I was 19 when I became a mom. Abigaille Page was born on 4/19/01 at 1:20 in the morning. A beautiful squalling thing that I had no idea what the hell to do with. But here she was. Today I tell new moms that you become a mom the second you decide to become one. That’s just logistics. But in reality, when did I actually embrace that I am a mom? When did I decide that I not only loved my babies but I also loved being their mom?
“disclaimer: most, if not all, of my posts contain affiliate links. This means that if you should shop through the links I have provided, I earn a small compensation for having been the referrer. Unless otherwise stated, the companies I work with and for are 100% legit and I back with my life. My promise to you is to always provide the best content, products or services that I am able and only recommend that which I feel will bring value. ”
Every mom out there can tell you that parenting is hard. Even people who have never been around kiddos much will tell you how hard it is. They don’t even know but they do seem to want to understand. Parenting. It is not a job for the faint of heart. If you go into becoming a parent expecting perfection, you will fail. However, if you take my approach: it can become much worse than it is at this moment so let’s carry on, you’ll probably do fine. That and remember shit washes.
To be fair, I knew all this before I had kids. I had babysat my entire youth. I knew kids of all ages. I was good with them even. Those tiny little buggers adored me. And I adored them.
This is so much different from actually being a mom and actually embracing mom life. So let’s start with that.
What Do I Mean by “Mom Life”?
A woman who cares for her young is a mom. That’s the definition Lily came up with when our friends went through an adoption journey a few years back and we never really stopped using it. It’s quite true. Being a mom is all about being a care giver to a child. You do not have to enjoy it and you do not have to wan to do it. However, if you are doing it, even a little, guess what: you’re a mom.
Mom life is a full life. There’s various sporting practices (not to mention events that go with it), various appointments and schedules for artistic study (and presentations, recitals, etc. that go with them). There’s doctor appointments and keeping the home in somewhat of order. There’s vomit and shit and kids with not-so-smart mouths. Disrespect runs rampant but the well of hugs and kisses is deep. Mom life is no joke. It should very well be a paid career option. With hazard pay!
Embracing mom life was something I was dragged into, kicking and screaming. I vowed that I was never joining mom groups, there would be none of that baby gym crap and when school came, I would be a taxi only. Sure, I would support my kiddo in any way, but I was so not leading the pack. When Abbi was born, there was no way in hell I would have considered MOPs or anything that would force me to interact with other parents. I had more than enough of that in the natural course of the day, thanks.
I actually wrote a post eons ago about “other moms” that has been lost to time. The gist was that these other moms were somehow different from me. Mostly because I was a young mother, they were all in a different age bracket so we didn’t have much in common in the way of interests or how we were raising our children. So I simply avoided them. I was definitely not about to get into this “mom life” stuff. I also have another post here about this very topic!
The Day I Embraced “Mom Life”
I had successfully avoided any type of clubs or gatherings to do with Lilyana until she was in first grade. I guess some kids were talking because when she came home with the flyer for Girl Scout Night at school, I couldn’t sway her to throw it away. She wanted to go. Really, really wanted to go. I, however, did not.
I should explain that I have a moderate to severe form of social anxiety. It prohibits me from giving a shit about things like Girl Scout Night anywhere at all. Why? Because my anxiety levels rise sky high at the very thought of interacting with other people. Well, maybe not other people. Other moms. In this very particular case, my anxiety was of the social and self-defeatist variety. I was convinced that I would be judged, as if my past was written in Sharpie all over my face. Logically, I know that shouldn’t matter. Convincing my anxious self was another story. Truth be told, I really didn’t care if Lily joined Girl Scouts or not. I just didn’t want any part of it, personally.
I sat at a table with about 6 women who were all there trying to figure out if scouts was going to be a good fit for their mom life. I just wanted to stick her in a troop and go. This was not to be.
As our table raised questions of the nice folks in charge of the event, we were informed that the current 1st grade troop was full so if our girls wanted to join, a few of us would need to step up and lead this thing. Nope. Just nope. I’m out.
More questions and our information is gathered. Our girls return to us having learned a fun new scout song! We all clap and the girls come to our table, excited and all eager to become Girl Scouts. Aww hell.
Because Lily seemed to really want this, I found myself embracing mom life.
The reality was that my love for my little girl won out over my poor mental health. The motivation that I could do something to make my baby happier than I have ever seen her was too much. I embraced it right then and there. This is my mom life. I think I have come quite a long way. actually.
That night it was decided that J and I would become the leaders of the newly formed Troop 4698 and lead these girls to greatness. (you can read all about how I organize our troop in this post) Fast forward to today and we are planning our next meeting; one of the last before the end of the season. I don’t know where we will go from here but with the ideas we are all throwing around, I think our troop will be here for a good long while.
But Did It Stick?
Shortly after we formed our troop, Lily was sent her first school birthday party invite for a child in her class. We discussed it, as we do all things, and she decided that she wanted to go. I bought a present and off we went. I even made a new mom friend that day! A few weeks later, I joined the schools Super Moms team and spend a few hours every week with these kids, watching them learn and grow.
It was almost like something was unlocked inside of me that day. Like my maternal instinct was finally triggered. I don’t know. hat I do know is that I wouldn’t change the experiences of my life for anything. However, I am grateful that I have such an awesome daughter by my side, walking the path from here out together.
Bonus: Read about how we use GetEpic both in school and at home for furthering Lily’s education and having FUN doing it!