Adjusting to Motherhood
And why it’s okay when you finally eat these words
Some years ago, I decided I wanted to be a mom. But not the kind of mom who owns a minivan. I was too cool. I could have kids and still drive something red and sporty. And through Child Number One and Child Number Two, I stayed van-free. My car was a Honda Accord, not a Lamborghini, but at least, I told myself, it didn't have sliding doors.
Then came Child Number Three. I struggled every day to bend over and squeeze a bulky car seat between a complaining 8-year-old and a seat-kicking 6-year-old. Within five months, I broke down and faced reality: We needed a van. Now that I'm the proud owner of a shiny white one, guess what? The world didn't stop, my life isn't over, and no one has even noticed that I'm not quite as cool as I used to be.
At least I'm not the only mom eating crow. Whether it's "no minivans," "I won't take drugs during labor," or "I will never hire a clown for a birthday party," most of us go into motherhood with a whole list of preconceived notions. But do you really need to get hung up on a declaration you made as a well-meaning but, let's face it, clueless childless person? Here, a few of the many things that'll probably turn out just fine, even if you once said, "I'll never...":
"...give the baby a pacifier." Abby Carr of New York City was vehemently opposed to giving a Binky to her son, Stephen, now 4. "I loved the image of holding my child and comforting him myself," she says. "When he got fussy, I let him suck on my little finger." But when Stephen's sister, Lila Jane, was born less than two years later, Carr realized that a pacifier might just be her ticket to sanity. "The realities of having a second child never dawned on me until I had a newborn and a toddler who still had to be fed and diapered and played with," Carr says. "She had a pacifier at three months." The good news: Both children are happy, healthy, and normal -- and their mom is less frenzied.