Part I: Welcome to the club. My new (additional) identity – Mom.
Motherhood is definitely a completely different world to the regular one. It’s highly exclusive and can really suck you in and wrap you up so tightly, you could very easily lose track of what’s going on in the normal people’s reality. This club also seems to get a lot of approval from other people: strangers who offer their congratulatory messages and compliments about our babies, or the people who chat to us about simply how awesome our babies are, and other women – mostly older ones – who give us nice, genial smiles as they pass us by, as if we moms were some local heroine. Of course, we are somewhat of a champ when you think about what we had to go through to have our babies, but it’s funny that all of a sudden, the world becomes much friendlier to you when you have a little one in tow. Other moms who pass you by look at your little one in the stroller, and give you the smile and nod of approval, as if to say, “well done, sister, you’re one of us now.”
AND, I love it! I love being part of this club and getting those approval looks, and chatting with random people about motherhood.
However, I remember being out a couple times sans little Benji, and suddenly the affable people were nowhere to be found. Nobody smiled at me on the bus; even the driver did not seem particularly interested in me. It felt weird, for I have been treated first class ever since we moved here to Canada. I felt somewhat uneasy, and almost insecure that Benji – my pride and joy – wasn’t there to “boost” my ego. Before becoming a mom, I would hear stories of the overbearing mom who constantly fussed over their kids, or the overly anxious mom who had trouble leaving their children for a day, and think: that would never be me. These moms need to learn to get their own lives. And here I am, only 2.5 months into this business, feeling quite lost just a few hours without my little guy!
Mommyhood can wrap you up so tightly, you forget your other identities, and have trouble simply being YOU. I have certainly gotten lost in this wave a few times. I hope God will always remind me that I am first and foremost His child, and that being a mom is just one of the many ways God wants me to serve Him. Apart from being a mom, I’m also a wife, daughter, sister, friend, neighbor, work colleague, neighbor, etc. I need to still be the best of the other “people” I can be. And instead of being overwhelmed with pride about our baby (which I am and should be), I need to convert that all to humility and gratefulness that we have an adorable son. Instead of simply thinking “yes, he is the cutest!” I should add that “and yes, I am so blessed. God has been amazing to us.”
Having said that, though, it really is hard to detach yourself from the giddiness of being a mom where everyone is constantly paying you/your baby compliments and when you look at your newborn and think the world of him/her. Maybe it gets easier as the years go by, especially when they turn into unbearable adolescent monsters and nobody (me included) will be telling you how awesome your child is anymore.