There are a lot of things that nobody tells you about motherhood. A LOT. One of those things is how physical mothering is. Breast feeding. Getting a Matchbox car stuck between your toes. The terrible aches from bending over to pick things off the floor a gazillion times a day. There are also Herculean tasks like hefting the stroller in and out of the car every time you go ANYWHERE, or slogging the infant carrier six blocks because you think it will be easier than getting the damn stroller out of the car again (hint: Just get the stroller. Don’t be a hero).
When you first become a mother, the new aches and pains feel like the universe is kicking you while you’re down. I mean, really – you’re surviving on three, maybe four hours of sleep. Shaky confidence mixed with sleep deprivation makes one very clumsy. Ordinarily you could avoid sneaky obstacles like the wall or dining room table, but not anymore. You are a mom, and that means there will be bruises. And blood. Sometimes tears. And super sore everything.
At first I felt battered. Now I feel strong. Like triathlon strong. Or, at least capable of triathlon-level injuries. Like firmly whacking myself in the shins with a wooden car ramp, earning me a nice green goose egg on my leg. But I have better arms now than when I was a teenager, and yesterday I pushed the double jog stroller three miles without getting winded. Motherhood is the best workout ever. I can even hold a screaming toddler in each arm as I march them out of a restaurant full of diners who are relieved to see us go.
In short, my labors have totally paid off — the proof is in my skinny jeans. Now where’d I leave that heating pad?