Ladies of the Round Table

May 18, 2008

The Ah-Ha Moment

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jen @ 11:23 am

You know what I mean…that moment when everything clicks and you just get it. “Ah-Ha,” you think to yourself, “now I know what they were talking about!”

I had mine the other day; the moment when this whole motherhood thing began to make sense. Right outside of that store with the big red bull’s eye, I finally got it! I finally got it!

~~

You see my transition into motherhood was somewhat ‘bumpier’ than I would care to admit. Or, perhaps it just seemed like that to me since I am the ultimate perfectionist. In any case, I found motherhood to be harder, scarier, and more exhausting that I had anticipated. Now don’t get me wrong; I loved our son the moment I laid eyes upon him! I guess that even though I *knew* things were going to take some adjustment, I just *figured* we’d be the exception…not the rule. No, no, definitely not the rule.

Yeah, ha, welcome to reality Jen…

Yes, in reality I was struggling to become the mother that I had assumed I would always be: the calm, cool, completely in control woman who effortlessly raised her children, maintained an enviable relationship with her husband, kept an immaculate home (thank goodness for cleaning ladies…), worked full-time and blogged about everything on a regular basis. Looking back, I’m not exactly certain how I devised this self-portrait of motherhood; watching too many sitcoms I suppose. Therefore, when the snot-covered, greasy-haired, absent-minded, patience-challenged mom emerged, I was horrified!

Oh my, was I scared! This wonderful, beautiful, smart little man did not deserve such a mother! He deserved a mom who felt no need to check out in front of the TV. He deserved a mom who kept him engaged and interested. He deserved a super-mom, not me! Needless to say, this awful realization did nothing to strengthen my crumbling psyche. I bet I spent a good six weeks mentally berating myself for my shortcomings. I was seriously ticked at myself for not being better at this!

That was, until that day outside of the bull’s eye store. I don’t know what happened. It was a rainy, incredibly windy day and we had ventured out only because we needed some necessity. I lifted my son out of his car seat, balancing my heavily laden diaper bag on the other shoulder, slammed the car door shut and hit the button on my automatic umbrella, all the while cursing the terrible weather. But he just laughed! He giggled and giggled all the way in to the store. With the wind whipping through our hair and stray rain drops splashing against our faces, I realized that this was the first time my son had experienced walking under an umbrella and he thought it was cool!

And something clicked for me. It just clicked. The sleepless nights. The puke-stained laundry. The bottles. The diapers. Everything. It all finally made sense. I was never going to be perfect, but it really didn’t matter…my son was happy. My son loved me. And most importantly, my son was thriving. We were doing pretty damn good as a family, and it was high time I acknowledged it!

Since that day, I’ve enjoyed a certain sense of calm. I look forward to the nighttime awakenings and the struggles at nap time. The toys strewn about the house don’t really bother me and lunchtime messes are becoming fun! I guess I’m finally getting the hang of this Mommy Gig, and I love it. I might even be up for doing it again… someone just might need to remind me that I wrote this post when that time finally comes!

by Jen
author of My (not so) Mindful Musings
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8 Comments »

  1. I LOVE IT!!!!
    I think so often we set up for ourselves what is “important” in mommyhood, and it is so awesome when we can realize/remember what really is important.

    Comment by Jena — May 18, 2008 @ 12:38 pm | Reply

  2. It is so great when you finally stop focusing on what you aren’t doing or what you should be doing and only focus on what you ARE doing right then. The thing about these babies is, everything is exciting and fun for them, if we just let it be. But instead of us just realizing that, we think that we need to constantly be sitting with them and sorting shapes or reading every book to them. While those things are important, they are not the only things that can be fun and stimulating to them. Case in point, the umbrella and rain. It took me a while to figure this out and not feel guilty about the way Lucy and I were spending our days. Sounds like you figured it out really quickly. Great job!

    Comment by Kelly — May 18, 2008 @ 1:14 pm | Reply

  3. Ok so this is a great post! I am sure I will need to have some sort of ah-ha moment myself! I am glad that yours came so quickly and that you are now enjoying all those wonderful moments with your son! Thank you so much for sharing!

    Comment by Carissa — May 18, 2008 @ 6:53 pm | Reply

  4. Do you have any idea how much I love this post of yours? I feel like I could have written myself in so many ways. I am still struggling with the patience thing, which is 1000% correlated to the sleep thing, but most of the time I can see how my baby is thriving and that must mean I’m doing at least something right. I still have a ways to go, but I remind myself that the good does outweigh the tough and I really do love being a mom. I’m so glad you had your a-ha moment and that you are doing so well as a family!

    Comment by Stacy — May 19, 2008 @ 3:44 am | Reply

  5. Jen, I love this post too! And even though I had to go through the SAME thing with Jackson, I’m right there again with Shane. Thanks for reminding me to enjoy the little stuff. I have to remember to take it all 1 interaction at a time, instead of continuing to feel guilty and constantly worrying that I’m screwing my kid up! I’m so happy for you and Coop…there’ll be a lot more smiles, even on rainy days, in your future with that little guy!!

    Comment by Laurie and Travis — May 19, 2008 @ 3:32 pm | Reply

  6. Bravo, Jen!!

    You’ve captured it all perfectly…and I can totally relate. BEAUTIFUL post!

    Comment by The Boom — May 19, 2008 @ 5:44 pm | Reply

  7. I will never be the mom I think I should be and I fear I am screwing my kid up daily. I desperately need to let go of this. Great post and reminder to all moms’!!

    Comment by Michelle — May 19, 2008 @ 7:40 pm | Reply

  8. I know I’m super late here, but this is a great post, Jen! See, you should have done what I did… set the bar super low so that you wouldn’t have been surprised at yourself. Ha ha ha. Seriously, though, I know you’re doing a great job. There’s no such thing as Super Mom and I think most of us go through what you wrote about. Nice post!

    Comment by Laura — June 5, 2008 @ 3:29 am | Reply


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