Most of you know that I teach a prenatal water aerobics class. I love being around all these women on the cusp of motherhood. You might think it makes me nostalgic for that time in my life and it does, but only slightly. I more enjoy reliving it vicariously through all of them.
Today during class, one of the women told us that she had her first varicose vein. I told her that I got those during my pregnancy too and she asked me if they went away. I said unfortunately, no, but that once you were done having babies they could be easily surgically fixed. Then I joked that my dream was to run off to a spa for a week to get my tubes tied, my veins fixed, and my bladder repaired…..emerging a new woman.
People who know me well would know that what I was actually saying was sarcastic mommy-speak for “I want to go somewhere quiet for a few days and watch HGTV and read books and come home with nice legs, lady parts that can’t produce any more loudmouth kids and quit peeing myself every time I run a soccer drill with my kid.” But since this girl only knows me as Elizabeth, prenatal water aerobics instructor, who gives offhand advice about what a mucous plug may or may not look like and what brand of nursing bra I preferred, she kind of thought I was a nut job.
And that’s okay. Cause I kinda am. But I’m a tired nutjob. And that actually DOES kind of sound like a trip to the spa to me. I was being sarcastic in a way….but in a way I wasn’t.
There are just some things you can’t really grasp before you become a mom. The simple pleasures, if you will.
Tonight I went to the grocery store in the freezing rain with the vestiges of a migraine. Without kids. While my husband made dinner. It was a joy.
A couple of weeks ago my mom was in the hospital. I went to visit her and the very second that I got there they came to her room to take her to get a test done. I crawled up in her hospital bed, propped myself up on some pillows and watched 45 minutes of HGTV all by myself. Heavenly.
Being alone in your own home. Nobody ever tells you that once you have kids it never happens again.
Oh, I want to tell the mothers-to-be, you might be surprised what will pass for a spa day for you one day.
Sipping hot chocolate while you giggle on the phone with a girlfriend while your child naps can be just as therapeutic, I promise.
Believe it or not, going to the bathroom with the door shut? Just as luxurious!
Besides if you’re like me, by the time you save up the extra money for that spa day, your kid is going to ask to play soccer or you will splurge on professional pictures of them…and somehow, believe it or not, you will enjoy spending the money on them even more than you would have enjoyed using it on yourself. I know its hard to believe.
Oh, sweet mamas-to-be, I could tell you, but you just have to learn it for yourselves. Motherhood is so hard and tiring and wonderful and beautiful and mind-numbing and soul-stretching and so more than I could ever explain to you during a water aerobics class. I am so very elated for you that you will get to experience all of it–but for now, do yourself a favor…..pee with the door closed. Come on, do it for me. Walk through Target at a leisurely pace–go down aisles where you don’t even need anything. Just because. Leave your TV on as background noise all day–oh dear, I miss that. Sleep. Just sleep. All the time. Here’s a thought–go to an actual spa!!
But most of all, get ready for the biggest adventure of your life. Get ready for your heart to grow and stretch and love like you never thought it could. Congratulations, mamas!