The Professional Mom

A while back, my husband’s best friend got married to an exceptionally accomplished woman.   Not only is she practically a concert pianist, she is also a law professor.  At first I found her intimidating, but when she got pregnant I realized that she deserved my pity more than my admiration—pity because motherhood comes as a shock to every woman, but especially to one who is used to being productive. She and I happened to be pregnant at the same time, my third baby coming a couple months before her first.  When my son was born, and I discovered for the third time that caring for a newborn is the hardest job on the planet, I called her up and offered some hard-earned knowledge on the best ways to nurse, how to stay hydrated, how to get her body back in shape, and how to cope emotionally.  As we talked, I realized why she is so accomplished.  It’s because she knows an expert when she meets one.  She recognized me for the authority I am and ate up my advice like chocolate pie.  After all, while she was studying torts, I was doing more than just making tarts.  I had learned a profession too–motherhood.   Eventually I heard through my husband that her baby had come, and I hoped she was putting my counsel to use.  I thought about her sometimes as I went about my day, especially after a sleepless night with my baby.  If I was having a hard time, one can only imagine how difficult things must have been for her, and so I offered a prayer in her behalf. Some time later I heard my husband talking to her husband on the phone.  I waited anxiously for him to hang up so I could ask, “How are they doing?!”“They’re fine,” my husband replied.  “The baby’s two months’ old now.”“So, is the baby growing?!  Is Carolynn coping?”“Yeah, she’s fine,” he replied.“Is she managing with working part time?!”“Yeah, she’s working part-time—the baby sleeps through the night and has said her first word.”“Huh?”“Yeah, they taught her to say ‘Oh,’ and she says it to them all the time.”  Long pause. “. . . Oh,” I managed to say.  It was the baby’s first word, and my last.


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9 Responses to The Professional Mom

  1. Sonja Younger

    Okay, that’s not fair. I just may despise her, or her baby, or something….

  2. mariana

    the first is a shock. however, they are also your most amazing as babies. how can they not be when there is so much available time and attention to give them?! her third will be beyond slow!

  3. sherree

    Here all this time I thought my babies were the only ones that learned to say “Oh” at 2 months. LOL

  4. and now I’ve found YOUR blog.. wow.. so cool I can’t wait to read more! Thanks for sharing your life!

  5. That’s reminds me of the mom I overheard at the playground who was all bragging that she’d had her son potty-trained since he was four months old.I’m almost took my shoe off and threw it at her.

  6. Please don’t dis the brilliant baby–some day she will probably marry my baby.

  7. Carolynn Camp

    Okay. So, now a belated word from (I believe) the subject of this post. I think when our little one was two months old, I had just finished with the unexpected crying episodes and was still (and am still) having a hard time coping with not getting anything done. It’s taken me a long time to learn that feeding, bathing, clothing, putting to bed, and otherwise keeping a baby alive is getting “something” done! I think my husband did not quite fairly represent the circumstances at the time.Thanks for all the advice!!

  8. Peggy

    You are so full of compassion, offering up a prayer on behalf of your friend! 😀

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