The other day I said it out loud. Confirmation in my ear.
“I’m a Mom.”
As crazy as it sounds, I don’t feel like a mom. Or maybe it’s that I don’t feel like I expected a mommy to feel.
I asked my sweet cousin and friend the other day if she feels like a mom. She laughed the cutest laugh and said she sure does.
It gave me hope that one day I will feel the same.
Somewhere in the last five years, I have been something between a caregiver and a Mom. A big mix of both that sent my heart reeling a bit.
When life hands you surprises it takes a while for ones heart to catch up to the truth.
Since I was a little girl, I dreamed of being a Mommy someday. I wanted 12 children. Preferably boys. Now my dreams have most certainly changed over the years, but being a mommy is still burned into my core. Like a nurturing ember that refuses to extinguish.
Being a Mom took on a whole new meaning in life when my expectations of motherhood were shaken to the core by a baby who cried for hours on end, rarely smiled or cooed unless she was alone, developed infantile spasms, had cortical vision impairment, and took 2 hours to drink 4 oz of formula. It all changed when that special little Wildflower Child spent weeks in the hospital and endured medical procedures and countless sleepless nights. It wasn’t what I expected.
While it turned into beauty and grace and amazing love and connection, my heart told me I wasn’t really a mommy. Because didn’t ‘real Mommys’ talk about teething babies and blowouts and baby food? Didn’t ‘real Mommys’ go shopping for highchairs and trikes and toddler beds? Didn’t ‘real Mommys’ blow scraped knees and rescue little hands from the toilet? But’real mommy talk ‘….It was all a rather foreign language to me.
While others looked at me and wondered how I survived, I ironically looked at them and wondered if I would have what it takes to be in their shoes.
When our second child was born, 15 months after our Wildflower Child, I was totally amazed at how supremely easy he was. He drank. He ate. He slept. He was such a remarkable happy, easy baby that I still didn’t feel like a ‘real mommy’.
I laugh at myself. My firstborn blows all my theories to smithereens and I don’t feel ‘real’. My second child is so happy and jolly that I don’t feel ‘real’. So what really IS real about Mommys?
I know I’m a Mommy. I have wonderful friends who are great Mommys. They seem REAL to me. Like the genuine Mommy stuff. I still struggle to relate to some of their REAL experiences.
Now let me make it clear that they are wonderful and have been so supportive and are my heroines 🙂
But underneath it all lies the ache that I missed out on a lot of my little guys babyhood. That other wonderful people changed him and fed him and made him giggle. It wasn’t that I never saw him. It wasn’t that he didn’t like me. It was simply that my mind was so preoccupied with his older sister’s immediate needs that I couldn’t be present in his life nearly all the time. That will always hurt. But it doesn’t make me less of a Mommy.
It’s a bit scary for me to write this. I feel like I’m opening a tender spot that I would rather hide and say it doesn’t exist. But honestly, it’s been burning a hole in my mind for the last few months. At first I kept pushing it down, hoping it would just kinda tunnel into my heart and stay there. But it kept raising it’s stubborn head over and over until I decided that once again….the truth will set me free 🙂
If you are a mommy that wonders if you are legit. If you know a Mommy that is facing unusual circumstances. (Are there any TRULY usual ones?) if you are a Mommy doing your best to follow the heart of your Creator, then this is for you….
You are a Mommy born out of the heart of God.
Mommys aren’t a certain checklist of qualities and experiences.
They are real in whatever circumstance they find themself.
They love and pray and cry and laugh.
They give and give and give. Even if that giving isn’t in the way they always thought it would be.
They take breaks. And if they don’t, they should 🙂
They HAVE what it takes in their situation…..in their EXACT situation.
They are not called to be the Mommy next door or the Mommy at the park or the Mommy at the Doctors office with fifty eleven medications in tow.
They are THE MOMMY!
Because God has a special plan. A special calling and a special child for each single one of you.
So take a deep breathe.
Be the mommy God called you to be. And know that whether you have never gotten to hold your child, whether you have buried your child, whether you have one child, or whether your house seems to be overflowing with little hands and feet and hearts…
YOU ARE A MOM!
Love and hugs, my Mommy friends!
……Anita, who is a Mom!