My son was born two weeks before Mother’s Day last year, so technically, this year is my second. In the glow and the exhaustion of having recently given birth, I’m not sure I actually felt like a mommy yet. I was proud, and tired, and a little bit scared, and all those things are still true, but I was mostly quite unaware of what motherhood actually entailed. If I knew as a kid what I know now, only one year into this journey, I would have tried even harder on those pictures and breakfasts for my own mom.
I've learned that motherhood makes you silly, and it’s amazingly freeing. Coming from a family of bold personalities and loud voices, I've never really been shy, but I had considered myself fairly serious. I worked hard at a heavy degree, I take my career very seriously, and my finances are a tight ship. Having a baby allows you to sing in public. To make funny faces, art projects, and coordinated dances. You get colourful toys and tableware. Your space is more cluttered and random. It’s a breath of fresh air that I didn't know that I needed.
I've learned that I can withstand a huge amount of grossness and not freak out or vomit. Before Elliott, I was a lot more private. I'm not one to throw up, or talk about my digestive practices. I was beyond mortified if I ever broke wind in front of my husband or family. Well, pregnancy fixed my comfort level with gas. Man, was that awful. And poop? Well, we could write a whole blog series about it now. The stories I have and situations I've been in, I never could have imagined. From your own post-partum (not fun), to the myriad of varieties that come from a child? I mean, it’s practically a table topic in my house.
I've learned that mommies are all part of a sorority, and it’s a pretty awesome club. I’ve made friends with some truly amazing women, who come in to motherhood from all different ways, at all different ages. Some craft, some hike, some make their own food. Some just try to survive the day while coping with colic, or depression, or anxiety. What we all have in common though, is that love and that pure intention. That desire to do things right, as best as possible, to make the brightest future for our children.
As you think about what it means to you to be a mom, marvel at your own mother, or both, remember that intention. Let’s try to better understand where our actions come from. It’s easy to make a decision in the moment, and then doubt it. To regret an opportunity lost, or a mistake made. Women do that a lot. When I think back on this year, I want to remember the laughter, the colours, the cuddles, and that smile - the smile that tells me that I made him happy. There’s no better feeling in the whole world, and for that, I am so grateful.