Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Road Trippin' Mama

Before I decided to become a social worker, I studied journalism for 3 years. I love to write, and I always have. And I love a good challenge.

These days, a lot of my writing consists of either making lists around the house or writing in patient charts (i.e. "Unable to assess patient at this time. Patient on bedside commode." or "Unable to assess patient. Patient actively withdrawing from cocaine." - lovely...). My blog is such a great outlet for me to write for fun again!

I've come to look forward to Wednesdays because that's when Mama Kat from Mama's Losin' It gives out her Thursday Writer's Workshop assignments. She always gives bloggers a few writing prompts to choose from, and then on Thursdays they're all posted. It's great fun, and it always makes me think outside my little box.

This week, I'm choosing to write about a "new road" I've taken in my life.

So, I'm going to write about the Road of Motherhood, since I'm still such a newbie at it. I'm going to compare the Road of Motherhood to a road trip, so fasten your seat belts, hop on in, and enjoy the ride. Don't worry about hanging on tight - I'm not a speeder - I like to go 5 miles over the speed limit maximum (I appreciate my insurance discounts, thankyouverymuch), so you'll be safe - I promise.

Here are 5 reasons the Road to Motherhood is like an actual road trip.

1. It is what you make it. All sorts of things can go wrong on a road trip, and the same goes for motherhood, but a lot of the time, it is what you make it. Call me cliche, but your attitude will play a big role in how things go. Granted, some road trips are filled with nothing tire blowouts on the freeway, forgotten toothbrushes, and tiny little dogs named Shorty at service stations in the middle of nowhere (where you go to get aforementioned tire repaired) that hump your leg (it wasn't my leg - it was my friend's leg - whatever). Similarly, when you're a mom, some days are filled with nothing but diaper blowouts on the freeway, forgotten coats or mittens (that result in annoying and rage-inducing lectures from a certain Granny Panties at church) and barf on your leg in public (your baby's - not yours...unless of course you were drinking heavily the night before, but that's a whole other issue). Both circumstances suck big time, and you may not be able to laugh about it at the time because, let's face it, those "one thing after another" days are the pits. But, if you can laugh about it eventually, you're on the right track.

2. Ooooh, the anticipation! I always get excited for road trips, and I imagine what kind of adventures will be had along the way. What will we see? What will we do? Will there be shopping malls and plenty of bathrooms along the way? Motherhood is the same. You anticipate it, you hope for so many things, you wonder about a few things, and from the time you are pregnant and for the rest of your life you are hoping there will be plenty of (clean) bathrooms along the way.

3. On the Road Trip of Motherhood, you should always bring food - same goes for an actual road trip. There's nothing like being 2 hours from a service station and not having a dang thing to snack on. Sure, you could just chew gum for 2 hours and trick your mouth into thinking it's getting actual nourishment, but that just makes your temples hurt after a while. Always bring food when you're a mom, too. At first, when all your baby is consuming is either boob juice or formula, bring a snack for yourself. Chances are that once you get to the hell hole known as the Wal-Mart parking lot at 3:15 p.m., you're going to hear your stomach rumble as soon as you put the car in park and you'll begin to realize, "Hmm, I forgot to eat lunch today. And breakfast. No wait, I had Kix for breakfast - sh*t! I had Kix yesterday. I never ate at all this morning! I haven't eaten since dinner last night!" Enough crazy things happen at Wal-Mart, people. We don't need you passing out in the parking lot. Pack a stinkin' granola bar, an apple, SOMETHING in that diaper bag, for Pete's sake. And while you're at it, you might as well make sure you've got a bottle for the baby if they need one, too. Once they start munching on food of the non-liquid variety, you should probably stash some of that somewhere in your bag or your car, too.

4. Lets face it - at some point, you're going to need to call in back-up. If you're road trippin,' that could mean connecting with AAA (if you're on the Road of Motherhood, AA may be a more appropriate connection to make), a backseat driver, or calling your long-lost cousin who actually lives in Booger Hollow, Arkansas (real place, people - I've been there. Don't believe me? Look it up.) to have him tell you where the nearest gas station is. For us moms, if it's not AA, it's probably a mom, sister, husband, friend, counselor, or the person stocking produce at the grocery store. Braving it alone is not recommended in either situation.

5. No matter how much you prepare for your journey, you'll never know what the destination will look like until you actually arrive. Headed to San Diego for a day at the beach? Ha! I hope you enjoyed your 10 hour drive for FOG and RAIN. Maybe next time. See? You just never know. Or, for you "the glass is half full" people (I happen to be one of you - I'm just playin' the devil's advocate here), the odds were perhaps in your favor and it was a sunny 70 degrees with a slight breeze and no stinky seagulls in sight. (Speaking of San Diego, did you know that San Diaaago is Spanish for a whale's... nevermind). Now consider your plans for motherhood. Did you plan your nursery out all perfect ahead of time (and wash and put away each new outfit as it was given to you - even those given to you when you were FOUR months pregnant?) and daydream about this or that? It's okay to daydream! Trust me, I did plenty of it, and it was fun. The beginning of my Road to Motherhood had a few bumps in the road, I ran out of gas a few times (the energy kind, not the hand-me-some-Beano-NOW kind - there was plenty of that!), and I've had to ask for help a time or two (or ten or twenty), but it's by far the most incredible adventure I've been on thus far.

And, you've gotta admit. A diaper blowout is far more desirable than a tire blowout any day. I can change diapers, no problem. Tires? Not so much...

(Thanks for reading all the way to the end. Now march your little booty over to Mama's Losin' It for more fun stuff, or to check out the prompts for your OWN Thursday Writer's Workshop post)


Jenners said...

This was serious genius writing!!! Are you sure you don't want to give up the social working and write professionally!? I loved I love all your posts!

Kelly said...

Well Said!!! I think we road tripped down the same exact highway!! I need to link this to all of my baby-less friends!

Anonymous said...

"All sorts of things can go wrong on a road trip, and the same goes for motherhood, but a lot of the time, it is what you make it."

So true, and I needed to hear this today. It's so easy to get frustrated by not having enough time to get things done, but I get the trade-off of playing with my baby! And yeah, I'll take a poopy diaper blowout ANY DAY over a tire blowout.


blueviolet said...

Actually, I'd rather have a diaper blowout. Does that make me weird? I think it's because I've been in a major car accident and now I'm scared to death of anything going wrong.

Summer said...

I loved loved this post! Awesome writing and super creative!

Katie Says So said...

I didnt know you were a social worker! That is what I am in school for! =)

Rhonda said...

Amen to number 4!!! lol

April said...

I loved this. Very good Mama! And all so very true. I never thought of it that way but your totally right.

Jo-Jo said...

Oh this is a great one! I need to remember this!

Jenners said...

Hey--Haven't seen a post from you in a while so I thought I'd pop by and say "hi."

By the way, I am running a giveaway over at my blog if you are interested. The prize is a $20 Target gift card!

Also, you might want to check out this site I found through a blog I follow (I think you follow it too). Remember how we talked about getting paid to write? Well, here is one way to consider.

Hope all is well!