The journey to motherhood is flush with quicksand, stool softeners, thorns in the sciatic nerve, secret all-you-can-eat-buffets, justified temper-tantrums, loose gravel, flash in the pan "Must Have!" child-soothing gizmos and ill-timed gas.
This road is worth traveling. When we first become parents, we pick up a chubby ball of yummy-smelling deliciousness, but somehow, many of us get lost along the way.
We need directions, and not to prevent stumbles, potholes and occasional avalanches of ice cream; we need them to remind us the bizarre paths we wander down are well-trodden and flanked with supportive been-there, tripped-over-that mommas.
Directions provided courtesy of Momquest.
Starting Location: 210 Conception Lane
Ending Location: 911 Oh-My-Wow A Human is Coming Out of Me Circle
1. Drive three weeks down Conception Lane and turn right at Pee Pee Parkway.
There are a few dainty bathrooms on this street, but you'll mainly find dingy gas station unisex commodes and construction site Port A Potties, yay. You'll be on this road for about 100 miles and it runs perpendicular to all the others.
2. Take your pick at Identity Crisis Crossing.
When you come to this intersection, you'll have the choice of turning right onto Denial Drive, left onto Confusion Crescent or continuing straight down Pee Pee Parkway, which merges into Personality Paranoia Path.
3. Make a U-turn at Craving Cul-de-sac (or rest on the curb for awhile.)
This dead-end street contains a donut shop, funnel cake vendor, pizza parlor, gourmet peanut butter and sprinkles shop and a "bar" serving mocktails.
4. After circling out of Craving Cul-de-sac, you'll find your vehicle idling on Lazy Lane.
There is a mattress store a quarter mile up Lazy Lane and a Brookstone next door. Many roads laced through your pregnancy will likely lead back here.
5. When your vehicle is revived, about five months later, continue onto Perky Path.
Turn right to pass a paint store (The Nesting Nook), a prenatal yoga studio, your baby shower and a coffee shop where all your non-pregnant friends will be hanging out. Be aware that this path can morph into Lazy Lane at any moment.
6. If you must, take a left onto Fearful Freeway and turn off as soon as possible.
It's always storming on Fearful Freeway and it is flush with obnoxious billboards dripping with negative messages like...
"What if the head doesn't fit through your pelvis?"
"What if you poop during birth?"
"What if the baby kicks your ribs on the way out, causing you to flail your arms, accidentally knocking out your partner, who is rushed to the ER, misses the birth,and doubles your hospital bills?"
"What if, what if, what if, what if?"
7. Fearful Freeway may merge into Parenting Worries Way.
If you miss the first turn off to Serenity Street, you will spill onto Parenting Worries Way, where the billboards change to...
"To tiger mom or helicopter mom?"
"To cry it out or breastfeed it out?"
"To listen to my mom, best friend, or uber mom on Facebook?"
8. Turn right onto Serenity Street, (speeding is encouraged.)
Parenting Worries Way will eventually intersect with Serenity Street and for the love of your sanity, turn onto it. Large parks covered in glowing mothers, cooing babies and fountains flowing with breast milk flank this street. Build a house here.
9. Serenity Street will turn into a dead-end at Oh-My-Wow, A Human is Coming Out of Me Circle.
You've arrived! Your car is likely out of gas, you're sore from being in the driver's seat for the entirety of your travels, you're being flooded with all-consuming love and you have to pee.
Next stop, Saggy Boob Boulevard.