I really am a mother. I mean, I know that when they pulled my baby out of the big gash they cut into my abdomen, I actually became a mother. But the "feeling" of being a mother is taking a while to kick in. I think this week it has finally happened.
First, I went to MOPS (Mothers Of PreSchoolers) for the first time this week. It's held at my church in the next town and there are lots of folks I know, but introducing myself to strangers as "mother of Jadyn" was really sort of bizarre. Don't get me wrong, I LOVED how folks ooohed and aaahed over her, remarking at how beautiful she is. (As if I hadn't noticed.) But relating birthing and breastfeeding stories has up until now been so very foreign to me. During the 4 1/2 years we TRIED to get pregnant, I was relegated to such conversation topics simply because almost all my friends had kids, and children were 90% of the time the subject of choice. Now I've joined the ranks, earned my childbirth and breastfeeding merit badges and been welcomed as a full participant in the club.
So my new and old friends asked about my birth experience, how breastfeeding is going, how I'm handling the transition, etc. Somewhere in the middle of it all, I began to grasp how very real this all is. I'm not just babysitting on a long-term basis. No one is coming to pick Jadyn up and thank me for watching her. This is it - I'm her Mommy!
Then today, because it was a lovely sunny day with a mild temperature, Jadyn and I went to the local park. No special reason, except for the feeling I was getting that if I sat on that couch in front of that TV one more minute I would become zombified beyond recognition. So on to the park we went. There were 2 other mommies there at the playground with their kids, so I chose a bench on the other side, parked Jadyn and just watched the kids play. It was lovely to just be in the sunshine for a while.
After some time one of the little girls (Rose, an adorable blond 2 year old who apparently never met a stranger) came up to me and showed me all the cool things she was finding on the ground. You know, the usual treasures: part of a broken pen, a leaf, a dirty string, a used pink straw, etc. Eventually her mommy came up to check out what she was doing, and we struck up a conversation. She invited me to the local MOPS group that meets in this town, which is great because 1) it meets about 10 minutes away whereas the other group is 25 minutes away, 2) it's made up of local people so I'll get to make new friends who actually live close by, and 3) it meets on opposite weeks as the other group so I'll be able to go to both.
Anyway, I met Janet and her friend Beth at the park, and there we were, the 3 of us MOMMIES, talking about our kids and the joys and trials of motherhood. Again it hit me. Oh my gosh, this is my new life! I've become one of them! And you know what? Now I am beginning to understand why most of my mommy friends never talked about much besides their kids. Who has time for anything else?
Anyway, that was my profound experience of the week.