This post was inspired by an event at 1:34 AM. Today I was promoted to “sophomom,” a word I made up. The definition: I’m no longer the only first-time mom among my friends. Today, I passed down the torch to another friend as she journeys into the brainfog of motherhood.
It wasn’t hard enough being a woman and having insecurities about her looks, job, relationships, etc. It’s like entering a new round of junior high, when a new branch of anxieties and a million new set of eyes cast judgment (real or imagined) upon you. In a quest to be perfect, you are your most imperfect self thus far.
My freshmom (yes, another made-up term) year was a mix of heaven and hell. It still is. There have been so many times where I’ve become a parent of myself, admonishing myself for things I’ve said or done to the baby. Despite feeling I’ve lost myself, I see the worst of my old self sometimes. I’ve never felt so unforgiving of myself.
As someone who likes to be prepared for the unexpected, motherhood came with no manual — despite having read “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” and taking numerous classes. Motherhood is truly experiencing life — learning every day, succeeding and failing, laughing and crying. No two babies are alike. No two moms are alike. And so, I march to the beat of my own drum, and sometimes I feel like beating my own head with the drumstick.
Sometimes I find myself wondering “What if we hadn’t moved?” Would I have been better off (financially, anyway)? And while my inner cheer squad votes a resounding “Yes,” the deepest part of my heart asks, “Would you really trade for that life when your life is so rich now?”
I take one look at my son — my baba — and the answer is “No,” of course. He should be my constant reminder of why I need to try and try harder, not give up, and above all, be happy. He is the greatest gift I’ve ever received. Every year, on April 14, I will remember that. He has been the best “boss” ever because he challenges me, makes me want to be a better person. It’s going to be a long road, though.
Being a mom has taught me a LOT. I expected a lot from my mom, and always felt she fell short. But, damn, though it’s hard to admit, I get it now.
The bar is set so high, but the bar infinitely goes on. You’ve got to be in a million different places and do a million things while still trying to survive to the end of the day. Nobody gets that other than other moms.
I think I’m exhausted now. God, this is just the beginning. Hopefully like my embattled nipples, I too will toughen up to prepare for what’s to come.