There’s this look that women everywhere are guilty of and it changes depending on the stage of your pregnancy or the age of your children.
When you’re newly pregnant and miserable with morning sickness, heartburn, aches and pains, and you’re not yet showing but feel like you look blubbery and bloated and you can’t yet tell people you’re pregnant because you haven’t shared the news with enough people yet, you look longingly at women who have that “pregnancy glow.” You can’t wait to be in the single-digit countdown yet you still have 30+ weeks of pregnancy ahead of you. Those pregnant ladies with the glow don’t even give you the time of day because they can’t tell you’re pregnant.
Then… when you’re really pregnant and feeling nervous about the impending birth of your child and the newborn stage, moms with newborns give you a look. It’s a look that says, “Enjoy these last few weeks of pregnancy because you have no idea how much your life is about to change!”
Then… your baby is born and you have this tiny little newborn who cries and cries and poops and poops and eats and cries some more. You have no idea what they want, or why they’re crying. You go out with them to the grocery store (which feels like a huge accomplishment) and moms with toddlers look at you with this look… it’s a look that says, “Enjoy your little baby now, before he/she starts talking back at you!” They give you this look that says they’re exhausted and frazzled and stressed out more than they ever were before but they survived the baby stage and you will too.
Then your little baby grows up a little bit and turns into a toddler. You start getting looks from two groups of people… from the parents of newborns who are so looking forward to the future and from the parents of older kids who give you a look saying that you have so much to look forward to.
There’s a look my mom would also tell you about that women give as they get older… it’s a look that not-yet-grandmothers give to grandmothers spending time with their grandchildren, it’s a look that says “I can’t wait to have what you have.” Then when they become grandmothers, they give a look back to those not-yet-grandmothers that says, “I know. And I hope you get it one day. It’s as wonderful as you’re imagining it will be.”
Yesterday I definitely gave the look to two different people. I didn’t have Julia with me so maybe they didn’t realize I was giving them the look, but I have a feeling they knew…
1) Mom of a newborn… I went to Target yesterday afternoon to get a few things and there was a new mom with a newborn with her. She had the newborn in a Baby Bjorn and the baby was crying. The mom was bouncing up and down the aisles trying to calm the baby down and nothing was working. She tried a pacifier, she tried giving the baby her finger to suck on and the baby just kept crying. I gave her a look that implied, “It gets better. I promise you it gets so much better. Just a few more weeks and you’ll start getting smiles and laughs. The crying will slow down and you’ll have a happy little baby on your hands. Just get through these first few weeks and you’ll be okay.”
2) Mom of a little girl… as I was walking out of Target there was a mom walking in with a little girl who was maybe 4… she was wearing a princess dress and a tiara and had clearly gotten herself dressed in the morning. The little girl was skipping into the store while holding her mom’s hand and both had a look of pure happiness on their faces. They were so happy to be together and it looked as though they were on their way to pick out a puppy (obviously that’s not the case but that’s how happy they looked!) I looked at them with awe… giving them a look that said, “I can’t wait until Julia’s at that age when she can use words to tell me what she wants, doesn’t cry anymore and just wants to hold my hand and skip everywhere we go!”
But then again… I don’t want to wish away the present. This morning we had so much fun taking some goofy selfies and making silly faces at each other! We shared a bowl of cereal for breakfast and had an (almost) conversation in the car on our way to school. Julia’s at an age that is alternatingly very sweet and cuddly and such a joy and very frustrating and demanding and stressful. The sweet moments are becoming more and more common but the trying moments are becoming more and more trying. She is definitely deeply entrenched in the “Terrible Twos” but the sweet moments almost make you forget the difficult ones!