Recently on social media there was a story that went viral regarding a young woman who had posted that she was wondering what to tell her boyfriend to get her for Mother’s Day … you know, since she had just recently became a puppy mommy.
Yes, I said puppy – as in a four legged furry creature animal.
She suddenly became the center of attention and not in the best of ways. Women and men both weighed in on the topic. How dare she call herself a mother? How dare she ask for something on Mother’s Day?
I must admit that before children (I refer to this chapter of my life as B.C.), I had two dogs who were my whole world. They were my children. I inherited them both as puppies and had to house break them which at the time was excruciatingly difficult. I was living in a third floor walk-up apartment and had to climb up and down those stairs every single time I needed them to “potty.” I remember blogging about the similarities of having children and housebreaking a puppy. How “exhausted” I was.
I apologize to all of my readers back in the day. This was over a decade ago.
Since that innocently idiotic blog post, I have given birth to two children in a three year span. The first one – our daughter – was a colicky newborn who didn’t sleep through the night until she was close to 7 months old. The second one – our son – was a much better sleeper, but he still had his moments and ear infections and teething phases.
I have had countless nights of one hour – maybe two – of sleep. I have had nipples that bled from nursing a teething infant. I have had mastitis and laid there with a fever,chills, and searing pain … and when my child cried for me gotten up and tended to them – even if I thought I was dying.
I have survived potty training a toddler – all while lugging around a 4 week old baby. I have had acid reflux, vomit, snot, urine, and poop all over me at any given moment – sometimes all together.
I have been the parent at the grocery store checkout buying a single gallon of milk and out of nowhere my child pukes all over me, her, and the floor – and yes, I try to catch most of it in my hand – and soothe her as best I can while trying not to have the Earth swallow me up from embarrassment. I have had the screaming baby in the Target aisle and had to collect myself and him and leave my cart with everything in it just to go outside and calm him down.
I have BEEN there, DONE that.
And other MOTHERS get it. Mothers of human children. No matter what method made you a mom, if you have ever been entrusted with the round-the-clock-full-time care of a smaller human being, you have probably experienced (or will experience – sorry new moms, it will happen) one or all of the above scenarios.
I never knew exhaustion until I hadn’t slept in over 48 hours after being up with my sick baby. I didn’t know I was capable of allowing a tiny creature to headbutt me in the face and almost cause me to have a broken nose and in the next second allowing that same creature to hug and give me slobbery kisses because they had no idea of what just happened.
So, to that young woman who pronounced herself a mother because she adopted or purchased a new dog, us mamas get it. We shake our heads knowingly and give her an inward eye-roll. Because she will know the truth one day. And because we are MOTHERS, we will be right there in the checkout line behind her offering help when her child is puking. We’ve been there, done that.