Right now, you may be asking yourself, “What is momopause, and how do I know if I have it?” Let’s take a look at the symptoms:
- You find yourself constantly worrying about whether or not every carbon based life form within a ten mile radius of your current location has enough to eat and drink. If you’re related to or have spawned said life, distance becomes irrelevant.
- You find yourself encouraging those who claim to have eaten enough to have “just a little more.”
- You’d prefer a comfortable pair of sneakers (or perhaps Crocs… you can admit it) and anything with an elastic or otherwise forgiving waistline to that restrictive wardrobe photographs claim you used to wear in those now foggy pre-kids days. And yoga pants qualify as dressing up.
- Your purse could house your entire family… comfortably.
- You’re reminding other adults to “use the potty” before getting in the car.
- You can’t tell the difference between high schoolers and preschoolers.
- Her ventriloquism skills are phenomenally powerful as you find your mother’s voice exiting your lips at random moments. Incidents of occurrence increase in times of stress and frustration.
If you find yourself experiencing these symptoms, congratulations! You’re entering the glorious life change of Momopause! You know, that wonderful time we swore as angry teenagers that we’d never enter… when we turn into our mothers. I can hear their collective laughs mocking us as I type, and I’m comforted only by the fact that we too will one day be able to laugh as our daughters face the change.
I recently realized that I was suffering from Momopause when I found myself in the baby section of Target agonizing over whether or not I should really spend $10 on a shirt and shorts set for our 4 month old. Yes, it was large enough for him to wear for a while, and yes it was cute, but $10?! Do you know how much I could buy with $10 at Once Upon a Child? And I’m talking full price Once Upon a Child. $10 during a sale- oh honey puhleaze! This is coming from the new mom of four years ago who single-handedly kept Baby Gap and Gymboree-type stores in business (I weep for all of that wasted money!).
I think I’ve narrowed down the age of onset to about 30, give or take a few years. It’s a slow developing disease that grabs you when you least expect it. Thankfully, I can happily say it’s changed me for the better. Gone is a naive daughter and in her place was born a more appreciative, humble, ridiculously weepy and “softer” (read 3 babies worth of weight to lose- ugh) version of her old self.
Great lessons I’ve learned from going through the change:
- Motherhood is frickin’ HARD! It’s a lot harder than my mother ever made it look, which is just a testament to the great job she did.
- When you decide to have kids (especially 4) you better not expect to have a clean or quiet house. As an only child, quiet was pretty much all I knew. I’m 5 years into this motherhood thing, and I still can’t really get used to the fact that I’m basically living in the middle of a rock concert.
- Don’t bother investing in nice things until your kids are older. I’m not sure what the magical age of not destroying stuff is yet, but buying nice stuff when you have little kids basically makes you a glutton for punishment. Everything ends up broken and stained. Basically, none of our material possessions are getting out of this house alive. We probably won’t be able to give the stuff away when we’re done with it.
- Any mistake I felt my mother made is one I am destined to repeat. If I held the mistake against her I’m now sure to repeat it multiple times. And any inappropriate behavior I so kindly gifted her with has come back to me through my own kids… again and again and again, and we aren’t even in the teenage years yet. Lord, help me!
- This one’s simple, but important: only buy white socks for kids. Sure, a cute novelty pair here and there won’t hurt, but who seriously wants to spend hours matching socks that look like sneakers or ballet slippers? My list of chores isn’t getting any shorter so that’s only cutting into my free time (you know, all 6 minutes of it per day). My kids have left the house in mismatched socks on more than one occasion, and I’m totally fine with that. They’re clean and happy; my job’s done. (Some days I settle for “still breathing.”)
- Bargain shop. Bargain shop. Bargain shop. I was raised by a single mother. What does the media/popular culture constantly say about single moms? They’re poor. So seeing my mom shop at discount stores was all the proof I needed to believe 100% that we were barely scraping by. Things were only made worse when I’d ask if we could get some random junk toy I found and desperately wanted only to hear her say, “We can’t afford that.” Nooooooo! That statement made me think we were literally one toy away from living in a shelter! It wasn’t until I was in my 20s that I realized we weren’t on the brink of poverty. My mom was doing quite well actually, but she wasn’t going to pay for another Barbie or Cabbage Patch doll just to see it end up in the toy graveyard on my bedroom floor. At the time I felt deprived; looking back, I had too much. As my taste has evolved from toys to tablescapes (because seriously, Target is basically Toys R Us for grown ups) I can no longer pay $50 for something in Pottery Barn that I can get for $25 at TJ Maxx. Once I experienced that for myself I became a TJ Maxx/Homegoods devotee. Lightbulb!
But the most important lessons I’ve learned are:
- Nothing lasts forever. Babies change in the blink of an eye, and the moments that seem to make your days drag on forever will all too soon be hard to remember.
- I’m lucky I chose a partner who loves me unconditionally. Motherhood is messy, and I’m thankful that I have a husband who isn’t squeamish and likes to help. My hat’s off to my mom and all other single mamas out there. I truly do not know how you do it. I can barely make it through my husband’s work day without him.
- Nothing worthwhile is ever easy. With all of its surprises and challenges, motherhood is the best experience of my life. I am a stay-at-home mom, and despite being with my children for 99% of their lives I still feel like I don’t get to see them enough. Don’t get me wrong, I love to have some alone time too. This blog is sometimes my only way of maintaining a shred of sanity, but I also know that this is the best time of my life. My husband and I are young (well relatively speaking. Can I still classify the 30s as young? I say yes), our family’s all under one roof, we’re healthy, happy, and blessed beyond belief.
- To thank my mom… often and repeatedly. I think I thanked and apologized to my mother more in my first year of motherhood than I did in all my years of my life before that combined.
As far as conditions and phases of life go, Momopause is a blessing for me. It’s making me a better person, and I can only hope my daughter feels the same when she faces the change.
(Linking up here)
I can so relate to this! Thanks for this great post. I too have thanked my mom many times!
Thanks, Sarah! It’s amazing how much more we can appreciate our moms after having kids, isn’t it? 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!
Lauren @ The Thinking Closet
First of all, you’re back!!! Yay! Second of all, this post is such a beautiful blend of humor, wisdom, and just dang good writing. I’m not a Mom myself, but have had many moments where I’ve stopped and paused and realized, “Wow, I’m becoming my mother!” And all in all, that’s a really good thing…just something I swore would never happen (i.e. gasping way more dramatically than need be when a car gets too close to us on the road…and Mark is driving; he “loves” it when I do that). Anyway, pinning this so I can refer to it when I become a Mommy someday!
Thanks, Lauren! Yes, I definitely don’t think one has to have kids to become their mom, but I think it’s accelerated the process for me… and it’s a good thing (despite what I may have thought at 14). 🙂 I’m excited to be back!
Kristina & Millie
love this! And love your humor! New follower from the link up, will return!
Thanks! I’ve been hesitant to really share myself (more than recipes and impersonal stuff) on the blog for fear that I’ll put my foot in my mouth or people won’t “get” me so your encouragement means a lot! Thanks so much for stopping by! Off to check out your page now. 🙂
Girl, you are hilarious!!! Thanks for linking up at Babies and Beyond. I needed a good laugh. Now I’m going to go tell the rock concert it’s time for bed! Bahaha!!!
haha Thanks Katherine! The crickets and I always have a good laugh. Sadly, others sometimes don’t get our humor. I’m so glad you liked it! I shipped half my rock concert off to grandma’s earlier tonight so it’s relatively quiet around here for once. Woohoo! Thanks for stopping by! 🙂
Angela @ Time with A & N
Great post. So much truth and I do love Target too! Found you through the momma meandering Mondays blog hop. I’ll be following through Bloglovin.
Thanks, Angela! I’m going to take a peek at your site. Thanks for stopping by 🙂
I loved this post! I agree Target is my Toys R us! I can’t tell you how many times I have thought many of the same thoughts! I think I only get 6 minutes of free time too!
Hi Kate! If your house is anything like mine 6 minutes is on a good day!
Bonnie a.k.a. LadyBlogger
I knew you’d get loads of comments from the title alone…I really enjoyed reading your post! Your advice about the white socks is wonderful and made me laugh! My boys are 14 and 17 now and college is way to close…Your blog is wonderful for moms of all stages. Thank you. 🙂
Hi Bonnie! Thanks. Yes, the white socks lesson is one I learned the hard way! I can only imagine how you feel with a 14 and 17 year old. Mine are 11, 4, 20 months, and 4 months, and I feel like college is already too close! 🙂
Too funny! Love the name, momopause! I believe I know several people coming down with this! 🙂 Stop by my Friday’s Five Features and link up this post (and others)! http://diy-vintage-chic.blogspot.com/2013/08/fridays-five-features-no-3.html
Yes, watch out! It’s contagious! I’ll definitely stop by. Thanks for the invite!
Emily ~ Thanks for stopping by DIY Vintage Chic’s Friday’s Five Features and Fun Festivities. I postest about your link up on my Facebook page. Hope that’s ok! Don’t forget to stop back by this Friday!
Thanks so much for hosting and the fb mention! I’ll see you Friday if not sooner 🙂
Congrats! You were featured on Friday’s Five Features over on DIY Vintage Chic. Stop by and grab yourself a button!
Thanks for the feature! 🙂
Rhonda @wine-y wife
I knew you were onto things when I read number 1… and number 2. I swear I am constantly worried about if people have eaten, and if you walk into my house I will offer you food. Also, I’ve been known to give fruit to homeless people…because I carry food around with me all the time to give to my kids or others who seem hungry.
Hi Rhonda! I think you can officially be diagnosed as being in Momopause! My son would love you. He won “best snacker” at camp a few years ago, and has lived up to the title ever since. Thanks for stopping by!
This is such an awesome post! As the mother of 5, ages 19, 17, 16, 9 and 6, I can definitely relate. It all goes by so quickly but it’s such a beautiful ride! 😉
I found you through Stringtown Home’s Tips & Tricks linky party! 🙂
Hi Stacy! Thanks, friend. I love hearing from other mamas with lots of kiddos. On the hard days it gives me hope I’ll make it out alive (and maybe in better shape than our furniture) 🙂
Anjana @ At The Corner Of Happy & Harried
That was a fun post! I can totally relate… and think I am going through Momopause myself!!
Yes, at this point I’m convinced there’s no avoiding it (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing). Thanks for stopping by! 🙂
Colleen & Bill
I can hear my mom saying “Dear God, give me patience. Before I Go Out Of My Mind!” I swore I’d never, ever repeat those words to my kids. Guess what? Not only have I shouted those words from the top of the basement stairs (channeling my mom) but I have uttered them under my breath in quiet prayer. She is a wise, wise woman.
I was saying almost the same thing last week! Motherhood’s definitely the most challenging and rewarding role I’ve ever had.
Colleen & Bill
The funny thing, Emily, is the tone in which she would say those words. My siblings and I can do a perfect impersonation of her (and chuckle every time). It was as if there were are period between each word ~ Before. I. Go. Out. Of. My. Mind! lol I should have taped her!
MY hat’s off to her! I have not even half her brood, and i think that’s rough.
Erin@Managing the Manor
What a great post!! It is hard, and my mom gets big kicks out of me talking about the crazy things our son does. It’s like she wished it on me or something…
Hi Erin! My mom is the same way. (And I have a feeling my daughter will be saying the same in 25+ years) 🙂
Amazing post! So true! Jenna @ Rain on a Tin Roof
Hi Jenna! Thanks so much. I really appreciate it 🙂
My children are grown and I still hear my mother’s voice leave my lips. (Don’t wait until your mother’s dead to admit she was right all along…tell her today and make her day 🙂 ). Thanks for linking up to the Get Inspired Weekend Blog Hop. This post has been pinned to my You’ve Inspired Me board.
Thank you, Lydia! I hope you have a great weekend.
You just got featured at The Creative Home and Garden Hop – come and grab your badge! http://mumtopia.blogspot.com/2013/08/Hop5.html
Hi Alison, Thanks so much!
Love this!!! You are spot on 🙂