Mothers Know Everything
“Please. Go shut the door. This is embarrassing. We have four degrees between us and cannot even dress one small human.” I say to my husband while trying to dress our 4-day old son to take him home from the hospital.
We struggle to get Nick dressed for the wintery weather and proceed to take him home, where we place his car seat onto the kitchen table to capture the picture of all pictures.
Our son, all of 4 days old, with hat and socks eschew looks at us as if to say, “Seriously? I traveled all of this way and wound up with you two?”
Yes, this marked my stellar start into motherhood.
“Okay, my motherhood instinct will kick in.” I say to my husband.
“Pretty soon. It will.”
“Any minute now.”
“Okay, infancy is not my sweet spot, but I will have one. This is just not it.”
I was clueless – beyond words.
I, like many of us, came from a world where I knew exactly how to navigate every aspect and figured that with a handful of babysitting experiences, I could handle motherhood. Everyone does it, right? How hard could it be?
Yes, this was my first mistake. Thinking how hard could it be?
How totally clueless were these words? How utterly mitigating to the process of raising a family?
How hard could it be?
Then, I had no idea how hard it would be to go for weeks without sleep.
I had no idea how hard it would be to watch my two-month old duck taped to a gurney while undergoing tests.
I had no idea how hard it would be to watch as he threw up everything he ate, every time, because of digestive issues.
I had no idea how hard it would be to respond calmly every night when he woke up with night terrors.
I had no idea how hard it would be to look into his eyes as the anesthesia kicked in and he fell into an artificial sleep.
I just had no idea. Not one clue.
But, being clueless had its upside. Being clueless meant I had to get help from everyone, in every way, about everything.
Being clueless was perhaps the greatest gift I could have had at the time.
Being clueless gave me permission to be, well, clueless.
I used my cluelessness to talk with everyone about what could be happening with this charming little boy who could not navigate his world at all.
I used my cluelessness to be open to any and every solution.
You want him to swim every week with an occupational therapist? Sure.
You think he would benefit from a reading group at the library? Yes.
You say you help kids with reading, but want to be in his classroom 3 times a week to get him paired with kids who have incredible imaginations? Absolutely.
Yoga? Sure thing.
Shamanism to welcome him to this earth and astrology to determine his path? Yes and yes again.
Being clueless was how I was able to hold Nick’s maximum potential.
Being clueless made me the best mother possible. It made me open and vulnerable and accepting and strong.
I now know that I know nothing. I know that I am clueless and I embrace it.
I embrace it when I say, “Oh, I only know 13 – that’s it. I know nothing beyond this age. I have no clue what the teenage years look like as we haven’t gotten there yet.”
I embrace it when my mind and heart are open to everything I read and hear and observe about children and family.
I embrace it when I hear other mothers talk and save tidbits of their knowledge for my future self.
Mothers know everything and we know nothing.
We are clueless and omniscient.
We are the keepers and makers of future generations.
This is for mothers everywhere. You humble me everyday and in every way.
Much love and gratitude,