On this first Mother’s Day, I can’t help but reflect on this last year and the year before when I was pregnant. Because anyone who’s been pregnant knows it feels like an entire year! lol. I turned 30; I got married, had a baby and lost my darling dad.
They say when you hit your thirties you really become comfortable in your own skin. I don’t know if I believed that for a while, not even before I became pregnant. And when I had Emerson, I really felt more out of place than ever.
Perhaps it’s because my world shattered when I lost my dad. He was the one person I wanted so badly to watch me “grow up”. Perhaps it was because becoming a mom is an experience that although can be described in a thousand words, all of those words combined can’t express all the emotions you’ll inevitably feel.
You are prepared for the many nights of no sleep because every single person that has crossed your path has warned you. I know because I’m now doing the warning! You are prepared for the overwhelming amount of love that comes over you when your baby realizes that you’re the mommy. I am pretty sure E just realized a few weeks ago. No joke I think he thought that Jonathan was his mommy this whole time and I was the kooky nanny.
It’s bound to happen when you’re paired up with someone who’s an absolute natural at being a parent. That’s Jonathan, he was meant to be a daddy on this Earth. And he has mastered every aspect of becoming a new parent along with the face of sheer panic. : p
But what about all the other experiences that derive out of this one profound experience? And I say that word not to mean obviously amazing, but in its true definition, “an intense or great sense of state, quality or emotion. ” That accurately describes it, I think.
Who really tells you “ hey listen there will be times when you’re scared out of your mind”, or even infuriated from lack of sleep and an overload of emotions? Or having a baby will be the ultimate test of the glue that holds your relationship together with your partner.
That this won’t be all rainbows and clear skies. There will be many days and nights you feel completely overwhelmed. I say this not to frighten you if you’ve yet to become a mommy but to remind you on this Mother’s Day that you yourself or the moms you know didn’t just have a baby last year or the years past.
Your life changed overnight. You woke up and you were no longer able to just worry about yourself. Ever again. It’s hard to swallow I know, I remember the moment that I realized it. The baby you carried around for 10+ months that was somewhat of a ghost or illusion that you talked about with all these people finally became a reality. Because let’s face it we’ve been told we have a human growing inside of us, but we kinda don’t believe it, even after we can no longer see our toes.
And that reality shook you to the core and made you realize that you will be someone’s mom, protector, confidant, and teacher for your whole life until you rest your eyes for the final time.
I made many mistakes from the time my sweet boy was born. I thought I knew better then anyone around me even my own mother, and she is as close to perfect as I can ever dream of. I spent many nights and days feeling somewhat trapped. I felt overwhelmed beyond belief and even questioned if I was meant to do this enormous job I was so gracefully given. And I still do, and probably always will. Check back with me when Emerson is seventeen and driving!
But as my first Mother’s Day approaches, and in this moment, however temporary it may be, I know I was meant to be Emerson’s mommy. I now believe that being a good mom has very little to do with being perfect or having it together much of the time. In fact I say it’s the opposite.
Being a mom means realizing you will always have a long list of uncertainties and feel a wide range of emotions every single day. It means feeling confused as to how this happened. I know it’s not actually confusing- we all know how babies are made! But I mean that entering a state of bewilderment is an unavoidable part of this package.
It’s okay to admit this, and actually it might be a little therapeutic for you. There was no handbook, as cliché as it sounds, to tell us all the right things to think and do. Not even for our moms and mum-in-laws who are now grandmas and know better because they love your baby maybe even more than you and your honey. Haha. But it’s a beautiful thing. And we can never undermine that love.
We aren’t defined by motherhood and all the things we should have and could have done better. Nor are we defined by that long list of uncertainties. We do share this common bond though, this one certainty that we will never stop worrying, we will always be questioning our own judgment, and we will always be learning.
Because motherhood has not defined us as inferior super humans but rather as impressionable women who hopefully come to grips with one certainty. The new love we feel for our child, the extension of our heart and soul is the only feeling we can identify without a hint of uncertainty. And that’s what will keep us going, and trying to become the best version of ourselves. It’s our legacy that will live on past our time.
So with all of this being said, Happy Mother’s Day to all moms and moms-to-be, no matter the current state of your hair, or the stains on your clothes, or the mistakes you think you’ve made. You have done the best you can each day and have put your life last in many ways. Please know you are an inspiration to so many people, not because you are a mom but because you are human. And we appreciate every obstacle, mistake and lesson you’ve lived. You’re an angel we get to have here on Earth. And even when you can’t feel your wings, we can see them no matter what.
All my love,
Dedicated to our two angels, our idea of perfect, what I can only hope I become, and THE best Grandma and Lita-Carol and Caridad. ~Emerson, Jonathan and I thank you with all of our hearts.