Monday, May 11, 2009

Am I really a mother? My 1st Mother's Day

From Spring time 09
Am I really a mother?I kept asking myself that yesterday. Part of me feels like I have been a mother for ages. The ease at which I can hold an almost 12 month old while feeding him beans, checking his diaper for poop, shoveling my own food in my mouth, and flipping pages in a board book is impressive if I may say so myself. And then there are moments that I still freak out and think--am I supposed to be this worried? In my zillion (yes, that is the actual amount of time) I have been a baby sitter, teacher, nanny, etc., I rarely excessively worried. There was the time when the Hummel boy had green poop--and another when 4 year old Lizzy sliced her forehead open...or when the rabid raccoon showed up in the Wolfe's kitchen as I descended from putting the kids to bed...but I truly never understood what it meant to be concerned for another life like I do know that I am a mother.

Case in point--last night Miles started coughing at 2am. About every 3 minutes he would just cough and cough. I usually do not go into his room unless he is crying and sitting up (please took us 9 months to get him to sleep from 7:30pm-5am...our new mantra when he stirs at night is "do I dare disturb the universe?"). Well, I knew he wasn't sitting up, but this cough had me wide eyed, restless-leg syndrome-like. I finally crept into his room and watched him cough in his sleep. What is a mom supposed to do in this situation? Should I call the advice nurse? Pick him up? Nurse him? Instead of WWJD (What Would Jesus Do) I live by WWDSD (What Would Dr Sears Do?)
From Spring time 09
And that is when it hit me--sometimes, being a mom isn't about reading what you are "supposed" to do, or figuring out what the "best" thing to do is. Sometimes it is just about "being" and remembering the smiling face pictured above. I cannot really explain it in words, but I hope all of you moms understand. This all ties into the concept of being present with your children--being still. And letting worry dissipate to let room in for the love that is so vast, it sometimes hurts. I don't know how many mothers out there read this blog, but I hope some of you can relate.

I did a lot of reflecting on Mother's Day this year. Part of me just let my head spin thinking back one year when I was unknowingly 1 week away from being a mother. Another part of me tried to really unravel what it has meant to be a "mom." I have learned so much over the past year. I have learned that I am harder on myself as a mom than I thought I would be. And, sadly, that I am hard on Miles. I worry. I worry about him not hitting his milestones, and about him being temperamental, and about his being loved and cared for in the best way possible. I try to remind myself that it is my role to nurture his personality, no matter how quirky. I also am trying to remind myself to not be so hard on myself, because I think it directly translates into me being hard on Miles.

This post is not meant to be a somber reflection on Mother's Day, but more of how complex it is becoming a mom. And yet, the bottom line is that I absolutely love it--even the sleepless nights of rocking him (more so now that there are much fewer), the newness of every day, and even the cranky baby that wakes me up at 5:30am, and shows his crankster face again at 5:30pm each day.

I must give a big shout out to Miles and Eric for what ended up being a fantastic Mother's Day. I did not have a good start to the weekend. At the risk of complaining, let's just say it has been a really tough month, and until June, will be a battle to get through in one piece. Additionally, Eric has been struggling with quite the cold, and we are also getting over our first bout of pink eye. BUT, we had a glorious Sunday--we enjoyed the weather, enjoyed each other, and were even treated by another family who just had a baby (Holla CD, FD and SD!) with dinner!I received so many wonderful phone calls, cards and e-mails. Miles surprised me with a touching card and prints of some pictures of him I have wanted to get framed. Eric followed up with a surprise family membership to the local YMCA. I was absolutely thrilled.

And now--the festivities continue as we gear up for SOMEONE'S 1st birthday on Saturday.

Enjoy some pictures of our little man. You'll notice him cork painting a pot for me at school for Mother's Day. (Doesn't he look like such a tortured artist?)
From Spring time 09


  1. Boy, I remember those nights agonizing over an ailing child (it's always night or even better - a weekend night) wishing there was a convenient button on their tummies that would light up when it was imperative to call the doctor. I also remember Nicholas chock full of cough medicine sleeping peacefully through his wracking cough while the rest of us were up and weary with the sounds.
    It is an awesome experience that never ends.
    Try not to be so hard on yourself and Miles... Think of my inexperienced mother spanking me for unrolling the toilet paper when she was toilet training me at 9 months!!!!! It is NOT the same when it's your own child for whom you are caring, and no one can be adequately prepared, but as your are figuring out, acceptance is key. You are who you are doing your best, and Miles is who he is - unique and wonderful. You are all on a life long learning adventure!
    Happy Mother's Day again.

  2. You faced a rabid raccoon whilst babysitting? How did it end??

    I hope your month is on the up now that you've had a lovely Sunday!
    Thinking of you!

  3. Alison
    I am sitting here reading your blog, teary eyed. I know, something about mother's day strikes you differently when you become a mom yourself, right? I mean, we've celebrated Mother's Day (for me) 30 years, and never has it meant more than it does now. **I find that I appreciate my own mom more now that I am a mom myelf**. Being a mom is a gift like no other....Truly amazing day in and day out-

    I loved your blog and I enjoy reading them all. You are so good about keeping up with them. I've only met Miles once and I feel so connected to him thanks to your great work!!!


  4. Oh my... I wasn't prepared for the tear jerker this morning. What a lovely letter. And what a year!