I've been looking for baby pictures of myself to compare to India, and in the process, I came across these photos - the first taken when I was nine months old; in the second, I'm almost three. I thought you might get a kick out of Betty's 70s outfits and hair.
So it kind of struck me this weekend that now I really feel like a mother.
Is this weird?
I mean, I've been a mom for almost three years at this point. And it's not that I haven't felt like Jordan's mother. It's more that I also felt like I had my own separate identity.
And with India, something shifted.
I don't know if it's because now I have two. Or because this birth experience was so positive, and I don't have PPD, and I'm able to nurse without supplementing. I have this immense satisfaction that comes from being able to meet all her needs right now.
With Jordan I was mostly resentful. Doesn't that sound terrible? I feel so guilty when I say it, but it's true.
Everything was so hard, and I felt so stuck, and nursing took forever, and then I'd still have to make him a bottle. Day after day, night after night, I would just sit in the chair and feel like I was suffocating.
The PPD was evil. I wanted to escape from my life so badly. I loathed my husband at least 17 times a day. I mentally divided up the furniture at night. I reveled in my time at the DC DMV. Whenever I left the house alone, I never wanted to go home.
Now I and nurse and look down at my baby and think about how time goes so fast. She's already bigger than she was last week. Pretty soon she'll be heading to college.
I mean, it's not that I don't think of sleep deprivation as torture. It's not that I haven't thought of her as a bamboo shoot. It's more that this time I have perspective. This will pass, and fast. This is not all there is.
And she's my second and my last and I know the time goes.
But back to feeling like a mother. I think that now it's probably the biggest part of what defines me. First and foremost, I'm a mom.
On the one hand, this is who I am and who I have worked very hard to be. I'm so happy to have children. I have my own family, and they're the most important thing in my world. I'd give up anything but my family.
I guess it's caught me off guard, though, to feel like a mom is all of who I am. Which is how I feel right now.
Like, from my current perspective, I cannot imagine ever feeling attractive again. I feel like I have this huge cloud of momishness surrounding me.
Seriously. I feel like I have this big sign above my head that says things like: Here, let me cut your dinner into little tiny pieces for you, to make sure you don't choke. Do you want your milk in a big boy cup or a sippy cup? Uh, oh. Time for a diaper change.
And I'm shlumping around in my maternity pants. I'm wearing a bra night and day. I have two perpetual round milk stains on my shirts. In fact, I smell like milk all the time.
I know this will pass.
But! Now that I have two kids! I have visions of a future filled with sturdy mom jeans, comfortable shoes, practical tops, and judicious behavior.
It's not that I think being a mother means you're unattractive. I know myriad beautiful women who are mothers. Their kids mean the world to them, but they aren't their entire worlds.
So I think that maybe it's that I feel MATRONLY. Matronly! A word that for me conjures up aprons and washtubs and baked puddings and no nonsense.
I think you'll agree that in a
Venn diagram, the Attractive circle, the Fun circle, the International Woman of Mystery circle...they have no overlap with the Matronly circle.