Monday, July 23, 2012

On Becoming a Mom

So, Henry turned ONE eight days ago. His birthday party was as adorable as he is. We were totally feeling the love with all of the family and friends who were there to join us. A cousin of Mark's once told me, "To love my child is to love me." So true, and I see it everyday.

It's funny though. I have a child who is one, but in that whole year I never really felt like a Mom. Of course there are all those Mom moments, the hard parts that no one really mentions, that should sort of let you know what you've gotten yourself into. The good FAR outweighs the bad, but the bad moments are tough.

For example, it's hard to ignore giving birth to a nearly 8 pounder when the epidural isn't working. These doctors went to school for like 30 years or something crazy but there doesn't seem to be a more reasonable explanation than, "sometimes it just stops working, we're not sure why." Umm, I'm going to have to request to see your medical degree.

Then there's that whole diaper change at 2a.m. when he's crying and you've maybe had two hours of sleep, where somehow the poop has managed to creep all the way up his back. How does that seriously happen? I've never been good with the whole physics thing, but I'm pretty sure "poop up the back" totally defies every rule there is.

There's that morning when you look in the mirror, and scare yourself. Who IS that woman? Hopefully that's the same week that your mother is in town so you can take a nap. It's the same morning you're sitting on the back porch getting a little fresh air, sucking down the coffee which you swore you wouldn't drink while breastfeedings, thinking, wow this is harder than I thought. I once read a blog, where the author was answering questions about becoming a mom. "What's the hardest part about giving birth?" she was asked. "Birth? Birth is a breeze compared to everything after." Spot on!

There's your baby's first fall while he's learning to sit up on his own, or his first head "bonk." His tears that just break your heart because you don't want him to feel any pain EVER in his entire life.  Followed by a million other falls while he's figuring how to make his pudgy little ankles and feet do what he wants them to do.

And yes. There's that moment when he locks down on your nipple with his first little tooth that three days ago you thought was just the cutest thing in the world. You yelp and he just laughs. You tell yourself, at least he has a sense of humor.

All of those tough Mom moments in the first year and I still didn't really feel like I was a mom. I believe now that you don't just become a Mom the day your first baby is born. It's something you sort of grow into and figure out more every day. And it may not hit you to later, that holy cow I am someone's mother. 

For me the moment came at about midnight a few nights before Henry's first birthday. I had been staying up late after everyone went to bed getting things ready for Henry's party. There was some major crafting going on: the balloon wreath, the pennant banner, the goody bags, the floating Henry party heads and the sock monkey craft.

I had just cut out about a bazillion pieces for the sock monkey paper bag puppet station, and I was tired. So tired. I was putting all the different pieces in neat little piles and putting them into neatly labeled plastic baggies. The kicker? I WAS LOVING IT. And that's when I knew.

Welcome to mommyhood, Lauren, I thought to myself. Enjoy the ride.

Photo credit: Kayla Westfall, Full Bloom Photo


  1. I think you're right- sometimes you feel it immediately, and sometimes it comes later. There's certainly no question of your mom-ness that whole time, but it takes a while for everything to sink in.

    And yea, that first tooth is killer. My girl loved the reaction it got out of me when she bit down and it was really hard to get her to stop!

  2. Yup, I can relate to this. I have four, and there are magic moments of gratefulness at being blessed by motherhood. I'm glad you could be present enough to recognize it and write about it! Visiting from CurvyBlogLove