Last year, on Mother’s Day, I was about 72 weeks pregnant. That’s what it felt like, anyway. This year, my son is just a few weeks shy of celebrating his first birthday. It’s so cliched, but yes, time really does fly. I am trying so hard to soak it all up and remember it all. It’s like all of a sudden, I have this little boy in front of me, not a baby anymore. He finally (finally!!!!!!) got his first teeth. He’s started taking some steps. He finally (finally!!!!!!) says “Mama.” So I’ve been extremely emotional lately.
I’ve also gone through a lot of changes. A few months ago, I quit my job teaching to write full time and stay home with #BabyGoodwin. I’ve got my hands full juggling bottles and nap times and book promotion and articles. And, I’ve become a fierce mom. A tiger mom? I don’t know what you’d call it.
I was talking with my sister in law (mom of a four month old!) a few weeks ago, and she asked me something like if I felt like I’d become bitchier since I’ve become a mom. The answer was a quick and resounding yes. Nobody messes with my kid, his schedule, his routines, etc. I went from being extremely laid-back and easygoing to “This is how it’s going to be.” And people don’t like that. My own mom being one of them. So we’re not speaking at the moment. I hope that changes.
It’s been a rough few months, trying to cope with #BabyGoodwin growing by leaps and bounds almost daily, dealing with parenthood’s weird set of challenges, (Is this teething? Does his mouth hurt? Is this a growth spurt? Is this a wonder week? Is he getting enough solid food? Is he getting enough formula? How do I switch from formula to milk when the time comes? Is he getting enough sleep? How do I know when he’s ready to move to one nap? You know what I mean.) and planning his birthday party which is so exciting and so bittersweet – how has A YEAR gone by already?
All I know is that, of all the things that I am – mom, wife, daughter, sister, friend… Former teacher, writer, blogger… I have one job that is more important than all the rest. That’s being a mom. I know I’m not a perfect mom, and I’m far from being a great mom, but I’m trying like hell to be the best mom I can be. And if that ruffles feathers or makes waves, then so be it. I’m trying to figure this whole mom thing out and I think I’m doing okay.
When I think about this Mother’s Day, and everything that’s happened in this past year, my head spins. I gave birth. I went from being a completely clueless new parent to a semi-clueless parent of a smart, silly, smiley little boy. I must ask myself a hundred questions every day about whether or not I’m doing things right, but in the end, I know that my kid is happy and healthy, and that’s the goal! So I must be doing okay.
While trying to figure out what to write about for this post, and starting and stopping and rewriting it a bunch of times, it finally dawned on me that the best gift I’ve received for Mother’s Day is coming to the realization that I’m a mom first, before anything else. My kid is awesome and I love him fiercely. He is the best part of every day. I have a husband who supports me and stands by me. I have a job (jobs) that I love. And I’m a mom. What a wonderful gift THAT is, to be a mom. Even when the days are long and rough, I am so grateful that I’ve gotten to experience being a mom. And I’m making sure to give my all as a mom, every single day. So I am doing way better than okay.