How’s Motherhood?! Did you really just ask me that?
People ask. “How’s it going? You know… How’s motherhood?”
I’ve been trying to pin words to this experience for eight months now…
I am continually perplexed by what a slow learner I am. I think I know something, and yet it keeps coming at me, and I’m all “I know, I know,” and the universe is like, “yeah, but Lisa, you don’t really KNOW this yet.” Oh, cellular adoption required. Okay. As you were.
So, this is another one of those. Becoming a family, becoming parents, becoming a mother… all these things for me have been like an immersion program in learning another language.
Like being dropped in the middle of Paris with a 25 year old guide book and an impractical pair of shoes (that seemed “Paris” worthy at the time.)
Yes, I was woefully underprepared.
It has been foreign. Daunting. Dizzying. Brain-melting.
But also, an adventure upon which, I have discovered, I didn’t need anything apart from myself. My Self. Whatever I’ve managed to pick up along the way thus far.
It’s stunning, glorious, mindblowing, unexpectedly romantic.
(And maybe the sleep deprivation contributes. But even Paris at night is wondrous, right? And you know you’re not going to be here for long.)
Now and then, it makes me head hurt. Every now and then, it’s like, holy shit, this is hard, everything being so new and foreign and strange and difficult to translate. Every now and then, I have moments where I’m like, god, could I just go somewhere quiet and safe where everyone speaks English. Where I am fluent. (I miss being fluent.) Instead of grasping for the right word, all the freaking time.
(And there are places like that… I think they’re called mother’s groups. I haven’t hit one up yet. But I suddenly get it. And I also get why new moms always seemed to have the most inane conversations about diapers and feeding and sleep and schedules… because SO FUCKING MUCH has happened to you, so much is swirling, so much is transforming, that you just grab a safe anchor. And poo is safe. Whereas the way your marriage is shifting around, the way your relationship with your own mother or your self or your body is shifting around, is moving and mysterious and hard to put a finger on and changing every day and you suspect it’s deeply different for everyone, but you’re pretty sure it’s all up for grabs, and that all makes them tricky things to talk about. At least, they have been for me. So, diapers and sleep schedules offer a kind of a safe place for conversation…)
I’m also discovering that every now and then, like learning a language, something suddenly clicks and stops being hard. It happens so seamlessly, you don’t even realise that suddenly, you’re able to order meals. Or suddenly, you’re able to read all the street signs. Or suddenly, you’re dreaming in another language. You don’t notice, I think, because you’re onto the next big learning. But every day, you’re becoming fluent, you’re being transformed. It just, for me, takes a while. (I know, I know. No, Lisa, not yet.)