I’ve noticed something lately. People ask me things. About babies. What I think about certain things. They relate with me about things that I still don’t quite believe are happening in my life.
My gut responses are as follows:
- “Why are you asking ME?”
- “I don’t know nothin’ bout birthin’ no babies!”
- “Why don’t you ask someone who has children?”
- “I’m only 22 years old, what do I know about babies? It’s still 1995 right?”
And then, after all that happens simultaneously IN MY HEAD, I remember, oh yeah, I have two babies and I am not 22 anymore. DUH. But why in the world would somebody want MY opinion on such things? You should probably ask someone who has kids.
It’s very odd to come to terms with: A) I’m a mom – still adjusting to that one; B) that people actually value my opinion about certain things and C) that I CAN actually answer certain questions with some knowledge and conviction.
WHO THE HELL DO I THINK I AM?
I am not someone who earned a whole lot of respect in my life about anything. Nowadays some people talk to me about recovery and sometimes about make-up and shoes and chickpeas. I feel I’m qualified to speak on those subjects. But that’s about it. Until I had babies. Now people seem to think I know something. I don’t know shit. I just had babies. We figure this stuff out as we go along.
At work, people who never spoke to me before suddenly talk to me and my dear sweet dumpster husband says the same thing is happening to him at work. DH is a highly respected dude all around, so not quite the same, but in the OH MY GOD YOU HAVE BABIES NOW LET’S TALK ABOUT EVERYTHING way people are approaching him more and more. People instantly feel a bond with you if you have kids. It’s this thing I never knew existed until I had babies.
Now, I’m not saying I necessarily want to feel a bond with all these people, because, frankly, if they didn’t really care about me before I had them, why the sudden attraction to me now that I have them? Sometimes it’s that people didn’t feel like there was anything to connect about before, that somehow you are more relatable now. Sometimes it’s that you somehow become respectable when you have kids, I suspect that’s why I’m getting some attention over this now. Not that I deserve it. I wasn’t good enough before, but now I am all of a sudden? I’m still the same disastrous, laughs too loud, spastic, underachiever that you didn’t really want to chat with before but now you want to see all my new pictures of the babies all the time? You now tell me I’m “amazing” and “you don’t know how I do it.” I’m not sure how to handle that.
It’s happened in our neighborhood too. All the parents are really interested in us now, when before I was the one who sat out on the back steps in the alley and smoked. I was harmless but not somebody they would stop and chat with. Certainly not with their kids. And they shouldn’t, smoking is bad and having your kids around smoke is not the greatest either. I get it.
It’s this weird new existence that I’m trying to adjust to. I’m a mom now sure, but I’m also just a drunk who isn’t smoking but really wants to and still laughs really loudly and inappropriately, but now, the difference is, I KNOW THINGS.
I’ve seen things with going through IVF, pregnancy and now raising infants (are they still babies if they’re almost 7 months old?) See? I don’t know shit. Somehow it’s easier to stay protected under the cloak of “I’m just a fuck up and don’t really have anything substantial to offer anybody” than it is to be expected to know certain things.
But I’m slowly realizing and accepting that I DO know certain things. If only how to take care of my children and how to stay sober. As in all things, it’s one day at a time. And if I have faith in others to do a good job about all this, I need to have faith in myself too. Maybe I don’t have all the answers, but I tend to think having all the answers is pretty limiting. It’s more interesting to learn as we go. Nothing could have prepared me for what I’ve experienced so far in this life, and I expect nothing can prepare me for my future either.
The fear is getting less and less or maybe it’s just evolving. I mean, I still don’t know shit, but somehow today I’m more ok with that than I’ve ever been. I just need to relax and put on some flip flops and know we are all doing just fine and I will take care of these babies the best way I know how. That’s all I really need to know.
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