On Being Mommy
Once upon a time, long before I had a baby, before pregnant, I would say even before I was having baby thoughts, (although clearly I was having baby thoughts), I bought a domain name. Mommyunlikely.com. Don’t bother. There’s nothing there. I hold onto it, because I love it. Not that I’ve done a damn thing with it pre-mommy or post. My future as a mommy blogger remains tenuous. But hey, mommy, currently blogging. The shoe could be more comfortable than I think.
It’s the unlikely, really. I never thought I would have children. I curse too much. I don’t share well. I don’t even cook! (much.) I’ve never been particularly drawn to children. Nor they me. Not one to ooh and ahh. Limited fawning. I’m loud. I’ve never considered myself particularly maternal or warm. Not a natural motherhood fit. Not by all our societal Mommy-dearest, greeting cards, boo-boo kissing, cookie baking, apron wearing, Suzy-Q homemaking standards. Although, I do love me a good apron.
So, they (he, children) are a new concept to me. Not that I didn’t have 10ish months (plus an agonizing week or so) to get acquainted with the idea. I did. But baby in your face, is completely different than baby kicking you in your ribs. Those 10 months, have been nothing intensity-wise to the last 3. Meeting my baby, feeding my baby, soothing my baby, laughing with him, poking him, staring at him for no good reason, learning to go places with a baby. Even wiping his butt. All of it is a complete adventure in the everyday.
For good, bad or otherwise, I’m his Mom. All those preconceptions aside. Because it doesn’t actually matter. I may be unlikely. My kid may end up in trouble for his colorful vocabulary, with absolutely no doubt as to where he heard that word. He will ingest more than his fair share of dog hair at an early age. He will be an adept urban chicken wrangler… as a toddler. I can see it now. Daddy may be the cookie baker in the family, but that doesn’t make me any less his Mom. We belong. That’s a natural feeling that snuck up on me. Came out of nowhere. Like it had always been. Not to be taken for granted. Its a privilege.
And it skews so many things. Big things. My outlook on money. On how I spend my time. On my dogs. And the not so grandiose. On what I grow in my garden. What I watch on TV and when. I’ve never been a fan of the “One *must* have children for a full life” mandate. That somehow your existence simply can not be complete without them. That’s shit. I’m confident I could have gone on just fine without this person. My life was pretty damn great before. It’s not that we were missing anything at all. He certainly represents a turning point. A change. A good change. One we can never go back from, and would never want to. It’s a different chapter. All the goodness and experience from those previous goes with us, only adding to this. We wouldn’t be us without all that, just as we wouldn’t be us now without him.
There is a point here other than I-love-my-baby sap. It’s something to do with identity. With expectations. With how you define family, and how it defines you. I know I’m looking at decisions I’ve struggled with for years with new eyes. I’m re-contemplating the things that scare me. Because this baby-having probably scared me the most. Hence my tucking it away as unlikely. But embracing that, facing that fear, questioning my own bullshit, so far that was just about the best idea I’ve ever had. Ever.
We’ve only just begun. My future as a mommy blogger remains uncertain. Perhaps even, unlikely. I am amassing my collection of unfortunate poop, pee and bodily fluid (mostly not mine, mostly) stories. I may have formed strong opinions on what represents a quality baby swaddle and what is hardly worthy of the title burp cloth. (Muslin, people. Muslin.) I’m not sure it necessitates its own domain name, however. Nor the abandonment of this one. Rather this is another, important, big, new, rewarding, facet of the same journey. It’s squished its way into what I would have said was already full. Not to the detriment of anything else. Except maybe the garden, this year. This whole scenario may have been unlikely. Once upon at time. But, I’m here to tell you, consider it a rousing endorsement for doing something – big or small – that scares you. And expect to see gushy-mushy posts about my kid from time to time.