Dear Jos…the New Mom,
Congratulations and welcome to the Club of Moms. I feel an obligation to share a small bit of what will be expected of you going forward. This is not the ful agreement. You’ll actually never receive instructions. You’ll hear a lot of bullshit advise and suddenly everyone is an expert in everything. But, The Club of Moms is pretty serious. So here’s some insight…
Membership fees consist of every cent you’ll ever earn from this day forward. Forever. In order to remain an active member in the Club of Moms you must agree to be peed on, grow dark circles under your eyes, and never sleep more than 4 hours for at least the next year. You must wear clothes with stains that could be boogers but might also be milk from your own boobs or bananas. You’ll be expected to walk around with big wet breast milk circles on your shirt in public…because you didn’t know they were there, and the sound of other babies crying will have you holding your own hot breasts in no time.
Im the Club of Moms you must comply with all meal requirements, meaning you must personally create or pump the milk, grow and mash the produce, and taste test everything. If you purchase something processed, salted or sugared, to save yourself time or sanity, you’re required to feel guilty about it and cry into an organic cotton burp cloth. You must become comfortable smelling, sniffing and wiping butts…even when covered in poop. You must welcome the smell of regurgitated breast milk, especially if you’re at work and smelling it because it is on your clothes…somewhere…you think.
You must now become acutely aware of every fast driver, public smoker, potential creep, bad parent, and lurking flu germs on people’s hands. You now have permission, and an obligation, to cry at commercials, world events you never knew of, care about air pollution , dolphins and global warming, and watch recall lists…which you didn’t know of either.
It’s time for you to make life plans for your new son. He won’t do any of them. But, you have to dream up all the things you hope and want for him, so that in middle school, high school and his twenties he can break your heart, scare you into thinking you did something wrong, and make his own life. It’s obnoxious, but it’s your job to act like you run his life only for him to come sweep it away as his own someday.
You must agive up your bed, clean sheets, and everything else you thought was yours when you join the Club of Moms. Co-sleeping is back, it’s safe, and totally fucking normal. All your things are now toys, in the way, or just memories of who you used to be. You don’t actually have things anymore, so you’ll have a yard sale.
Your phone storage will need to be increased for the first child, because that’s the only one you’ll take 7,000 pictures of. Each day. And your Facebook friends will eventually be annoyed by your insane urge to post.
You have to get a baby book, and write in it. Not too often though. In Club of Moms you must agree to eventually stop updating it, telling youreself you’ll remember that thing later, and make yourself feel bad about it because you didn’t…until he’s 23… when you stop giving a shit and put all his “first” stuff in a box.
You have to give up your car. That’s not really yours anymore either. You just pay for it. Your car is actually a kid transportation vehicle. Friends can’t ride in the back, and it will eventually become something you do neighborhood laps in, if he falls asleep and you don’t want to wake him. Or it’s raining and you have him and other things to carry but don’t want to get out. The seats will now be stained, filled with just-in-case supplies you’ll never need, or a place you have to dig through when you need money…because you used it all on the kid and hope there is some spare change under the seat.
The Club of Moms’ Membership Benefits are rich, though. They include:
Love. So much love you never knew you had it, and you question how you can hold it all…Which is why you’ll now cry. A lot. You will wonder how you ever lived without him, how your mother did it all, and will begin to question whether or not you can do it and if you are enough. You can. And you are. You are always enough.
Memories. You’ll make so many that you won’t even realize they’re happening. You’ll start to think about things you wished you knew about Grammie or Dad and you’ll cry then too. Life has a lot of “what ifs” and you’ll start seeing them.
Strength. Shit that would put you on your ass or kill you 5 years ago will become warm-ups, practice, or what you can do in your sleep. You’ll realize just how strong a mom is, exactly how much you’re capable of…and yup…you’ll cry then, too.
Perspective. You suddenly have perspective and realize you don’t give a shit about anything, except this new little life. Things that once seemed important are trivial, and your new life perspective will probably change who you are.
That’s the thing about the Club of Moms. Love, memories, strength and perspective are all we’re really here for. There are a lot of us. We are here for you. We are happy for you. We pull together if you need us, and we’re an invisible little army when we need to be.
Welcome to the world Landon Shawn. Welcome to the Club of Moms Joslyn Rose.