As mothers, we view and live life in phases. Hindsight is indeed 20/20 but foresight does not exactly exist. You must be in the moment and live it so here is where I have been and where I am going:
- Conception- when you and your significant other decide it is time to have a family. Control, fear, and anxiety are front and center. When you go through fertility treatment, it is all consuming. You work through all the shots, pills, and procedures … and then you become pregnant.
- Placenta Brain- now you are pregnant, and you lose your mind. You cannot remember things, you cry at the drop of a hat and you are just slightly off kilter. Then you hit the third trimester.
- Nesting phase- now you are back in your right mind and you panic at all the things you need to do to get ready for the baby’s arrival. Nesting is an understatement. Then your water breaks, labor begins, and you are on the way to motherhood.
- Birth and afterbirth- where do I begin? Moms out there, you know the deal. You are hormonal and outside your mind; your body is not your own and frankly you are unsure what the heck is going on. All this in the first 24-72 hours and then you are officially a mom.
- Motherhood- this is a full-on contact sport. You are juggling your job (possibly) sports, school, events, and the life of one or more small people who take up more time than an executive level position in a major corporation. Good news is the love and benefits outweigh any compensation package offered by the best of firms. Time flies and soon these little people are big people and they are off and running.
- College brain aka fear and anxiety brain- Not my first rodeo, Amelia went three years ago and yet this is the scariest of all phases. It is a mix of pure pride and happiness combined with fear and insecurity…on my part. Being 14 days out from Jack leaving for Bama, I am all out losing my mind.
- Empty nest- The time is upon us now with 14 days, 14 hours, and 51 minutes until we leave New York for Alabama. Amelia turned 21 this weekend and has all but become a real adult, no longer an adult in training. Izzy is nervous as I long to hug her and keep her close. Jack is Jack. Not ready to leave his friends here but so psyched to get to Bama. I guess this is good. Chip and I have done the work to this point and now we sideline coach and support. Their lives are becoming their own. The house is still.
In a selfless act of mother solidarity, I found my fish, Hamlet, swimming blissfully in the bowl not a care in the world. Upon further inspection I see a very pregnant guppy. I think I need to change “his” name now from Hamlet to Gertrude since we now know she is a girl and with child(ren). I’m not sure which of the bowl-mates did the deed, Yorick or Horatio. Google says she can have up to 200 babies and yes, apparently the mother does eat her young. If that were true for humans, that certainly would have eliminated a few of the steps above but then I’d miss out on all the good stuff.
This journey was worth the sleepless nights between infancy and late-night teens. I still feel every tear shed for hurt feelings, breakups, and sports losses, as well as the anxieties of learning to drive, challenging academics and college applications. Yet here we are with only 14 days to go and Jack has only rolled his eyes at me 9 times today and in a last ditch attempt at control has declined to start packing.
Be careful Jack or I will turn your room into a mom cave!