Crazy Little Thing Called "Mom" journey. My baby turned five today.
Chief Mom Officer (or on days when the night before has been a particular horror show, it's pronounced "Ocifer," in exhaustion) is an interesting job because it forces everything else into the "back seat." For right this moment, all those "things" are tied up, gagged and quiet. Why? Because 20 years from now, no one is going to care about that hot email I needed to send several hours ago, the person awaiting my input. No one will even remember, especially me. It's how you make people feel that will last. Admittedly, I have the occasional East Coast cold shoulder. I've warmed some (just like the planet) from living in California.
While riding on Mother's Day this past weekend, my friend told me she was uncertain whether she wanted to become a Mom because she didn't know who or what she'd get. Like any good horseback ride, the destination is the journey--with motherhood, with life. The big stuff is made up of the small stuff. Children are who and what you expect them to be. You won't get a brat unless you create the emotional construct for one. Don't underestimate there are layers to the onion however. Do factor in Rolling Stones wisdom: you can't always get what you want, you get what you need. Children teach you the worst and best of yourself. It's humbling. And horrifying. And frustrating. Occasionally a pleasant surprise depending on your personality and whatnot.
I deem this new year Mom 5.0 because every year is different. A child's expectations are always changing and the most amazing part is watching it all unfold. Parents are the silent (or not) spectator on their child's experiences, especially the first 3 years which get fuzzy with age. What I know from so many amazing moms around me is motherhood is nourishing, but in a weird give and take way. The first two years are a lot of "take." Whoever you were or whatever you used to like to do, you can pretty much forget about. Being a Mom is one of the hardest morally appropriate jobs out there (I add the caveat for those who work in jails, organized or disorganized crime, some sectors of espionage, perhaps, terrorism and...oh hey why not throw it onto the list: politics). But the rewards are infinite and can be felt all at once in the devotion of a snuggle or the random declarations of love I hope all moms reading get to experience every once in a while.
Like this? Say so and share it. Or, if you're in Beta (pregnant) heading for Motherhood 1.0, I wrote this earlier this year for Offbeat Families (on getting ready to have your baby). Adopt the same philosophy for parenting to how you think about having a baby: childbirth will be what you expect- so make your wish list, the answers might be "yes!" Welcome the freight train. Let Mother Nature take her course.