This isn't a blog about me. This is a blog about her...my mom...Irene Quintrall.
If there's one thing I've learned as a mom...it's how insanely hard it is. You just...don't know, do you? You don't know. I mean I never knew. I had no clue whatsoever. I never knew what my mom had gone through. I mean I thought I did, but lol I never knew what it meant to be a mom, until I became one.
A few weeks ago Killian had a rough week of teething. That meant I wasn't sleeping, he wasn't sleeping... and I had reverted to that human mongoloid with a messy bun that only speaks in vowels yet again. I kept saying "it'll pass" and "it's a phase"...but with every sleepless night my temper got shorter and my irritability got stronger. Somewhere near the end of a 6 hour waketime with a screaming baby, I was sitting in a bush on the curb of a parking lot...with boob sweat as Killian slept in a baby carrier...thirsty, tired and alone...it all hit me. I broke down and started to cry....but I wasn't crying for me. I was crying because it was the first time I realized that 30 years ago, my mom had done all this for me. That 30 years ago my mom was exhausted beyond anything...but held me in her arms, kissed me, rocked me...and cared for me like I was for Killian. It finally hit me...how much she loved me...and truly everything she'd done for me.
Sure I solicited advice from my mom on morning sickness, cracked nipples, stitches...but like...it never really sunk in that she had actually endured it all. That once upon a time, my mom did all the things I'm doing for Killian for me. I know I'm only 8 months into this journey and as I get older and Killian gets older...I'll realize more of what she did, but in that moment...with Killian in one hand and my iPhone in the other, I facetimed my mom...tears rolling down my cheeks...and told my mom thanks...but this time I was specific. I said things like..."I mean you woke up at 3 in the morning and would breastfeed me even though you were so tired you thought you might pass out in the hallway on your way to me" As I started listing things off...I could see on her face...that she knew I knew. That I finally got it. This wasn't canned Mother's Day card saying thanks for being awesome. This was a messy, snot dripping, heart aching thank you because for the first time I truly got it. I knew what to be thankful for. I'm not sure I got it all out so I'm just gonna say it all again. This is my Mother's Day card.
Thank you for growing me for 10 months. I now understand the puking, the swollen boobs, the insomnia, the utter exhaustion and uncomfortableness of sharing a body with someone else.
Thank you for enduring that labor. I now understand "back labor", the pain and the hemmorhoids. :/
Thank you for breastfeeding me. I now understand the commitment, the late nights and the toll it takes on your body. That your body belonged to someone else during the entire time.
Thank you for waking up every hour of every night. I now understand what sleep deprivation is...its mistaking Prep H for toothpaste.
Thank you for holding me when I cried. I now understand what unconditional love means.
Thank you for changing my diapers and wiping my ass. I now understand poop explosions and what getting peed on feels like.
Thank you for vaccinating me. I now understand how hard it is to make that choice and watch your little one cry.
Thank you for hugging me when I didn't feel well. I now understand how worried you were and how sick to your stomach you felt knowing I didn't feel well.
Thank you for being a stay at home mom. I now understand how much f&cking work it is.
I can't help it...but now...when it's the middle of the night and I'm rocking Killian to sleep....I think that once upon a time...not too long ago...this was you... and it humbles me. It makes me feel more connected to you than ever before. It gives me strength knowing what you did...but also gratitude. Momming isn't easy. It's the most selfless and exhausting thing I've ever done in my life. It's so much more than I ever thought it would be. One day a year doesn't even do it justice. But know that I get it now...I'm not sure if I ever skipped a Mother's Day card or not...but I get it now. And I never will again. I love you.
Cheers to every mom out there. We are members of a club...a very tired club.
Stay at Home Moms
Moms of Dogs
Dads who are Dads AND Moms
Grandmas who are Moms
Moms who had kids before the Internet existed...oh man...seriously.
Ugh...to all of you. I get it...I undeniably and with extreme humility...get it.