I’m a child of the 1970’s. One of my favorite shows was Wonder Woman with Lynda Carter. Ah. I loved that show! I knew exactly when it would come on. I waited anxiously in my gymnastics leotard and my robe. I had to have the robe. When the music would come on indicating she was about to turn into Wonder Woman I would twirl in circles, throwing the cape off and emerging in my fantastic costume! At that point, I was ready to conquer the world! There was nothing I could not do in that costume!
About 15 years later I became a mom. Quickly I realized that I was going to have to be a real life wonder woman…whether I wanted to or not! First, giving birth alone is supernatural. I know that millions of women have done it for thousands of years. But, the entire process of pregnancy to birth is amazing! Body parts stretch in ways that should not be possible. One person becomes two (or three or more). Giving birth…well…let’s just say the pain of that was something out of this world. I actually got a crush on my anesthesiologist. Never had any man done something so marvelous for me…he took all of my suffering away. (later my husband informed me that the man was nothing to look at…but to this day, I argue that point.)
I won’t go into the details of the birth. Women: you KNOW. It doesn’t have to be described. But when they put that baby in my arms…well…honestly, I just didn’t know what to do with him. I looked at him and he looked back up at me with puffy glazed-over eyes and I thought, “Who are you and what I am supposed to do with you?” I didn’t feel that instant connection that people talk about. I felt like I was in the Twilight Zone, numb from my waist down, holding an alien. (I’m not saying he wasn’t adorable. He was. It just felt like an out-of-body-experience to me.)
After two agonizing days in the hospital (I slept about three hours total and was swollen the size of a golf ball in places that should never be swollen) we finally got to go home. …OH, did I remember to tell you about the nurse putting him in my arms in the middle of the night as my husband slept in the bed next to me? No? She walked out and as I tried to scoot myself up without rupturing the “golf ball”, he slipped out of my arms, rolled down my legs and landed on my ankles. Luckily, they had him wrapped tightly, so he rolled like a rolling-pin, never coming loose. I started bawling. I knew it was a lost cause. I was a terrible mom; already!… That night, my in-laws came to visit. When the door bell rang, I was in the bathtub soaking. I heard my husband invite them in and I started crying. CRYING! Why was I crying? He came to the bathroom and told me they had come to visit. I informed him that I was in no way prepared to have company and I could not come out and visit! I cried the entire time they were there.
My son and I did bond quickly. He learned to sleep at night: he learned that if he slept only three hours and not all at one time, he would get to rock in Mommy’s arms the rest of the time. We spent many hours rocking. This went on for about ten months. But, I was beginning to realize that I was still Wonder Woman. I could function on three hours of sleep a night for months at a time. I could still do my job, cook meals, clean house AND take care of a baby. (Before you get upset with my husband, he worked the night shift, so he couldn’t help me. He stepped in on the week-ends.) Now. I did all my Wonder Woman feats very well. However, I looked pretty bad…kind of a young Phyllis Diller without the smile. I was so exhausted. I remember feeling like a black cloud hovered over me at all times. But, I was doing it and I was in love with that little boy!
By this time, I was learning new Wonder Woman powers! I could cook with a baby on my hip. I could put dishes in the dishwasher with a baby on my hip. When I needed to go to the bathroom, that could be done with a baby on my lap! The real power was when I took a shower AND shaved my legs with a baby on my hip! Yes, this child was attached to me…a real momma’s boy! You see, to him I was Wonder Woman. I could do everything! I cuddled him and fed him. I took care of him when he was sick and played with him when he was well. I stayed up with him when he couldn’t sleep and laid down with him until he fell asleep. I dressed him, bathed him, tickled him, hugged him and kissed him. I had super-duper powers.
Moms, you are Wonder Woman. Those little ones, they need you and they think you are incredible! When you feel like you can’t go on, you CAN. The day will come when they will think you are weird or stupid. But, then, when they become married and have kiddos of their own, guess what? Yep! You are Wonder Woman again!