A Mile in Her….uh, Slippers

I feel I should preface this post by admitting the day prior to me writing this was not a great day of motherhood. I woke up feeling nauseated, my daughter was uncharacteristically fussy all day, and my husband came home early feeling not all that hot either. So, our household cranky quota had been met and then some.

In all honesty, I feel it was a day destined to fail. Combine the previously mentioned crank factor with a diaper malfunction that resulted in me being soaked in urine, and well, yeah. It was one of those days where the morning had melted into the afternoon, I had yet to shower, I had accomplished nothing, and dinner had been demoted to leftovers. My daughter had been doing ’emotional eating’ all day, where she nurses simply to nurse, which due to a stomach the size of a walnut, results in ungodly amounts of milk being upchucked onto mommy. In these situations, I often imagine her with an accent of a dirty Frenchman saying something along the lines of Dis? Dis is your offering? Ah-phew. That is what I think of what you call milk. Try again, mommy. She then proceeds to hurl milk curds on me.

So there I stood in my slippers, 1:30pm, still not showered and realizing that, no, the milk had not gone sour, that smell was merely me.

It was in that moment, staring blankly into the refrigerator, hungry, dirty, and exhausted, I realized just how judgemental I had been in the past. I admit, I used to think motherhood was a fairly easy job. After all, you just have to keep a little human alive, right? How hard could it be? I used to raise my eyebrow at moms who were late to meetings, how they showed up to events disheveled with whiny children in tow.

Well, universe, I apologize.

I get it now. I understand how sleep deprivation is not one or two nights with interrupted dreams, rather it is made up of months years of not having eight glorious hours in one continuous chunk. I understand how this little person in your life is EVERYTHING to you. How when they cry, you ache. (And not just because your milk has let down). I understand the frustration that comes when you want nothing more than to hit the snooze button, but no matter how many times you put the pacifier in, they spit it out and continue to cry. Although I still find it disgusting, I understand when moms say they don’t know if they brushed their teeth that morning…*shudder*. I understand how you can end up at the end of another day, still in slippers, wondering what happened.

And, I understand that even with all of this, you would never trade it for the world. How one gummy smile still makes you tear up with joy. How the clench of little fingers wrapped around your thumb can counterbalance the piles of laundry and the rank diapers. How to coax out one squeal, you will throw pride out the window and dance around your living room singing 17 rounds of The Itsy Bitsy Spider.

Prior to motherhood pregnancy, I wore cute shoes. Peep-toe pumps, strappy sandals, beautiful boots – I loved them all. I used to think a day in stilettos was challenging. Little did I know, a day in slippers can trump that and then some.

Life has once again taught me to think twice before I judge. To put away my sneer and to remember the age-old proverb:

Before you criticize a person, walk a mile in her milk-soaked slippers.

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20 Comments

  1. Ray

     /  January 28, 2013

    Care bear, I love every entry! Keep writing, you make me laugh. And want to be a mama!

    Reply
  2. Beautifully put!
    Ours have left home now (yes! It happens!) but your post brought back so much that was wonderful and abysmal about the early years.
    Karen

    Reply
    • Thanks, Karen!
      It is hard to imagine that my little chick will one day leave our nest, but it encouraging to hear your stories from the next chapter as well. =) I am really enjoying the posts from you and your sister. What a wonderful way to keep in touch!
      Carrie

      Reply
  3. Deanne Rosing

     /  January 29, 2013

    Oh my God!!!! I am laughing and crying (left-overs from my days wearing the slippers). Keep it up Carrie, you are preaching to a crowd who knows you pain, or should I say the feeling of a milk-curd stuck in your hair.

    Reply
  4. Lynne Terrazas

     /  January 29, 2013

    This was so wonderful to read. It did bring back many memories. I’m going to show it to my daughter, Sarah, who has a 17 1/2 month girl and a 7 week old girl. I’m sure it will brighten her day. It’s always nice to know you’re not alone.

    Reply
    • Mothers with milk curds, unite!
      It is always good to know you are not alone. I hope Sarah has a wonderful support network – we moms need to know we are not going insane!

      Reply
  5. the universe accepts your apology and simply asks that you keep writing the truth

    Reply
  6. Sabina

     /  February 6, 2013

    I can’t imagine you thinking snotty about Moms or anyone, ever. You are just to nice. Having said that, I get your point. Love the post.

    Reply
  7. This is really fantastic. I love what you wrote about imagining your baby as a snotty Frenchman. Perfect. I still remember the sour smell of spit-up in my hair and all over my clothes, and those looooooong days of marathon nursing. Those are really tiring. My youngest is four, and it doesn’t feel so long ago when I was living one of those days. I like to say that today I am some version of my old self—just a version stitched back together from the million little pieces motherhood shred me into. I prefer this one to the old one. 

    Reply
  8. I got through my ‘slipper-days’ much better when I realized I was accomplishing scads – –
    as seen through the eyes of a little person who hurts less when Mom’s holding them….

    Doesn’t count for much in the adult world, but in your daughter’s world, you just got “Employee of the Month” award for your tireless dedication and willingness to work overtime….

    :>)

    Reply
  9. Thanks so much for describing so well the life I lived for years. Mine had the added complications thrown in of having babies 16 months apart, the younger one with multiple disabilities, who was on a heart monitor during infancy. 27 years later, no regrets; only one piece of advice: if your body forgets how to sleep through the night after many years, do whatever you need to do to help it re-learn that survival skill! And indulge in sleep whenever you can! Best wishes as you continue the toughest job you’ll ever love. Keep documenting the journey for your own children, and for other mothers-to-be and those who have earned their stripes.

    Reply

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