Friday, June 13, 2014

On Being a Mom

I had a lot of ideals about becoming a Mother. Having been around children, working with them for well over ten years, you start to gather bits and pieces of information. In other words, you look at every single parent and child and immediately decide that you will or won’t be like that.
It’s a split second judgment. You almost don’t even realize you’re doing it. You see a child in a store, screaming and crying, throwing the ultimate of tantrums, and a poor distraught Mother just trying to calm her child while everyone is staring. You see her cart filled to the top with groceries, she’s obviously been there for a while and by the amount of food she has in her cart, you know she just can’t head home and do this another day. You watch her beg and plead with her child to behave, and finally she relents. She picks up the toy her child is screaming about and hands it to her. Immediately the crocodile tears stop and all is right in the world.
Then you think to yourself, “I’m never going to be like that when I’m a Mother”.
I would like to think that I kept my options open when it came to Motherhood. I tried not to come up with too many “do’s”or “don’ts”. I tried not to judge others. My main thing was that I didn’t want to lose myself. Everything else was up in the air, but I refused to become one of those Mothers who spends 99% of their free time with their kid and never sees or talks to their friends.
During the first few weeks it was hard NOT to be that Mom. I didn’t really have a choice though. He was so little and it was so cold out, that bringing him out anywhere was a hassle. We did small trips to Target here and there, but other than that we were home bound. The house was a disaster and I very rarely changed out of my PJs, which were usually covered in spit up, so having people over was a hassle too. So, I didn’t. I told myself that when I could, I would.
Except, something changed. Around 8 weeks, the clouds seemed to clear a little bit. We were finally getting a routine down. I was beginning to understand him a bit more, so the crying fits were a bit less. Of course, I went back to work around that time so everything was thrown back up in the air, but I had no choice but to have my shit together, so I did.
Alex and I had been out maybe twice. Just to dinner, not gone more than two hours. Everyone survived. Things were getting easier. I could go out. I could be free.
But, I didn’t want to. I just wanted to be with my baby. I’m home four days a week, which is wonderful. Mondays & Friday, I work from home. It’s tough, but I love being able to spend the entire day with him AND still make a full 40 hours. Saturdays and Sundays are crazy, but I love them too. Although, I have to share him more with Alex and our families, which is a downfall. Tuesday through Thursday I’m at work all day. By the time I get home, I’m exhausted and I just want to spend as much time with him as I can. After he goes to sleep, that’s the time I have to do all of the things I need to do. Wash the bottles, clean up the kitchen, fold the laundry, and spend about 3 seconds with Alex before it’s time to go to sleep.
I don’t want to do anything else. And I’m OK with that.
I’ve seen friends a few times, but Baby J is always with me. I’ve been out for a drink with a friend once. I was right down the street from my house and was gone for no more than two hours. Baby J was sleeping the entire time. I found out when I got home that he had woken up twice (which he never, ever does once he is down for the night…but he apparently has done it every time my parents babysit and now when Alex was home alone) and I felt guilty. I felt like he was looking for me and I wasn’t there. I know he was with his father, and Alex handled it just fine, but I can’t shake the feeling that he needed me and I wasn’t there.
I want to be there. Every time.
Something changes when you become a Mom. At least it did for me. Literally, NOTHING else in the entire world, matters compared to Baby J. All the meaningless bullshit. The drama. Means nothing compared to the smile on that little boy’s face. When he looks up at me with those big big eyes, I’m a gonner. No matter how upset I am, the second he grins that big gummy grin, *POOF!* gone.
It was amazing how quickly my life had changed. The amount of pride I took from someone stating,  "wow he's a good baby huh?" Or the amount of pleasure I took watching him focus and grasp onto an object like he just figured out the solution to world peace.  Someone asks how he is and I immediately rattle off every accomplishment he’s done that day (sticking your tongue out is an accomplishment, right?) and tell them way more than I’m sure they wanted to know.
This is my life now. He’s my life now. I know that eventually I’m going to have to let go a bit more, and no longer be the artist formerly known as Kayleigh, but for now, this is where I want to be. I don’t want to give up one single second for anything. I don’t want to miss one bath time. One bed time. I don’t want to miss a single second more than I have to. And that’s OK with me. He won’t need me forever. Babies don’t keep you know. At the rate he’s going, he’s probably going to walking and looking for his own apartment next month.
It all goes too fast.
So when he’s older and too cool for his mom. Wanting to spend all of his free time fixing things with his daddy. Or running around with his friends. Or quietly brooding in his room thinking about how unfair life is and how he’s going to move to the farthest point in the world away from me because I wouldn’t let him do something. I’m going to remember all of these moments. These sweet, sweet moments. The rest of the world will be there tomorrow. But babies don’t keep.

4 comments:

  1. You got me all chocked up now after reading that last paragraph! Babies certainly don't keep! I never thought I'd be the kind of mom that would be super attached. I thought I would have no problem getting away! Tonight is my first night away and i am SO nervous about it!

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  2. Such a sweet post. Savor each and every moment!

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  3. :) I can't wait for this life change! Not that I hate my life as it is now, but being a mom has been something I have thought about and wished for SO long.
    That's so sweet that he knows when his momma isn't around. Momma's boy!!

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  4. I love this post! You are a great Mom to that adorable little man! And I say do whatever makes you happy!

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