A few weeks ago I got an email from someone who disagreed with me and instead of being all, "YOU ARE NOT THE BOSS OF ME AND WHAT DO YOU KNOW ANYWAY?!?" I was all, "You know what? You are absolutely correct. Thanks for reaching out and bringing this to my awareness, I'm going to take your advice," like a real, live grown-up who didn't even make up any derogatory names for the other person.
He wrote to tell me he didn't like that the header said "I know why hamsters eat their young" and didn't think it fit anymore now that the kids are older, and he was 100% right.
When my kids were babies and toddlers, I secretly, and sometimes not so secretly, wondered why the hell people thought motherhood was so great. Yes, I loved my kids with all of my heart but I felt like if there had been an actual certification required in order to become a parent that I wouldn't have passed. I love other people abundantly but I'm not always great about doing for others, and holy crap does it take a lot of doing. And yeah, logically you know that going in but the reality still managed to surprise me. There was also some initial panic about where "I" had gone, that I was 100% the mother of these people now and wasn't sure if there was any old Ashley left anymore. It was lonely and yet I was never alone.
(NEVER ALONE. NEVER. NEVER. EVER. Not even to poop. Not even then.)
As I get older, I have just come to realize I'm not a baby/toddler person. Friends announce pregnancies and I think, "Oh man!" before remembering congratulations are in order. People ask if I want to hold their baby and I want to reply, "Do you need me to?" because otherwise I'm good with just watching them do it. Parents on Facebook proudly share first steps and I can only think, "Your life's about to get so much more exhausting." Don't get me started on three year olds. Biggest jerks in the world.
But goodness do I love ages 4.5 and up. I love kids (unless they're knocking on my door at 8:30am on a Sunday to ask if my son can come play, but who could love kids like that?) I love their perspective on the world and the innate creativity that goes hand in hand with imagination. My sons are such cool people and I enjoy every ounce of that now. I am never alone even when I am, because I have them and because they are a part of me, and that's the part of motherhood that makes cleaning up pukefests worth it.
I'm so glad new mom me didn't have access to a time machine so she could urge herself to think long and hard about this whole motherhood thing. I wish current mom me could go back in time with a case of wine and some reassurance to that version of me that had a 3-year-old and a newborn. Poor her!
I know exactly why hamsters eat their young, and I know why humans don't.
So long story short, I changed the header and I'm glad someone pointed out that I'm wrong.
(But let's not make a habit of it.)