Happy Thursday! Today I thought I would share some random thoughts about mama-hood that are always bouncing around my head. Specifically about stereotypes and being “that” mom.
The mom that always gets funny looks & sideways glances, at the park, at toddler classes, at the museum, at restaurants. I am definitely “that” mom.
“That” Mom whose child always has snot/drool/etc. on his face
T gets a runny nose with every set of teeth that come in, it has happened every single time since his first set at 5 ½ months. I know it is due to his teeth and sometimes even progresses to a cough. Read more about that here. I know he isn’t “sick” and I follow his cues on if we need to stay home, take it easy, or go about with our normal activities. In addition to that, I try really hard every day to respect my son’s body and space. I allow him to wipe his own face and recently his dad taught him to blow his nose, yes it is not as efficient as me holding him and doing a rough swoop to get everything but when/if it bothers him, he knows how to take care of it himself.
“That” Mom who is always super late
Living on a toddler‘s timetable is a foolproof way to never get anywhere even remotely on time. T likes to take his time: waking up, getting dressed, eating, going to the bathroom, going to sleep, walking, pretty much everything. He needs natural, organic transitions from one activity to the next and we have a much more harmonious relationship when I provide that. Both of us are happier and working together and it makes for much smoother, calmer days. Do I sometimes feel like my entire life is dictated by what a very small human feels or wants right then? Yes. Is it hard to deal with sometimes? Yes. But in reality, that is my life. Right now, my entire days revolve around facilitating my son’s journey; it is a very short period in what I hope to be a very long life for him, so yes, he most often decides when.
“That” Mom who always has stuff on her clothes
Yes, I am a mess everyday. I walk and bike where we need to go and am often sweaty. I always sit on the ground with my son and inevitably get grass, dirt, dew, you name it, on my clothes. My son is also a “nibbler”. He has food out all day long (and snacks when we are out and about) and alternates between playing and eating and checking in with me for a hug, kiss, pick up, nursing and whatever is on his hands always ends up on my shirt, pants, or in my hair. If it’s not that, it’s one of the above that is now a permanent stain. At a point in the future, parenting will be much more hands off, and maybe then I will manage to keep myself clean. I parallel it with the quote by Mary Randolph Carter that “A perfectly kept house is the sign of a misspent life”. My clothes are definitely representative of all the “living” we have done that day.
‘”That” Mom who treats her toddler “like a baby”
I wear my son in a front carry most places we go. I am almost always hugging him, cuddling him, kissing him, or just rubbing his back while he sits in my lap. He sleeps in our family bed for naps and nighttime. I nurse him whenever he wants and if he wants my attention or me close by, I give it to him. He amazes me almost daily with how much he knows, understands, comprehends, and observes for someone so young. He is definitely a little person of his own, and far from having the dependant nature of an infant that only knows being close to mama, breastfeeding, and touch, but he still enjoys those things, and in my opinion, at this point they are nothing but beneficial. He will grow up and be his own, independent being, but as of now he has only been on this earth for 17 months of what will hopefully be 100+ years. In the grand scheme of things, he is still a baby.
“That” Mom who is always talking about her child
Being a mama is my job right now, and I take it very seriously. So yes, I pretty much only talk about my work. And yes, I can tell you are not that interested but it’s my life and it is pretty all consuming for me. I also am just so obsessed with my son; he is the best.
“That” Mom who never tells her child no
I was explaining “gentle hands” to T after he was hitting me the other week and another parent I was talking with commented, “Gentle hands? Does that actually work? Doesn’t he know what ‘no’ means?”
I choose to always explain why or how we do things with T. Regardless of whether or not it is most effective immediately, I believe it is the right way to interact with him and will yield the most positive behavioral results in the long run.
It has been a crazy journey thus far, but as of now I have really embraced what kind of mama I am. I find myself being less and less self conscious about all of the things above as time passes too. Mostly, it has been a lesson for me in not judging, not labeling, and not isolating myself because some people choose to do things differently. No matter what kind of mom I am, I am trying my hardest everyday and that is all that matters. Funny looks, comments, and my own insecurities aside, I try to remind myself of that as often as I can.
There is also no greater feeling than being surrounding by other mamas who support, uplift, and laugh with you no matter *what* kind of mom you are that day. Finding our tribe in Arizona was invaluable to me that first year, we are still working on finding our perfect place here in California <3
Share your thoughts with us! How do you see yourself in your role as mom? How do other people see you? Has being a mom made you less prone to judging others?? I love hearing other mamas stories and perspectives!