Sunday, May 10, 2009

My (very personal) adjustment to motherhood

Today is my first mother's day. I have been thinking lately about myself, about motherhood, and about adjustment and how much I have changed in the last 10 or so years. At the concert last night a friend put his hand over my head and said "this girl is not the same girl I used to know". I keep thinking about what he meant by that. I know I have changed, in many ways, but I have mostly changed things that I do that affect my baby, and that affect my life as a mom. Even when I was pregnant I thought I knew how I would be as a mom. The lady I share an office with jokes with me because I when I was pregnant I would say things like "that baby is going in a crib. That's what cribs are for." Well, BBZ spent 8 weeks in my room and before that 8 week mark I could not let him be that far away from me. I guess my point is that I thought I knew what I would be like as a mom, but even I have surprised myself.

If you asked the me from 5 years ago if I thought I would ever give up 1 day of work each week to be at home with my baby, I know the answer would have been no. Another thing this friend confided in me was that my blog can come across as judgemental. He will probably not be happy about my writing about this, but I have come to accept that while I began this blog as a way to keep in touch with family, it has also become a place where I can just put it all out there. A place to think (or type) out loud and try to organize my thoughts and work through personal struggles. I guess I didn't really think about the way the things I say here would be perceived.

People are judgemental. People pass judgements. I believe it is a natural human response that in history has been a survival technique, but in our modern times has turned into prejudice, bias, and driven wedges between races, groups and sometimes friends. Not being judgemental, to me, is almost impossible. It's recognizing this and deciding what to do about it that makes the difference. I think this becomes even more in the forefront when people have children. Comments about people's children are taken very personally, even if the commenter didn't mean it personally. My very good real-life friend and fellow blogger Laura and I were talking on the phone a few weeks ago about breast pumps. She is pregnant and said she does not want to use a second-hand breast pump because she read that bacteria can get into the motor. I use a second-hand breast pump and have since BBZ was born, does this mean I am not as good of a mom because I chose to buy a second-hand breast pump?

Of course not.

But as a mom, I constantly question myself. Is this ok, is that ok, this mom does this and this mom does that, should I do this, should I do that. It is often confusing and never ending and I don't think there is an answer. But I feel the need to say that while voicing the way I decide to do things and the things that have worked out for me as a mother and for our family, I choose not pass judgements on how others decide to raise their children or their families. Even if I compare myself to other moms, I do not pretend to know what that mom goes through, or why she decides one thing while I may decide another. I cannot know what a person thinks, or feels, or know that my way is better or their way is worse. I do what works for me, and at times feel lucky just to get by!

I think about other countries who are not as technologically advanced as America. Americans think our way of life with television and technology is so much better, we try to make everyone realize that and conform to our way of living. Well guess what? People living all over the world do things differently and that doesn't necessarily make our way the right way, or our way any better. I hope that those who read my blog understand what I am saying, and I really do apologize if anyone misunderstood what I have written. I admit that when Laura and I were talking, I wondered if I am not as responsible as her by using this second-hand pump, but that was my own perception and I take responsibility for it. I know Laura was not insinuating something about me as a mom. I know she was talking with me, her best friend, about something she was trying to decide about what she as a mom is going to do. I know her and trust her and know that while she looks at me as a mom and might agree with some of the things I do, she is her own person and will do what works for her and her family. And quite honestly, that has nothing to do with me. Just as what I write in this blog has nothing to do with other moms or the readers. It is my journey filled with struggles and triumphs and those who read are along for the ride. I cannot take responsibility for how it is perceived, although I do care.

I feel better getting that off of my chest. On to other news, I had a great time this weekend at the concerts! I will say though that I had a lot more fun on Friday than I did on Saturday. I think I am just over getting drunk. It is just not that fun for me anymore. The idea sounded good, but in actuality, I would have preferred to come home to my baby and have him here with me this morning. I woke up at 6am anyway! I appreciate the time my hubby and I had together so much. This weekend rekindled something for us and we talked about things we really needed to talk about. Overall, it was a great weekend. I am really looking forward to my first mother's day. BBZ and I will be reunited at N's mom's house this morning and I cannot wait to see him. I think about his little smile and his sweet smell and so look forward to holding and cuddling with him. Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there! I wish peace for you as you deal with your own struggles as moms and while I know I can't get it all right, I hope to get as close as I can.