Sunday, May 10, 2009

A Three Mimosa Mother's Day

My first Mother's Day on the Mother-end is winding down. We joined my family for a nice brunch and then spent the early afternoon playing on Jack and Charlie's new swingset at my brother and sister-in-law's house. Then we came home and I got a nap--what luxury--and needed after my 3 mimosas!

I can't believe last Mother's Day I hadn't even met Violet yet--she was still churning around in my belly waiting to be c-sectioned out of there. We didn't even know what her name was going to be and now I must say that name out loud 25 times a day! Violet!

Until this year, Mother's Day had always been only about honoring my Mom. Now, Violet has given me a new holiday. I had a gift to open--a pretty nightie--and lots of cards, too. It is appropriate that my new identity gets a holiday, and fitting, I think that Mother's Day will always fall during the week we celebrate Violet's birth. Violet was born on May 12, 2008, and so was her Mommy.

I don't think there is anyway to really be prepared for how motherhood will change your life and I realize that I am only beginning to see those changes. I had so many notions about what being the mother of a baby would look like, of who I would be when I became Jill the Mommy. Some of these have stuck, but a lot of them haven't. And a lot more quirks that I never expected have become part of my Mommyhood. Like, I am way more laid back than I thought I'd be with Violet eating. I thought I'd be a worried mess about her choking, but I have learned to trust her gag reflex and my own response time and now I feel pretty confident that she can handle most table foods. Just writing this probably guarantees I'll be explaining myself to an EMT in the near future after he wrestles a raisin from her windpipe. Just kidding, I haven't given her raisins. I bet Grammy has, though!

One thing I am getting more uptight about, on the flipside, is her daily bath. We were on the every-other-day bath cycle for a good portion of her infancy, now I am pretty grossed out if her wee bod doesn't get a daily scrub. She is so dirty when she eats that alone qualifies her for some tub time. Unfortunately for Violet, she also inherited Shawn's bizarre sleep sweats, so she wakes up from a lot of naps with her head soaked. And, must I mention the pants-pooping? I know all babies do it, but, if I pooped my pants, I'd like a bath within 24 hours.

I think what keeps surprising me is that I am more relaxed about the things that I thought would concern me--napping, schedules, and well-rounded meals--and way more concerned about things that I never gave much thought to before Violet, like chemicals, shots, and parent-child attachment. I empathize like I never did before I was a Mom. News stories, like the babies in China who were killed by tainted formula, and personal stories, like the one being lived by Maddie Spohr's mom, wrench a part of my heart I'd never even considered before. There is this underlying connectivity that knits us together that wasn't palpable before I was Violet's mom.

Things I thought would be easy, like leaving our baby with a sitter for a night out, are much more difficult than I expected. Things that I thought would be hard, like giving up the freedom of coming and going at a moments notice, have actually been easier than I'd imagined. And all this is just stuff I've learned in the first 363 days. I wonder what the next year and the ones after that will hold? I'm afraid I'm going to find out all too soon, if they all flip by as quickly as this one.

1 comment:

Babs said...

You've had an "Aha!" moment or two, huh? I kind of chuckled at your comment about becoming more laid back than you thought you'd be...especially since I specifically remember a conversation with you not long before you became a mommy when you told me you didn't see yourself ever being "as laid back as you were" (meaning me!) Interesting how different it is envisioning being a mommy and actually becoming one, isn't it?
Life is such an awesome teacher.