On Becoming "Mom"


I know a few new moms in our community and it has me thinking about what kind of mom I’ve turned out to be.

I believe most of us start out with a very clear image of the kind of mom we are going to be. This is way before we become a mom, and for some of us, way before we become an adult.

When I was a kid I imagined I was going to be sort of Adventure Mom – a mom who was a cross between Sacagawea and Princess Leia. Sacagawea, the Shoshone woman who was pregnant and gave birth during the big Lewis and Clark expedition, carried her infant for hundreds of miles while making sure Lewis and Clark didn’t get lost or get themselves killed.

Of course Princess Leia wasn’t a mom in the movies I watched, but she clearly had mom like tendencies. (Side note to my fellow nerd moms: Based on the last movie, I suppose her motherhood couldn’t be considered all that successful since she raised the new Darth Vadar, but who am I to judge.)

When my husband and I first started talking about becoming parents, I was sure I was going to be a Pinterest Mom – a mom with 500 uses for discarded onesies and a black belt in hot glue gun. This is despite the fact that I had none of these skills prior to motherhood. I guess I thought there would be some sort of Martha Stewart meets June Cleaver hormonal rush that would infuse me with magical craft abilities.

When I was pregnant, I was pretty sure I was on my way to being Well Informed Mom – the kind of mom that has memorized 42 different parenting bibles and can quote from them liberally at the drop of the hat. I’d be able to soothe my baby with lavender oil, cure ear aches with a warm towel and scented candles, whip up delicious organic free-range beet salad with carrots, and solve algebraic equations that I’d teach my baby while we were working on our “color like Monet” coloring book.

When I finally had my eldest daughter, I tried to be the “I Got This” Mom – the mom who balances work, baby, social interaction, and fitness. I really did try. At least I think I did; I was largely sleep-deprived for about five years straight.

The reality is I’m none of those moms I aspired to, not even close. So far from what I can see I’m Grizzly Bear Mom and Overwhelmed Mom and Doctor Google Mom and Amazon How Fast Can You Get It Here Mom and Why Did I Say That Mom and That’s Not What It’s Supposed To Taste Like Mom and Tomorrow I’ll Be a Better Mom Mom.

I only hope someday I can look back at my mothering efforts and, while I know I’ll wince a little, maybe I’ll find that I managed to be Loving Mom Who Tried Not To Blow It Completely.


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