Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Becoming a mom

When I was growing up, I don't remember my mom sitting down, ever. She must have, at some point, but it seems like in every memory she's on her way somewhere, doing something. I never doubted her, I never questioned that she was the mom and everything was going to be better because she was on the job. She always made me feel safe, loved, brilliant, beautiful. In my eyes, she was always my mom first, and then somewhere down the line she must have been other things too... a woman, a wife, a teacher, a daughter, a sister, a friend.

I wonder today, as a 35 year old mother of two, when my mother "became" a mother, or if it really was as innate as it seemed. Every day, I am still so hesitant that my kids get stuck with me as a mom. I mean, really? 1994 was yesterday. I remember sitting in my 1986 Plymouth TurboColt learning to drive stick in the high school parking lot so vividly. Waitressing third shift at Denny's and going out for breakfast the next morning, trying to stay awake long enough to watch the nail salon open. I still blast the radio to Salt N' Pepa and Katrina and the Waves, just not when Henry's sleeping in the back.

I think I expected the whole mom thing to just happen overnight. I mean, let's be honest here. I studied for the baby. I had lots of books that I thoroughly poured over in a quest to truly have the happiest baby on the block. I feel like I passed once I passed the first round, I was tossed into toddlerhood, then preschool, kindergarten, first grade (really?!?) and didn't have time or energy to study along the way. So, here I am, making it up as I go. Making our own rules and making all the mistakes that come along with that. Knowing that I will not be the mom that my mom was, and trying to come to terms with that. Hoping that at some point, I'll be graded on a generous and forgiving curve that rewards the big things and dismisses the dust on the shelves and the fact that I'm playing Tetris on my phone while nursing Henry to sleep. 

Love you mom, I still don't know how you did it. Then again, it was the 70's, there are a lot of unanswered questions about that particular decade.

Hug your partner/kid/pet and go make your own mistakes. We're all in this together and I need all of the help I can get!

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