5.16.2012

Becoming a Parent


Sunday was my first Mother's Day. I am not usually sentimental about these things, but Ez went out of his way to make it extra special for me by letting me sleep in until the last minute (best gift I could've wanted on that particular day). I woke up to the sweet fragrance of flowers on my dressing table and he cooked an epic brunch, complete with mimosas. I'm now officially a big fan of Mother's Day.

A couple weeks ago, we had a conversation about parenting and how we were feeling about it. We both agreed that we still didn't feel much like "parents." I'm sure if you look at my Facebook page or read this blog, you probably think I fit the definition of a "mommy" to the letter. But, even though we have this little person living with us that we love to bits, and she's thoroughly interrupted our social lives and circadian rhythms, the reality of being parents hadn't really sunk in. It's kind of hard to explain. In fact, I had an unfinished draft of a blog post already in progress about this very topic because I couldn't quite find the words.

I just deleted it.

Things are starting to change. At 8 and 1/2 months old, Johnnie is letting us know she's not a "baby" anymore. Babies have needs and feelings, but children... children have needs, feelings and opinions. When you parent a baby, you're mostly just looking out for their basic needs for survival -- food, warmth, sleep, reassurance, etc. It's hard, but it's mostly elemental. It's not so much parenting as it is tending to, like a pet that you love a whole lot. At a certain point though, that baby starts developing a mind of her own. She'll decide she doesn't particularly want her diaper changed right now because she's too busy pushing all the buttons on the remote control... or that she'd much rather be running around the living room holding onto your fingers for balance than sitting and reading... or that she's not quite ready to go to bed just yet. I was an easygoing, obedient child, never one to make a wave; Johnnie, though cautious, is very determined. She knows what she wants. Day by day I see the fire in her belly growing hotter. She's becoming spirited, both in her glee and in her anger, and I can feel the mother--the real parent--in me growing stronger, readying to help guide this powerful little force into something good, not evil.

So I guess what I'm saying is, as Johnnie's personality and preferences grow, so does the mother in me. I think we're in for a fun and wild ride, mother and daughter.

But I still refuse to drive a minivan.

6 comments:

  1. Hi Katie,
    Happy Mother's Day to a special mom. Being a mom is a selfless job but the dividends are great!!

    Someone said that parenting is like baking a cake, you don't know you missed an ingredient until the cake is baked...and too late! :( But hey, most people I know can bake a cake so it isn't that difficult!

    Love to all,
    Aunt Sally

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    1. Thanks Aunt Sally!!! I can't cook at all, but I can bake a pretty sweet cake. This gives me hope. Thanks for the encouragement. :)

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  2. So thaaaat's when it will feel real!

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    1. Yep, the day you feel like slapping them for their first act of willfulness is the day you truly become a mother. :)

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  3. a great reflection on being a new mom. i've often heard that from friends - "it's surreal", how much (and also how little) changes.

    c'mon, get a minivan. they're cool now. ha ha.

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    1. I would totally drive one of the newer Audi or Volvo station wagons in a heartbeat if price weren't a factor... but I've only ever driven smaller cars. I am not sure I could make the jump to something as big as minivan. When it came time to ditch my 2-door car for something roomier for the baby, I traded up to a VW Golf... which is still the tiniest car in my office parking lot!

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