounding you on this crazy journey through motherhood. You need those people you can cry to and vent to and admit being a "bad mommy" to. You need those people you can ask silly questions of, and text your baby's well visit weight check to because you are just so excited that you were able to feed your child into growing that much! You need people who can explain what the word "engorged" really means and feels like, and who you can laugh with over wearing the hospital mesh panties a bit longer than your hospital stay because they were the only comfortable thing you could find when recovering from a C-section. You need people who will nod their head in understanding when you say you can't see straight because you were up every 2 hours last night and the night before while your partner slept soundly through the baby's screams. You need somebody who doesn't think you are crazy when you say going grocery shopping for an hour alone felt as liberating as going out on a Friday night with the girls. 

We need moms. We can't survive without them. And it's a hell of a lot more fun with them by our side. So be grateful for those moms in your life. And to those of you who are brand new to this club, welcome to it. Hold on tight, it's going to be a crazy ride. But we're here for you. We've got this. Together.

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