My grandmother always used to say that having kids was a "pain in the neck," but I never knew she was speaking literally until I had my own children. That's when I realized having kids is indeed a pain in the neck, and that's not all: It's also a pain in the upper back, the lower back, in between the shoulder blades, in a big muscle knot about midway down the spine on your right side, and a bunch of other places, too. It's not just me, either. Over the past week, I feel like the majority of my conversations with fellow mom friends have been dominated by such hot topics as muscle relaxers, chiropractors, anti-inflammatories, the benefits of ice vs. heat and whether or not physical therapy is actually helping. (Good times.)
Oh, and once those aches and pains start -- during pregnancy -- they don't stop. Each new phase of motherhood brings the pain in a new and unique way ...
First there's the very uncomfortable trial and error process involved in finding the right nursing position. Which basically goes like this: Oh my god, my neck feels like it's going to break but I don't care because if I hold the Boppy at this weird angle and tilt the baby's head slightly in this direction then she finally latches on like she's supposed to!!!
Then there are the many different modes of transporting your child. Don't stress too much over your choice, because whether you go with a Baby Bjorn or a sling or a backpack or a stroller, you'll end up in pain (yes, even with the stroller -- just wait'll you have to fold that thing up 12 times a day and haul it up and down stairs and in and out of the trunk of your car).
Then your kid is on the move and needs to be constantly scooped up and out of harm's way. Then he's learning how to ride a scooter and you're hunched over guiding the handlebars for hours every day. Then you're bending down and picking up toys and bending down and picking up toys and bending down and picking up toys. Not to mention bending down and lifting soaking wet kids out of bath tubs and bending down and tying shoes and bending down so your kid climb aboard for a piggyback ride. Which, at the time, seems like the best way to get both your child and those heavy bags of groceries in the house. (It's not. Trust me.)
You get the point. By the time middle school rolls around, you're a sad hunchback who hobbles around talking to other sad hunchbacks about muscle relaxers and Icy/Hot and, well, welcome to my world.
Of course the aching back is worth it. Like the grey hairs and the saggy boobs and the stretch marks and that coughing pee thing. That's how much we love our children.
Who, just for the record, better not complain about wheeling my hunchbacked self around when they're my age and I'm 112. That's the least they can do.
Have you developed back problems since having kids?
Image via Ed Yourdon/Flickr