Since Mother’s Day is coming up on Sunday, I thought today would be great time to talk about the first time you REALLY felt like a mom. Yes, most of us TECHNICALLY became mothers when our babies were born, but feeling like a mom is something different, that for many of us comes in time. It might be the first time you voluntarily catch spit up in your hand or it might come much later, when you sit down in that tiny chair at your first parent teacher conference. Or maybe, it was that 5 hour road trip where you listened to nothing but Kidz Bop. For me, I think it was the first time I heard myself bragging about a totally innocuous thing my baby was doing (rolling over maybe) and I could hear myself, knew how ridiculous I sounded, but I couldn’t stop talking about it.
I asked the members in the Remarkably Average Parents facebook group to tell me a story about the moment when they really knew what they were in for with this whole motherhood thing. Here are a few of my favorite responses:
1) “When my son was about a year and a half old, he caught his first stomach bug. Prior to this he had never vomited, except spit up when nursing. I distinctly remember seeing the look of terror on
his face the first time he had to puke. He was trying to fight it coming up and then he started crying. I knew he was scared, so I opened up my robe and hugged him in it. Then I rubbed his back saying it’s ok as he puked all over my pajamas.” – Briza
2) “The day my kids stole my cell phone, which I use as an alarm in the mornings, and didn’t wake me up until after it was time for me to take them to school. There I was marching them into the school office with disheveled hair, along with my three year-old in pjs and slippers, past the perfect PTA President mom to get their tardy slips. Yeah, that was my first ‘so this is being a parent’ moment.” – Amy
3) “I was 6 months pregnant with my first. It was Halloween and I suddenly thought, ‘I am going to be responsible for this child’s Halloween costumes! I am going to be responsible for someone’s CHILDHOOD!!’ I remember that moment so clearly.” – Shea
4) “I think it was not long after I had my first when, hormones raging, I realized I was never going to be able to stop worrying. First it was if she was still breathing in her crib, then it would be if she was maturing appropriately, then it would be if she had friends in school, etc; etc. And I wouldn’t ever be done with it. It was a heavy thing to realize, particularly with so many new changes at that time, but two more kids later, it’s still worth it.” – Courtney
5) “My twins had just turned 1 month old. Due to my daughters’ health issues, I had never been able to hold them at the same time before. That day, the nurses waited to surprise me by placing my daughter on my chest and saying ‘it is about time these two meet.’ It was totally unexpected and the first time I felt like more then a NICU volunteer.” – Keren
6) “Last week I found myself voluntarily listening to the Wiggles at work. Didn’t think anything of it until a coworker pointed out that I could listen to other things since my kid was not around. I chose to keep rocking out to ‘Say The Dance, Do The Dance’ anyway.” – Sarah
7) “For me, it was the day my oldest daughter was born. She is now 10. On that first day, I was holding her, and within the first hour she looked me straight in the eyes. I had to look away I was so overcome by emotion. In that moment, she conveyed that she completely trusted me, and knew me. And, I knew…it was all going to be my fault. Just as it has been for centuries of mothers once their kids arrive on the therapy couch.” – Caroline
8) “When I was talking to myself at our neighborhood mailbox. I was so used to narrating everything to my infant, but she was inside the house with Dad. ‘And here’s the mail today. Oh, it looks like a bill and here’s a magazine…’” – Erika
9) “When my son was about 18 months old, my husband and I decided we should take our first family day trip to St. Louis, which is a three hour drive. During the trip, my son got car sick. We immediately pulled to the side of the road. As I was holding my son, trying to clean everything and strip him at once, a young police officer rolled up with flashing lights asking if we were okay. I had a half naked baby, a car seat of puke, and a husband who didn’t have any idea how to help. We were all covered in vomit with no spare clothes. The police officer just stood there dumbfounded. He didn’t have any assistance to offer me either. It was all on me to figure it out.” – Kacie
10) “I remember picking my kid up at school when he was really young. He hadn’t seen me yet and was craning his neck around, saying to his friend ‘I don’t see my mom!’ Just seeing his nervousness and hearing him talk about me in the 3rd person like that made me realize I was his world.” – Lauren
11) “For me, it was the first time we went on a trip. It was just an overnighter. My son was just a few months old. The sheer amount of time it took to get the items we needed, plus the number of bags, gadgets and gear— it was nuts! I was so used to grabbing a toothbrush and my keys and running out the door. I distinctly remember thinking, ‘I guess this is our life now.’” – Michelle
12) “My 3 yo and my 10mo both have horrible reflux. I used to be so embarrassed when we were out and my little one would puke everywhere. I would always apologize, and want to leave where we were. Cue last month, we took a trip to Disney World, and my 10mo puked so perfectly timed with our picture with Minnie. It was at that point, that I realized, it’s a part of mom life, and I just smiled and went on with the picture. Can’t say my husband has reached that point yet.” – Kearsten
13) “I had just gotten home with both kids (2 and 4) and my two dogs. My husband wasn’t going to be home for several hours. We walked in and I let the dogs out in the back yard and went to pee. While peeing (I’m talking mid-pee), I hear the back door open and close. My 4 year-old starts yelling -Coleman is opening the door!’ All I can picture is my 2 year-old falling down our back steps and dying. So I jump up and run! While still peeing. Through my living room. Only to find both kids safely inside the house staring at me like I’m a crazy person! I then had to clean up my own urine from the carpet and take a shower. With both kids. Because I was not going to risk anyone dying while I cleaned urine from my legs.” – Christen
14) “Oddly enough I didn’t feel it until I had 2 kids. When my daughter was born, I felt like I found my best friend. She was my little buddy and I’d just strap her into my backpack and do everything with her. When my son was born 22 months later I realized ‘oh shit I have CHILDREN.’” – Carly
15) “We were at a rollerskating birthday party. My son suddenly says he has to ‘go to the bathroom #2… like RIGHT NOW.’ We were both in roller skates. Neither of us were good skaters, but the time it would take to actually take off our skates may be ‘too late,’ so off we went. He couldn’t squat to sit down on the toilet without falling and I couldn’t really help him without falling. The good news was that we made it to the bathroom. The bad news is that he completely missed the toilet, and we are NOT talking ‘pee.’ And here I am trying to stand on bathroom tile in roller skates with my son and most of the stall COVERED… with nothing but a roll of toilet paper at my disposal to work with. I reflected on my life at that moment… realizing that THIS was my most ‘PARENTING’ parent moment of all. You are not quite parenting until you are ‘parenting in roller skates.'” – Jason (I know this is a Dad but I loved it so much, I had to include it.)
16) “For me, it was the first time we got a night on our own. The twins were 7 months-old and my in-laws took them for a sleepover at their place. We were so happy that we got drunk and ended up falling asleep at 8:30pm. I then realized that there is no life without them” – Nath
17) “Today was the first day it hit me what it truly means to be a mom. Fifteen years in, it was today. In the middle of all the drama and heartache surrounding my daughter right now, who did I call? My own mother. And she talked with me, laughed with me, cried with me, and continued to do what she has done for me every day of my life— support me, love me, and tell me it will all be ok. In the midst of feeling like this is the hardest job I will ever have, I realized it doesn’t ever end. You will be a parent forever. My mom continues to take on trouble and pain for me, trying to lessen my load.” – LJ Jones
When was the first time you REALLY felt like a mother?
Have a wonderful Mother’s Day!