Last year on Mother’s Day, I reflected on my hard work as “Mommy” , and how this gift/ challenge has changed me and taken over my being – body, mind, and spirit. I’ve added a few to the list this year, and must say that my “body, mind, and spirit” are not quite as rough around the edges this year as the kids have gotten older and I have gotten saner. What I know for sure…The “signs” that you are a mother change as your children grow, but the hard work and rewards of motherhood never end. The list is “head-lined” today on Mamapedia as “Me as Mommy”…please pass it on! read the post on mamapedia and post to Facebook
Physical signs that I’m a mother…
- Lower back pain from lifting my kids, sometimes simultaneously, sometimes kicking and screaming simultaneously, once kicking and screaming simultaneously with a trike in each hand (unwillingly leaving a school trike-a-thon after sneaking a second cookie).
- Saggy, deflated breasts and overstretched nipples (especially the left one which was always a favorite, I guess because it produced chocolate milk.) But, believe me, they looked AMAZING at the time! Alas, those days of extra calorie-burning are gone, though it is hard to shake the constant urge to snack that came with breast-feeding, and so I have a new little tummy to go along with this new era of motherhood.
- After I pee, I usually have to pee.
- When I hear your baby crying, I find myself bouncing up and down, as if to hold and soothe her. (This motion has become automatic in my body after enduring hours of colicky newborns.)
- Tired eyes and worry lines on my forehead just go without saying.
- When I empty the pockets of my jeans (after wearing them three days in a row), I find the remnants of my recent “Mommy Moments”, little treasures and memories now headed to the trash can: the cherry chap-stick that my children have licked and smeared all over their faces; the mini-plastic airplane that was causing a battle between them; the dinosaur fossils (rocks) found on a walk; the flower (dandelion weed) given to me at a picnic, MJ’s “ABC” gum wrapped up in an old post-it note reminding me to deliver snacks to E’s class to make long-overdue dentist appointments for the kids, and to breathe deeply; a broken crayon and pipe cleaner (recent emergency restaurant entertainment), and a quarter – lucky me!
- Have you seen me lately? Obviously, beauty and style – not my first priority. (Though I often brush my teeth.)
Mental Signs that I am a mother:
- I find myself singing “Here We Go, My Little One” in the car, and then realize that the car seats are empty, the children at school.
- I pour orange juice in my breakfast cereal.
- Perusing my bedside table for night-time reading, I opt for Sandra Boynton’s “Snuggle Puppy of Mine” instead of the intellectual and more “developmentally appropriate” New Yorker Magazine. (But I still fall asleep before finishing it.)
- I dream about potty-training and pacifiers (my sub-conscious trying to sort through the problems in my “Mommy” universe.)
- When someone asks me what my daughter’s name is, it takes me a full 10 seconds to come up with it….yet the words and inspiration for my latest creative endeavors, two “Mommy” country songs come pouring out: “My New Dream Vacation is an Hour at Starbucks Alone with My Latte and O Magazine.” and “Got a Paci in my Pocket, on my Way to See the Shrink.”
- My brain is too tired to think of anymore, much less complete a ….
Emotional signs that I am a mother…
- Nothing makes me happier or more miserable than being with my children. They test the extremes of my emotional reserve.
- Sometimes when I am away from them, I long for them and think of them fondly. Sometimes when I am with them, I long for time away from them and think fondly of other peoples’ children (and my life “B.C.”, “before children”.)
- Other things that used to matter just don’t anymore. (little dramas at work or with friends, choosing the right towels to match the new shower curtain, hitting a sale at Kohl’s to add to my own wardrobe.)
- I think my children are most beautiful when they are sleeping peacefully at the end of the day, and my heart is full of love for them (and my home full of PEACE) in these moments.
- I experience moments of such tenderness, unconditional love, and acceptance from my children that it makes me a better person.
- I can simultaneously be aware that my time as the center of their universe is fleeting, and feel such a pang of sadness at this knowledge, while also daydreaming about the day when they are out of the house, and I can do whatever I want to do!
Spiritual Signs that I am a mother:
- I feel a true connection to all of you, and all the hard-working, loving moms in the world. I strive not to judge any of you, but to help you when you are overwhelmed: to open a door for you when you have your hands full of children and stuff leaving pre-school; to get you extra napkins and drink refills at a restaurant when you are dining with kids and I am dining solo; to give you a knowing smile and a hand when your children are throwing tantrums at the store (and mine are home with Daddy); to encourage you to give yourself a break as a mom when life is hard; to give you a hug and kind word when you need some extra encouragement; to donate money and supplies to help you feed your children, clothe your children, and keep them healthy; to share snacks, band-aids, and baby wipes at the park when you are low (Who am I kidding? I am never the mom who comes prepared, but the one who needs YOUR help).
- Heck, I feel connected to Mommy ducks I see at the park, leading their little ones around. When her flock of ducklings got stuck down in the gutter and she was desperately quacking nearby, my heart was aching until a neighbor crawled down in a manhole to free them. When your child is sick or in trouble, I am hurting with you.
- I am aware that if we all opened ourselves to the nurturing, Mother Spirit around us and within us, the world would be kinder and more loving. We would recognize the world’s children as our own, and decide to care for them. We would recognize the plight of mothers around the world as our own, and decide to fight for them and stand with them. We would know that we are all one family.
Wishing you and all Mommies health, love, and peace for your families,