I guess you could say my first mother’s day as a mother was last year, when Owen was tucked safely inside my stretched, burgeoning belly, throwing off my balance as he, basketball-like as he was, jutted out in front of my small frame.
I looked like this.
But now that he’s out of that safe little bubble I can tell you: I may have been a mother then, but I didn’t really know what it meant to be a mother until now. It’s not a lesson I learned in a flash, as soon as Owen wriggled out of my body and into the world. It has been a slow, gradual, almost unnoticeable process that has filled up and filled in places within me that I didn’t even know were empty throughout the last 9 months.
I am a different person than I was before Owen was born. A better person. A more understanding and more thoughtful person. A simpler person who stops working so hard to check things off my to do list and instead stops to enjoy and savor every little teeny tiny moment with my ever-changing baby. A gentler person who can cuddle and rock and pat and hold long after my arms are tired or my legs want to collapse. A more patient person. A more present person, adept at focusing 100% on what I’m doing at a given moment, whether it’s work or playing or blogging or cooking, and not thinking about what I’m going to do next. A more organized person, though I didn’t think that was possible (oh she of the bulleted to do lists and pre-packed lunches), who can now organize an entire family without even thinking.
As a mother, I have become more than I ever thought I could be.
When I say I am a mother, especially a work-outside-the-home mother, people sometimes say things like, “The hardest job you’ll ever do!” or “That must be tough”. I guess it is, sometimes. But honestly? Most of the time? Most of the time it feels like the most amazing privilege I’ve ever been given. And while it’s not always perfect, and not always fun, I can’t help but think that there’s no other place I’d rather be.
It feels like I have finally come into the person I always wanted to be. As Owen’s Mom, I am more me than I have ever been before.
Happy Mother’s Day… to me.