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While I have a great relationship with my mother, we didn’t exactly bond over Saturday afternoon window shopping or lessons on how to apply the appropriate amount of lip stick. There are definitely some things my mother should’ve told me…
Being raised in the 40’s and 50’s and within a highly conservative environment, the feminist movement of the 60’s and 70’s might as well not have existed in her world. And horror of all horrors, it wasn’t until I went away to college that I even heard the name Judy Blume. Needless to say, there’s a lot about being a girl my mother should’ve told me.
1. Hair turns gray…ALL hair.
The morning of my twenty-fifth birthday began like any other. I woke up, turned on my shower and while I waited for it to heat, I used the potty. Imagine my quarter-life surprise at finding my first gray pubic hair. Sure, I guess theoretically it makes sense. But really? Prematurely gray in the nethers of all places? It was a jarring surprise. One I wish my mother had warned me about.
2. Facial hair isn’t just a guy thing.
I don’t mean to be boastful, but I’ve got a pretty great head of hair. It’s long, thick, and grows super fast. The downside is that I shed like a Golden Retriever. You could knit a sweater with the locks I lose in a day. And it gets in the most unfortunate of places–in my food, sticking to my clothes, down the crack of my derriere. I’m always picking off stray hairs from my person. But never ever ever in any stretch could I have imagined that one day, one of those errant hairs, long enough to thread a needle and darn a sock, that was tickling my neck was actually attached. TO THE SIDE OF MY CHIN. Thanks for having my back, Mom. Should I expect to grow hair there, too? Oh, and a heads up would have been nice before finding my first nipple hair, too, btw.
3. Hormones suck!
I’m not talking about the crying jags and the adolescent mood swings. I’m talking about those days when the world feels like 60 grit against the rusty metal of your soul. When the sound of children’s laughter hurts like foil on a filling. Those days when you don’t feel like getting out of bed and every channel on television plays a constant loop of Sally-Freaking-Struthers! Thanks, Mom, for the predisposition for early menopause.
4. Crockpots rock!
Growing up, my mother didn’t own a crockpot. Yes, you read that right. It wasn’t that she was the slow cooker nazi or necessarily enjoyed doing things the hard way. It was like air conditioning, we just didn’t have one. By the time I was married and had kids of my own before I began paying attention to the buzz. What is this magical witches kettle that you turn on in the morning, add a dash of this and a sprig of that, ending in a hot brew worthy of gods? Oh crockpot, where have you been all my life? Thanks for nothin’, Mom.
5. Pregnancy/child birth changes everything.
No one ever told me stretch marks would be the least of my childbirth worries. Your feet get wider, sometimes one longer than the other and your once-firm breasts could fill a pair of tube socks. Don’t even get me started on the dough that was once my stomach. And the constant guilt is worse than a Catholic at confession. Eventually, second-guessing whether you’re doing the best thing for your child becomes as normal as finding month old chicken nuggets at the bottom of your purse. Not saying motherhood isn’t worth every sleepless night, gray hair or scar, but you coulda warned me, Mom.
6. Having sex for the first time after giving birth can feel like shoving razors up your vag.
Jayzus, Mary and a purple dinosaur! You couldn’t have given me a hint about this one? Not even an anonymous email sent from a dummy address? I give up!
7. A few preventative fillers today saves a massive overhaul tomorrow.
There’s nothing worse than a bad face lift and major work can also lead to major errors.
Look like this
Was this one of those things, Mom, that you thought I needed to live through to appreciate?
8. Talking to your daughter about her vagina is just weird.
Okay, I understand. I get it, but that still doesn’t excuse you from your parental duties, especially as a woman yourself.
9. Talking to your son about his penis is even weirder.
Mom, I’ll totally let you off the hook on this one.
10. That moment when you realize you’ve turned out exactly like your mother…awkward.
And also a little comforting. Let’s face it, our mothers won’t be around forever. Even if mine dropped the ball in some critical areas, she went above and beyond in others, and I’m glad that those are the things she gave me. At this point I’m pretty sure I say at least 20 things a day that my mom said to me when I was younger, and it’s weird. But, it’s also like some sort of legacy of mommyhood that she passed dow to me and that I hope will be passed down to my daughter.
So really, thanks mom. Thanks a lot.