I am emotional.
And Iâ€™m not just emotional because Iâ€™m a woman (though that certainly doesnâ€™t help), or because it seems like I sleep an average of three hours per week, but Iâ€™m also emotional because of one large, hormone fluctuating reason: motherhood.
To put it simply, being a mother is like living your life on one incredibly twisted love drug (which would probably make me a millionaire if I were a substance pedaling soccer mom on Weeds). I canâ€™t turn on the TV, talk to a friend or hear a song on the radio without thinking about my children, other peopleâ€™s children, or the latest black and white, slow motion photograph of a starving child that is permanently imbedded in my brain. Case in point: the new iPhone4 commercial (with the deaf man signing â€œI miss youâ€ to his love, and the soldier in fatigues looking at his expectant wifeâ€™s belly via a tiny video screen)â€¦. cinematic genius. Iâ€™m sobbing at the end every time.
And my latest party trick is the ability to get choked up during a 60 second movie trailer, no matter who Iâ€™m surrounded by or how much Iâ€™m embarrassing them. For example, the â€œLife As We Know Itâ€ preview (a romcom with Katherine Heigl and Fergieâ€™s husband) squeezes enough moms dying, baby inheritances, and â€œeventually learning the true joy behind cleaning up poop and messy bath timeâ€ sequences to last me a lifetime. In fact, I may never have to see another full-length film again, because if you squeeze enough baby montages and melodic ballads into the teaser, Iâ€™m crying as hard as every jilted Dad in America watching Up. (I mean really, they take their kid to the movie for an excuse to eat popcorn and still get brownie points from the wife, not to have Pixar unexpectedly cheat them out of their manhood in ten minutes or less).
Of course, controlling my emotions as a mom is about as easy as watching my 1-year-old battle between her desire for coloring like a â€œbig girlâ€ with her sister, and her ever-present need for ingesting Crayola. When push comes to shove, why are mothers so darn emotional?
Did we have so many hormones pulsing through our water retaining bodies during nine months of pregnancy that it hard-wired us for life? Or is it because weâ€™re hopped up on more mocha-latte-uppers and just-one-more-glass downers that weâ€™re barely even functioning anymore? Maybe itâ€™s because no matter how old our children grow to be, we can think â€œmy What To Expect book did not tell me to expect thisâ€ on an hourly basis.
But in reality, I think mothers arenâ€™t bornâ€¦weâ€™re made. And we donâ€™t have to go through a birthing process to get there either. Whether weâ€™re holding that infant in our arms for the first time, or meeting our newly adopted teenager at the terminal gateâ€¦ the induction into motherhood brings a whole lot more than larger loads of laundry and an increase of Sharpie on the couch. It brings the weight of the world.Â Yet, for every sorrow we feel when we the think of the â€œwhat ifâ€™sâ€ and the â€œGod forbidsâ€ that surround our daily living as protectors of our childrenâ€¦we also gain a deeper understanding of compassion, humanity, forgiveness and (most of all) love.
Of course we might be a bit emotionally unstable on almost any given day of the week, and the catch phrase â€œSay No To Drugsâ€¦Become a Motherâ€ could easily be stamped on our foreheads, but the emotional delusion that we feel is actually a beautiful thing. How else could we look at a colossal mess, and fool ourselves into thinking itâ€™s a learning experience? How could we have honestly analyzed why Caillou is 25 years old and still bald, and consider it time well spent? But most importantly, how could we look at the sleep deprived, moody, Goodwill-wearing mess in the mirror and think, â€œWell, that was a good day.â€
Because for every spilled drink, there is a clean up song. For every tear, there is a shoulder to lean on. And for every exhausting evening, there is a sweet smelling cheek to kiss goodnight.
So if being a mother makes me so cracked out on emotions and feelings that I canâ€™t even turn on the TV or radio without shedding a tearâ€¦who cares?
I wouldnâ€™t trade it for the world.
Bailey Vincent Clark is the Editor-in-chief, author and founder of Makeover Momma. She hosts Makeover Momma TV on Tuesday (7 PM/EST & 4 PM/PT), and has a weekly column on Friday: “Getting Friendly With Makeover Momma.” If you would like to ask questions, submit concerns or simply chat: please email email@example.com.
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