Some people consider themselves a mom at conception, others think that milestone is more likely achieved after the birth of their little bundle of joy. Rounding the bend on Caleb’s 2nd birthday, and the impending birth of #2, I still find myself wondering at what point my actual conversion occurred??? I don’t think my experience can be pinned on either occasion definitively… and generally that thought is the impetus behind all my insecurities about being a mom in the first place.
Before I go any further, this is not one of ‘those’ fishing blogs… Anyone reading may know what I’m talking about… We’ve all seen the status updates or comments where someone makes the statement “I’m not good enough, yada, yada, yada…” and then waits for the comments to come pouring in about how amazing they are. This is not that blog. Having kept Caleb alive for two years, relatively healthy, and thoroughly loved I do feel confident overall that in the grand scheme of things I’m slowly but surely earning my stripes. I was just feeling a little introspective, and wanted to share another layer of the ‘Julie Onion’.
I question the timing of my conversion into motherhood, based on my radically different interpretation of events leading up to and shortly following Caleb’s birth. The prevailing stories center around love at first sight, tears, an immediate and unbreakable bond, etc…
My experience… it felt like there was an alien inside of me for the ~4 months I could feel the little bugger, and before that, it didn’t even really feel real since I didn’t feel any different. I tried the talking to ‘it’ before I know what ‘it’ was, and felt more foolish than maternal. I started to get REALLY concerned about my ‘maternal instincts’, when you hear everyone else having the conversation with the hubs about “if it comes down to me and the baby, save the baby…” and the only thing I kept thinking was “I could do this again, save me, SAVE ME”. The part that made it all super weird to me was, this was planned… I thought for sure when you make the conscience decision to try, all those ‘mommy’ feelings just came naturally. So I waited… When they didn’t come, I resigned myself to the fact that conception wasn’t my tipping point, surely birth will be.
When they put the tiny guy in my arms, I think I may have gone into shock. There is that hormone they talk about, the one that makes you forget a lot surrounding the labor/delivery part so your more inclined to do it again… That is a STRONG hormone! I don’t remember much at all, other than thinking “Holy Shit”… on repeat for probably close to a week straight. I’ll say one thing, I don’t know how you could make it through that first week, (well in reality have children at all) and NOT believe in a higher power… It all just works, somehow, without the instruction manual everyone thinks they need.
As I write about it more, the insight is becoming that much more clear, that while a title transfer occurs at birth the actual conversion to a mom is an ever evolving process… as they grow, so do I.
I just heard a tiny ‘gong’ inside my head, and the voice of Mr. Miyagi from Karate Kid come through saying “Very good, little grasshopper”… By golly, I may have just cracked the eternal code… cause that little nugget of insight applies to my title as wife too… I picked up that handy tag line on August 21st 2004… but continue evolving there as well. Ahhhhh, what a wonderful feeling removing all that pressure trying to be the perfect wife/super mom, etc… from the start. Maybe it’s not the age old battle pitting creation against evolution… we were created to evolve.
Geeze, I need to just start blogging about my random insecurities more often, if this kind of clarity is going to bust its way through as I write. I now feel perfectly at ease knowing my ‘version’ of mom more closely aligns with the host of “Man vs. Wild”, never knowing what obstacles I’ll be presented with or what MacGyver type sick skills I’ll employ to get myself out of the mess, vs. “Super Nanny” to the rescue with her creative solutions for raising perfectly well balanced and adjusted kids…. It’s all about evolution baby!