Why Don't I Feel Like a "Mom"?
Updated: Apr 19, 2019
My baby is only a few months old, but I've been going by the name "Mom" for years.
When my husband and I brought home our beloved dogs, we quickly became "those people" with the fur babies. (And I regret nothing!) Opie and Sadie are part of our family and I have no doubt that they helped to prepare us for parenthood in many ways. Including, but not limited to, answering to the names "Mom" and "Dad."
But when I actually became "Mom" to a beautiful human baby -- the title somehow didn't feel right, and it still doesn't.
To me, "Moms" are the ones who pack lunches, who drive mini-vans, who peel oranges for snack time after soccer games. I guess I never really pictured my own Mom staying up at night breastfeeding or rocking me while I cried for no apparent reason. Of course I knew that she did those things, but couldn't process it fully until I dug into the trenches myself.
What I do feel is unconditional, overwhelming, explosive love for my child that will outlast my physical body. I feel an unmistakable responsibility to make sure her needs are met, sometimes before my own. I feel a joy like I've never known when I see her smile and crushing heartbreak when she's upset.
I feel like there's nothing I wouldn't do for her and I feel like my strength to support her -- and myself -- has been amplified several times over. I feel like being her mother is the most important job I'll ever have.
I also know that when baby girl really gets wailing, it's "Mom" and "Ma" that I hear coming out of her sweet little gummy mouth. (Seriously, is that where the word comes from? It has to be... right? How did I not know this before I had a screaming baby in my arms?)
If all that is what it means to be a "Mom," then hand me that name tag!
But, for now, I think I prefer "Mama" or "Mommy."
Mom Needs Merlot