Finding Nemo Brain

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Finding Nemo Brain

by Chelsea Mandler,
Lifestyle Family Parenting Friends Moms

It is absolutely the best feeling to become a mother. The sky looks brighter. The color blue looks bluer. You're in love deeper and more passionately than ever before in less than a day. Even with some postpartum that feeling of love shines through.

The next few years you are on lock-down. A good kind of lock-down. The child must be managed continuously 24 hours a day. You rarely shower. You forgot you had friends. And there is no way you feel like getting a job. It’s awesome and tiring and beautiful and stressful and you become a person who knows every line of Finding Nemo. And that is your world.

But if you are like me...you eventually want more. But if you are like me...since I could stay home I felt I should stay home because my child needed me around. Basically. I should-ed on myself. We parent tend to should a lot.

And then one day your friend calls. They are talking about this and that. They have a life that is full of fun and work and men and love and active relationships. And you...you can only quote lines from Disney movies. It happens. To all of us. And your friend laughs at you and you laugh back. But, you really don't find it funny. You find it terribly scary. You lost your brain somewhere between changing diapers and watching Toy Story 3, 2 and one.

You see...you work 24 hours a day but for some reason, it isn't considered a real job. Society tells you should be doing more. Slowly depression leaks into cheerful playtime and potty-training. You are drained but you feel guilty. "I should be working." "We need the money." "Keep swimming, keep swimming." Are phrases that pass roughly through your mind.

It is strange that it is so easy to forget about ourselves during this blessed time in our life. I looked at my face and I saw bags under my eyes. I was not as sharp. My brain was fuzzy. My butt was saggy. I started protesting against people who are against "mommy jeans." Mommy jeans are cool. They are comfortable and I can eat ice cream too. No problem.

But I digress...

The most valuable job in the world is parenting and it is the least appreciated job you will ever have. Dishes, laundry, pee pee sheets, dinner in succession every day. Try it. It sucks. But then you have this wonderful child that is discovering the world and you begin to rediscover the wonders of childhood again. And It is glorious. Why "Yes" I do like to jump rope and hula hoop!!!. I just am not as coordinated anymore. And I love the Science Channel. Did you know it takes 8 minutes and 20 seconds to fly to the sun according to NASA on their New Horizon probe? I didn't. That stuff is cool. It almost makes it worth it.

So now my son is seven. I have been at home for 10 years total. And I have a job interview. Suddenly, I feel connected to the crowd. I may get a job. And the strange thing is I already have a job but I never feel like I do. And that job remains even after I return to work. But it doesn't feel like a job it feels like part of life. No more, no less.

In the end, I am happy. But I feel like I should give myself more credit. Does anyone else feel that way? I look at the Supermoms and I am envious. How do they do it all? I can't even cook the bacon right. Nonetheless, I am a mother. I would never want to be anything else. These are the finest days of my life and I must remind myself of this because it's absolutely true! Therefore, when I pick the child today from the bus that he insists he must take, I will hug him and get him water WITH ICE as he demands and sit and read "The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe" to him. And I shall call my child "Squishy and he shall be mine and he shall be my Squishy. Come on, Squishy Come on, little Squishy." and we live happily after, once upon a time.