"I have wished for you so long..."
Somewhere inside of me, I have always longed to be a mom.
As a kid, I bossed my brothers around getting them to do what I wanted. We played "house" and dress-up. I "cooked" and took care of the "baby". I had great positive mom role models all around me, so I modeled what they did in my childhood play.
My brothers and I grew up. In high school and college, my brothers would come to me with their problems--some serious, some not so much. Either way, I mothered them. I made sure they had gifts for our parents for all major holidays. I made sure they met deadlines. I listened to their broken hearts and their fears. I doled out advice. But most of all, I assured them that everything would be Ok. That I would stay by their sides.
Then I became a high school teacher. Suddenly I wasn't just offering reading and writing assignments to students or teaching them the difference between "their", "there", and "they're", I was listening to them after school. I was hearing heartbreak and poverty issues. I was helping students figure out how to get to school each day. I was mentoring seniors to graduation and checking their homework and making sure they were meeting deadlines. And apparently, according to some, I was giving the "mom look" when I was disappointed or when I disapproved.
All signs pointed to me someday being a successful mom.
"Will I walk the long road?"
Getting pregnant--or I should say staying pregnant--was not easy for me. We suffered two devastating miscarriages. Even though my heart and mind thought I should be a mom, my body was not cooperating.
And then came Eddie. My sweet Eddie Bear.
"All the precious moments..."
I totally thought giving birth would instantly make me a mommy. How wrong I was. And taken by surprise. Wasn't I totally cut out for this?
I was NOT an instant mom. Not by a long run. My independent self was just not ready to give up itself. PPD settled in hardcore and I became someone else. I went to a very dark place during the time I thought would be the happiest, most joyful part of my life.
But there were moments.
Rocking a tiny baby in the wee hours of the morning.
Sleeping on the couch with my bundle so he would feel safe, and not lonely in a big empty crib.
Watching him belly laugh for the first time.
Seeing him learn to "interact" with the squid that hung down from his play mat.
Listening to him coo to the elephant on the wall by his changing table.
"All the memories going round, round, round, round..."
Looking back over this year of being a Momma, I have learned this about myself:
"Mothering" and being "A Mother" are two very different things. You can mother someone and then leave the situation. When you are A Mother, you are it. period.
I can do things I didn't think I could.
I am not "just" Eddie's Mom, but that is a new, important PART of who I am.
I really can survive on less than eight hours of sleep. Regularly.
My mom was right, I don't sleep past 9:00 am anymore (although she figured this would end when I got my first "real" job. Yeah, right.)
I am not the most important person in my life anymore...
...BUT my health is very important to those who ARE most important in my life now.
I thought I was funny. I was wrong. Eddie is funny. Hilarious even. I do not compare.
Speaking of comparing? I can't. I can't compare myself or Eddie too closely with other mommas.
I can't do it on my own. Cortney has been a VITAL part in any of this momma business being successful. He makes me a better mom by being a great husband and dad-do.
I am NOT alone. I have friends, family, bloggy friends, twitter friends, and other Theta Moms who are helping me figure all this out and are celebrating my victories with me.
I am not perfect. And that is Ok. Eddie (and Cort) will love me anyway. And I will become better and stronger because of my imperfections. And maybe these imperfections and what I learn will help others.
"I have wished for you so long...
how I wish for you today
Will I walk the long road?
We all walk the long road."
*lyrics from Long Road by Pearl Jam
This post was written in response to the blog celebration Theta Mom is having this week where she asks her readers to share why they are theta moms.
Head over and read other testimonials about being a Theta Mom!