Welcome to all-consuming, neuron-frying sensory overload.
Welcome to parenthood.
(Just in case you didn’t get the memo that parenthood is a full-on assault on the body as well as the soul.)
Forget about the stretch marks, the saggy skin and the tired eyes. Forget about the pelvic up slip, the chronic carpal tunnel and just the general aches and pains that are presented to you once you embark on this journey. (Read more here)
I am talking about the spectacular impact motherhood has on our every sense.
When you become a parent, it’s like all your senses instantly reach a whole new level. As if you never knew what it was like to truly smell, touch, taste and hear or see before.
The rollercoaster of emotions through the sensory overload goes something like this:
Forget about the smell of fresh coffee. The smell of the freshly cut grass.
Nothing compares to the smell of your new baby.
Their skin. Their hair. Their breath.
And the poo smell. It’s all fun and games when they are tiny. But nothing compares to the smell of a toddler’s poo. As parents, we spend a good proportion of our time smelling things and trying to make the smell go away. Be prepared for smell.
You will suddenly realize that, you never knew what it feels like to really be touched and touch: the top of your baby’s head, their tiny little hands wrapped around your finger. The tickle of your child’s breath as they whisper into your ear. When they want to be lifted and carried all around town. When they not only want to sleep with you but on top of you. When they want to be close and be where you are. To constantly have a pair of little hands winding around your hands and having a toddler velcroed to your legs nonstop.
I mean to be touched ALLTHETIME.
You will soak up the closeness, knowing it won’t last forever right up until the point where the constant intrusion into your personal space is getting too much.
Your body is up for grabs, literally, every waking hour of the day. What’s not to love!
You will quickly learn the meaning of being all touched out.
Parenthood brings your taste buds old and new memories. You cherish those sweet moments like licking the spoon after baking with your kids and tasting a little bit of your own childhood. Tasting the ‘lemonade’ your kids made from just lemons and not quite appreciating it *lemonface*. And kissing away their salty tears.
And with parenthood the Lord gave us wine. You can never have enough wine.
Copious amounts of the stuff have slightly numbed your palate. Enjoying a quiet, relaxed meal and savoring the flavors is a distant memory. You now cultivate a slightly less cultured palate. Parenthood brings you half eaten apples, picking raisins off the floor and finishing off the kids’ milk-soaked cheerios.
Your baby’s cry will make your heart ache and fill your heart with a deep longing to hold and soothe them. You will hear your baby’s cry when they’re not even crying. Parenthood has turned us into mum bats. You can pick out your child’s crying out of a crowd with a jet plane passing and a Mariachi Band playing. You can tell by the way they are crying if they are hurt, if they are hungry, if they are just whining or tired. You hear them utter their first word and quietly wish for a moment of silence when they have finally mastered the art of speaking and JUSTWON’TSTOP.
From that first moment you lay eyes on them until forever, you will never get enough of looking at your babies. You have never appreciated the gift of sight as much as you do now. As you stare at your newborn for hours figuring out if he has your nose, smiling at all the cute faces they make, and watching them grow bigger and smarter each day. You watch your children play and grow up together and you are bearing witness to each memory they make. And nothing you have seen can be unseen. Like that time the baby had a poo in the bath. Or when he emptied out a tub of sudocrem on the couch, or that time you found a handful of hair in the sitting room only to discover later that the child had found a pair of scissors and gave her hair a bit of a trim. All the comical poonamis cannot be unseen.
There are days when parenthood is an all-consuming collection of constant stimuli of all the senses. While there are days where it can be overwhelming as I go on this rollercoaster through the sensory overload and enjoyment, (yes, this is strangely enjoyable) I wouldn’t change it for the world.
Anything less would make my life seem dull and bare.
Amen, and have a wonderful Sunday evening.