Sunday, May 21, 2017

Dear Small Boy #6: On Mother's Day

📷 Sharalee Prang

Dear Small Boy,

Motherhood is damp.

I don't wear my wedding ring anymore. Breastmilk gets underneath it and it's sticky and I can't properly get it out when I wash my hands so it bothers me all day.

Motherhood is damp with everything you can imagine. First with water and blood, then with breastmilk and puke and tears and pee and drool and sweat and formula and poop and more blood and more puke and OH SO MUCH PUKE. How much could there be? Always, always, more. Motherhood is constantly damp.

Dear Small Boy, morning is my favourite time of day because you are so happy and giggly and funny. Nighttime is my favourite time of day because you have gone to sleep and I can breathe, breathe, breathe.

Motherhood has turned me into a pile of contradictions.

Motherhood is waking up damp and going to sleep damp. Motherhood is wondering where that damp spot came from and if it justifies an outfit change (most times not, progressively fewer and fewer outfit changes the longer you are here).

I do all the gross things, and they're gross but not as gross as I thought. You spend so much time on my body, near my body, eating from my body, that you are practically an extension of my body so wiping your nose is basically wiping my own nose into a receiving blanket (damp).

Motherhood is doing everything with one hand.

Dear Small Boy, most days I don't feel like a mother, just like someone trying their best to take care of you and not screw you up too, too badly. I wonder if anything will ever really make me feel like a mother or if I will always feel like I'm faking it and then you're crying again so I don't have time to think about it and I just do it.

Motherhood is being the one who can fix it the fastest.

Motherhood is a pile of guilt because I was sick so I let you watch Downton Abbey and babies aren't supposed to see screens but I can barely move but what if I'm ruining your brain but if you started talking with a British accent that would be cute.

Motherhood is suddenly finding the world is full of things to be scared of.

Motherhood is feeling defensive when someone makes an innocuous comment about your size or your hair or your temperature because yes I KNOW you're a little small but you're perfect and so strong and we're trying our best, dammit.

Motherhood is sometimes getting to the end of the day and knowing I didn't do my best and knowing I can never get that day back and trying to let it go anyway.

Motherhood is inventing new and stupid ways to make you laugh.

Motherhood is inventing new and stupid ways to make you stop crying.

Motherhood is inventing new and stupid ways to make you sleep, please, PLEASE DAMMIT, sleep.

Motherhood is scream-singing lullabies while sobbing because the scream-singing is the only thing that shuts you up and the sobbing is because I have an agonizing toothache and daddy is gone for the evening and the scream-singing is giving me a migraine and the tears are dripping down where you spit up and everything, everything is damp.

Motherhood is starting from scratch.

Motherhood is very easy and very hard.

Motherhood is never being quite sure.

Motherhood is putting away your too-small clothes and taking out your bigger clothes at an alarming rate. It is replacing batteries and wondering if you need that toy (probably not). It is internet searches and temperature checks and then ignoring the internet searches.

Dear Small Boy, motherhood is endless and mind-numbing and riveting.

Motherhood is exquisite and excruciating and heartbreaking.

But most often, most reliably, and most profoundly, Small Boy- Motherhood is damp.


  1. Beautifully written and oh so true. Happy mother's day ��

    1. And to you! Thinking of you on your adventure with 4!!!

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