what being a mom means: the first year.

Mother’s Day.

I feel like every post should start with the words “so many feelings.” Two years ago Mother’s Day was sad. Very sad. Our first IVF attempt failed and two days later I’m bombarded with half of my Facebook friends posting pictures of their chunky thighed babies celebrating a day I longed for. I wondered if I’d ever be a mom. The doubt. The worry. I remember feeling sorry for myself. And that’s an ugly feeling to have.

On Mother’s Day last year I was 34 weeks pregnant. It was confusing because does this count? Am I a mom? No? I remember feeling like, if this doesn’t count then what the hell am I avoiding cold cuts and alcohol for? Pretty sure it’s a sacrifice only a MOM would make.

Now. Here we are. With a… OMG… ONE YEAR OLD (post coming next week). Little did I know a few days after Mother’s Day last year Mr. Kent was going to surprise us as a bony thighed baby. Hell to the yah. I am so excited for brunch filled with mimosas and a crying happy baby next to me. Seriously, I am.

 

This year, as a new mom, I have compiled a list of what being a mom means to me. So far… at least in my first year. 14633669_1325566110787036_7643200078497727119_o_2

What Being a Mom Means

  1. Faking it. First and foremost. Especially at first. I’m not talking about posting onFacebook that your baby is such a happy baby, when in fact you spent the last 2 hours trying to figure out what he was crying about. It’s not cool to be fake. It’s cool to try to push yourself out of your comfort zone. For example, the first time you wear your baby you’re going to feel extremely self conscious – questioning if you did it right, if he will fall out, if he’s happy, mad, too hot or even worse (and my biggest fear) is if he will have a melt down for no apparent reason so you have to take the entire thing off and carry him AND the stupid carrier suitcase around with you wherever you are. But, usually that doesn’t happen. So fake it. Don’t imagine the worst. Walk with grace confidence. Fake confidence, obviously, because you’re new at this but with every step you’ll learn that you’re actually doing it. You’re wearing your baby at the farmers market like all the veteran mom’s. You know, like the one’s that have one kid on her back and the other in the front and another one on a leash. Veterans. And now YOU got it down. The strut! Work it girl!
  2. Never sleeping in. It doesn’t take long to figure this one out. I remember in those early months when Kent slept like total shit… I was up 12+ times throughout the night and I remember wishing it was morning so that way it would be closer to the next night where he would be one day older and one day closer to sleeping better. Now that he’s a champion sleeper (KNOCK ON ALL THE WOOD) he’s still an early bird. And it really doesn’t matter how many cocktails you enjoyed the night before. I’m slowly picking up on that.
  3. Smiling so much you begin to worry about smile lines on your face.
  4. Staring. This sounds strange, I know. But I think I’ve spent 50% of my awake hours in the past year either staring at Kent or staring at pictures of him. I could look at him all day. I watch him with amazement as he learns new things and takes in the world around him. Meanwhile, I’m doing the opposite of that and simply, staring at his round little head. I wonder if this will go away when he gets older #CreepMom
  5. Arguments with your spouse. It’s true. Particularly in those early months. The latter months of this first year have been more eye rolls. Like, can someone explain to me why it’s impossible for my husband to dress my handsome child in clothes that are adorable? How is it possible that he is able to dress Kent in the ugliest, unmatched outfits every.single.time? #CueTheEyeRoll
  6. There’s a mom’s club. At least that’s how it feels. Anyone that has kids seems to have an unspoken little connection. Not sure anyone else would call it a club. There’s no invites or organized parties. Even the veteran mom’s take part to welcome the newbies. Like “I’ve been there” kind of smile when I’m sweating in the parking lot loading my groceries into my car while my baby is literally reaching his hands out to me screaming from the cart.
  7. Change is constant. He takes horrible naps. Now he’s a great napper. He has a strict bedtime. Except lately. He goes down easy. But the last 5 nights he’s screamed bloody murder at night. Then he’s sick. Then he’s smiling for 3 days straight. Now he’s been fussy for 2 weeks. Then he’s teething. Teething again. More teething. Then he wakes up at night. I thought we were over this? Then he sleeps through the night. Then he likes peas. Now he hates them. He has a calm temperament. Now he has the temperament of a dragon. He loves to clap his hands. Now he’s magically forgotten how to do it. He has a nap time. Kind of. Within a 2 hour span. And he naps for about an hour. Or three. Sometimes. It depends. #ALWAYSCHANGING #NOTHINGLASTSFOREVER
  8. You become a worrier. At least this first year. If he’s fussy for 5 minutes I begin the list of worry. Is he teething? Does he have an ear infection? Has there been enough wet diapers today? Is he hungry? Is it a growth spurt? Did he poop yet? Was it big enough? Maybe he’s allergic to dairy. Is he gassy? Is he tired? Does he need another nap? But that would screw up bedtime. Is his diaper too tight? Is he sick of me staring at him? Does he want his paci? Does his stomach hurt? Does he need fresh air? Is he bored? Did he get hurt? …. forever and ever.
  9. Being a mom is f*cking hard… and f*cking awesome. Oh, you knew that already? I feel like I’m still finding yesterdays to-do list. Like, my brain hurts. But I’m happy. And proud. It’s confusing.
  10. Priorities change. I mean, duh. But fo’ real. You care less what you look like and more how your kid looks in that bow tie (no? just me?) Those 6 pack abs you planned on working your ass off to get the second you popped that baby out? You don’t give AF. You can’t find a sitter for New Years Eve? You don’t even care because you have to wake up early anyway. Life has changed.
  11. You’ll never be more thankful for YOUR mom. I’ve talked about my mom beforebut I don’t know if I’ve really bragged enough about her. She makes hard things look easy. She is helpful and thoughtful and good with boundaries. She makes heartfelt meals to cheer us up. She listens to me complain on the phone. She gives me advice when I need it. She dresses my child to the nines. And she practically did CIO out for me when Kent was 5.5 months. She literally drove 5 hours to Illinois to sleep in the nursery with my baby so I could turn my monitor off and finally get a full nights rest. I will always remember how selfless that was. Because NOBODY and I mean NOBODY wants to do that. The kid was waking up nearly every hour at hat point. My mom has been a solid shoulder to lean on when things are hard. And she inspires me to be better. Never, ever have I appreciated her more.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mom’s waiting to become mom’s, dog mom’s, human mom’s, senior mom’s, new mom’s, veteran mom’s, mom’s of multiples and soon to be mom’s. You’re my hero(s).

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