Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Mommies Wanted: Wimps Need Not Apply

Being a mommy takes some serious stamina.

When Park was a baby, my arms were rock solid. He was like my own personal weight bearing exercise. Toting him around constantly for about the first six months of his life gave me more muscles than I previously had from 4 years as an aerobics instructor in college. (Well, minus the old tummy region, anyway) And even when he started crawling at 6 months, just lugging around all his baby paraphernalia alone gave me some pretty good cardio work-outs.

I remember thinking, do the people who make baby products sit around wondering, “ can I create the most complicated, heavy equipment possible to torture new mothers everywhere? Let's kick them while their down in their sleep deprived state.” I finally concluded that these people either A) do not have children, B) do not have children that weigh above 10 lbs, or C) do not use their own products. It seems like the only reasonable explanation.

And maybe it was the whole first time mom thing, but a simple trip to the mall went something like this:

Dress yourself while alternating baby between the bouncy seat, play mat and swing. Dress baby while trying not to break off his floppy neck or pulling an arm out of socket. Pack diaper bag with a change of clothes in case of a blow-out, burp rag, chew toy, diapers, wipes, diaper cream, Baby Bjorn, and extra socks in case he kicks one off. Throw in some lipstick on the off chance you will actually have a 3o second interval with a free hand to re-apply. Or apply the first time, as the case may be. Toss cell phone in side pocket just as it starts to ring. Try and answer it, but you can't find it due to the 400 compartments that inhabit the massive tote that it takes to encompass above items.

Nurse baby ahead of time to avoid inconvenience of doing so while out in public. Strap baby in infant seat while he screams his head off. Grab 50 lb diaper bag in one hand and 50 lb infant seat in the other. Lock door with "spare hand" and then instantly realize you forgot the pacifier.

Burst into the house, retrieve the paci, and then promptly hear massive explosion, while simultaneously smelling the oh so joyous aroma of a fresh poopy diaper. Change baby, strap him back in, lock door, snap infant seat into car seat base and collapse into the driver's seat. You are finally on your way.

Make it to the mall after encountering massive amounts of red lights, which conveniently make baby cry each time the car rolls to a stop. Heave stroller out of the trunk even though you know full well baby will only last about 10 seconds in it before screaming to be carried. Get stroller open on 15th try. Wipe sweat from your forehead, while congratulating yourself on getting to your destination faster than the previous day's attempt.

Even if you are technically an hour late to meet your friend.

Shop 'til you drop, which is equivalent to about 30 minutes since you were already beyond exhausted before you even got there. Not to mention baby is hungry again.

Repeat above process in reverse.

With Park at the age of two now, getting out of the house is so much easier. However, he still does his part to keep me in shape, but it just looks more like this:

Wrestle him into his clothes. Chase him down to put on his shoes. Run after him with a brush, attempting to tame fly-away locks. Pick his limp body off the floor because he wasn't ready to leave the playground. Heave him into a chair for time-out. Jump with him in the bounce house. Race him across the yard. Give him piggyback rides to the bathtub.

Mothering is not for wimps, that is for sure.

But, I'm learning that the physical strength it takes to carry the load that comes with having a child is only preparation for the emotional strength it will take to watch him get his heart broken for the first time, pull out of the driveway on his 16th birthday, or leave for college.

No, mothering is not for wimps, but wow am I thankful that God chose me for this job. He continues to place me in situations that perfect my work out regimen, knowing I'm in it for the long haul.

And I put my trust in my Personal Trainer, because only He knows the stamina I will need to travel the road ahead.


Anonymous said...

this looks like a day right out of my life with my two boys -- past, present, and future, too, I guess. this was so precious. thanks for sharing it!!

Tyna said...

Amen!!! That is soooo true! Wait till you have baby # 2!! I'm currently prego with baby #3 - I'm scared!!! Thank goodness that this time around I'll have a six year old to help!

Amy said...

This had me laughing so hard - just wait until you have to unfold a double stroller! I had to practice at home several times before I even attempted to go anywhere with it.
You also brought tears to my eyes with all the talk of these precious babies growing up - I can't bear to think of it. I think you make a great point, though. And, I need all the physical, emotional, and mental stamina I can get these days...

Autumn said...

i FINALLY updated my blog :P

Kelly said...

Oh the stroller... I had a love / hate relationship with it. I absolutely hated the loading and unloading phase, where I would break a sweat and feel my hair frizzing in conspiracy; yet the flip side of being able to load 482 shopping bags and a diet coke onto the handle fed my addiction to having it with me at.all.times.

Motherhood is not for wimps- so true, and I am so thankful our Heavenly Father is holding my hand. The physical strain I used to feel in my back when carrying two toddlers down the stairs every morning is minor compared to the heartache I bear now when I can't make everything right. God alone is able to help me give them the wisdom they need, and I turn to Him a lot!