mater mea - Celebrating Motherhood and Women of Color

12 Random Thoughts Every Mother Has After Having Kids

Jamyla Bennu    with her two sons. Photo credit: Erika Layne

Jamyla Bennu with her two sons. Photo credit: Erika Layne

12 Random Thoughts Every Mother Has After Having Kids

Words: Dara Mathis

Like, will I use a bathroom by myself ever again?


Motherhood can be exhilarating in one breath, and anxiety-inducing in the next.

There’s the surreal moment when you first hold your baby in your arms. But then that gives way to the “oh, sh!t” feeling that comes when you first put them in the car seat to take them home.

No wonder a mother’s mind races in a thousand different directions. While every mom experiences motherhood differently, I’d bet many of us have had the same random thoughts about it.

Thoughts like...

1. “Awww, I can’t believe this whole little person used to fit in my belly.”

Those adorable toes are the same ones that used to tap dance on your bladder.

All the months you spent staring at your bump, wondering who was inside there? It was this precious angel all along.

2. “Holy shit, what have I gotten myself into?!”

If panic hit you the second your mama left after the baby came, then you are me.

The overwhelming weight of that responsibility comes crashing down like a tower of blocks. You question your ability to “do this parenthood thing”—whether you’re alone or partnered.

Then the baby cries and you shove that fear aside. You do what you gotta do because you’re the mama now.

3. “Please don’t pee on me, please don’t pee on me, please don’t pee on me...”

There are two strategies to opening a loaded diaper: a) slowly, as if you are afraid whatever is in there is booby trapped, or b) quickly, as if there is an invisible timer you must beat before you get sprayed.

May the odds be ever in your favor.

4. “I am NEVER doing this again.”

At some point, you decide however many children you have right now is the exact amount you’re meant to have, because there is absolutely NO WAY you’re having any more kids.

(But sometimes things happen.)

5. “There needs to be a law against boobs hurting THIS much.”

Once your milk comes in, engorgement is the absolute devil.

And how can a newborn with zero teeth cause so much nipple pain? How?! #CracksAreWack

6. “OMG, my baby is growing up way too fast.”

One minute you’re cheering them on as they crawl for the first time, and the next minute they’re running. The milestones tick by before you’re ready.

7. “Ooh, I can’t wait to eat this [insert treat] all by myself after the kid goes to sleep!”

Crouching mommy, hidden cupcake?

The minute kids realize how yummy your favorite food is, they never stop begging you to share. And sharing is good, right?

No!

You can find me hiding in my room trying to unwrap and devour a bag of chocolate chip cookies without my kids hearing me.

8. “If this child says ‘Mama/Mom/Mommy ONE MORE TIME…’”

Remember when they first said your name and you thought it was the cutest thing?

Now they won’t stop calling you every two minutes.

9. “Awww, they look so cute when they’re sleeping!”

No one would ever suspect they can scream higher octaves than Mariah Carey when they want to be held, and are hungry, tired, or having a tantrum.

10. “I really did make a whole human. Wow.”

This is the part where you pat yourself on the back and notice there’s been a cape flowing in the breeze behind you the whole time, you amazing goddess, you.

11. “I wonder what it feels like to go to the bathroom alone.”

Somewhere, there’s a place people can even shut the door while they use the bathroom.

It’s a mythical land called “Privacy.”

12. “I can’t believe this funny, smart kid was once my tiny baby!”

Now look at them! Having entire conversations with you, making you proud, and eating everything in your kitchen. And you wouldn’t take one minute of it back, not in a million years...

… because this is motherhood: complicated, difficult, and still the source of so much random joy in your life.

Dara T. Mathis is a freelance writer whose essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, and The Root. She is based in Maryland where she lives with her husband, two daughters, and a son.