As it’s getting closer to Mother’s Day I am doing a lot of thinking about motherhood. Just as with the stages of pregnancy, it changes and shifts as we move through each new stage and phase of our fetus/infant/toddler/child/tween/teenager… ah heck, baby’s life.
I have recently come across two books on UrbanBaby.com that echo my own parenting style: Rattled! by Christine Coppa and Bad Mother by Ayelet Waldman. They are both written by witty, honest women who openly share the full range of truth around their experiences of motherhood. Both women write about how utterly complex-- yet wonderful—their relationship is with identifying as a “mother.” In “true-mommy-confession” style, they write about all the nitty-gritty bits of motherhood, from the unique pleasure of watching your child take their first steps, to the frustration and self-doubt that occurs when your baby simply refuses to sleep through the night.
I no longer have a tiny baby; I have a young, school-aged son. My life is not about diapers and sleepless nights (at least not for him) or “binkies” and weaning. It is about play-dates (a word I have, until now, been successful at never uttering), learning to read and family responsibilities such as feeding the dog, folding laundry and understanding that the 20 year old cat does not actually want to be the Himalayan mountains in the Lego couch battle. It is about the much more important issues of helping develop and nurture a kind, loving and happy human being. Geez- I think I would rather be worrying about how long is “too-long” for the binkie.
I honestly don’t think we change a whole lot just because we become mothers. We may become more cautious in general and a bit more mindful of our language, but we are who we are. If we are more reserved by nature, we may take our parenting roles very seriously. If we see the world around us as infinitely amusing, we are likely going to find a wealth of humor in the little creatures. Personally, my Alexander has provided me with hilarity and fun on a level I don’t really have words for.
When we have our babies, we align with women (or men) who we see as being similar to ourselves or with whom we connect. As our babies grow, we continue to do that. I have found that since Alexander is “all-boy,” our friends (mothers, fathers and kids) are the kind of people who think it makes perfect sense for boys to hit each other’s “cup” with their lacrosse sticks “because it makes a cool sound, mom”.
Enjoy all the silly things your babies and children allow you to be a part of every day. They are the best of the best rewards of motherhood.