Thursday, November 12, 2009

It's A Mom Thing

Like every mom in the world I have had about 10,000 things going in the two weeks (hence the sporadic blog posts...sorry!). I had my SITS day, we celebrated our 7th Anniversary, I started a long term work at home job (which I'll talk about later), I've had two contract web design jobs, I've been gathering together prizes for my upcoming Christmas giveaway (It's a surprise-details coming soon!), the kids and I have been a bit under the weather, we've been trying to set plans for the holidays....yep, true to Mommy form I'm running around like a headless chicken collecting a lot of awesome blog fodder. Maybe even too much blog fodder-I have so much to write about I hardly know where to start!

I've decided to start with something fun and relaxing-I have been tagged by Samantha of Apple Juice and Milk to talk about 5 experiences that have helped shape me into a Theta Mom (a true, authentic Mom).

1. Of course first on my list is pregnancy and childbirth. I know, shock. Still, I think nothing says trial-by-fire like the whole "making and birthing a tiny human" thing. With each of my pregnancies I "enjoyed" new opportunities to experience motherhood in all new ways. With my first pregnancy (Monkey!) I experienced the damning judgment that comes with teen pregnancy (even though I was emancipated!), 9 months of crippling hyperemesis (I was hospitalized on average three times a week), and the joy of delivering a child with a 14 1/2 inch head (thank GOD for epidurals!). With Baby Bug I was introduced to the most excruciating experience of my entire life [yes, even more painful than childbirth] as I passed gallstones for 14 weeks before they induced me (and then for six more weeks after that). With The Bean I got to UNWILLINGLY experience the natural child birth of a baby with a 13 1/2 inch head.

Yep. Trial by fire I tell you.

2. Next on my list is the emotional experience I had with Baby Bug. When the hormones kicked in I became crazy. When we found out that she was a girl I was terrified-my experience with my mother was so profoundly awful, and I was so terribly hormonal, that all I could do was cry for weeks. Then, just as I came to a kind of peace with the fact that just because my mom was a dreadful mother to her daughter didn't mean I would carry that on, I began to absolutely obsess over the fear that Monkey would feel abandoned by his Mommy. I began to feel like a Judas-as if I were trading in our son for another baby. The guilt was crushing. I was devastated. How could I possibly love them both at once? How could I willingly betray our precious son by having another baby that would steal me away from him? WHAT KIND OF A MOTHER AM I?! All of these thoughts swirled in my head so furiously that on the night before we were induced I was a giant sobbing wreck. I bawled my eyes out all over Hubby, traumatized, absolutely certain that giving birth to Baby Bug would be no less painful than driving a dagger through our son's heart.

Then Baby Bug was born....and I waited for that moment of instant bonding that happened when Monkey was born, and it didn't happen. I had twice the guilt-not only did I betray our darling first born by having a second baby, but I was neglecting our newborn daughter because of my inability to instantaneously bond with her. I did everything I could to try to force it, but it just wasn't happening and I felt lower than pond scum. Then one day I just let it go. I relaxed-I figured even if we couldn't bond the same way Monkey and I did that I still loved her and that was all that mattered...and you know what? It happened. I relaxed and let go and that bond between my oldest daughter and I snuck right up on me. Now she is my heart's sunshine, and I couldn't even imagine not adoring her in every way-but that experience certainly shaped me as a mom.....I learned that every child is different, and every relationship is different, but there is enough love and enough bonding experiences to go around for everybody if I just let my relationships with my children grow and develop naturally at their own pace.

3. Another thing that has made me a true, authentic mom is my lifestyle. What is so weird about being a stay at home, minivan loving, homeschooling mom? Nothing....unless you come from a family of career driven, Harley riding, public school teachers like I do-in which case you're the black sheep. [Baaaa!] I have spent Monkey's entire life defending my lifestyle choices to my family and I fully expect that I will need to do so until the last of our children leaves home, but it's worth it. I love my kids, and I will do what I think is best for them and I will defend that decision to the ends of the earth. A mama bear takes care of her baby bears.

4. To me, being a true authentic mom means being honest about being a regular person. I'm the first one to tell you that I'm not Super Mom-no matter how hot I think the boots are, I could never fill them. Nor could I be some uber serene Little House on the Prairie mom. I am not the freestyle Hippie Mom or the Donna Reid incarnate. I'm just me. I'm just a normal person, with a slightly elevated level of patience and the ability to work really necessity and training, not virtue I assure you.

5. One of the personal hurdles I have overcome as a mom in the last five years is my disturbing addiction to sleep. I used to be a sleep junkie-sleeping 6, maybe 7 hours in a row some days. As a mom however the decision was made for me I decided that I needed to ratchet that nasty eyes-closed-resting-peacefully habit down to a minimum, and so I have. I haven't slept more than 5 hours in a row since before I got pregnant with Baby JUNE 07. My average sleep time per 24 hour period is 3 hours, usually broken up into one two hour segment and a one hour nap later in the day. I have successfully pruned my sleep down to the bare minimum required to function on a slightly better than brain dead level.

Now that's a sure sign of being a real mom.

If you read this entire post, you're awesome and you should post too! I tag all of you, and I promise to read your posts even if it is obscenely long like mine is or even obsceneier. [Yep, obsceneier. That's what you get on two hours of sleep.] What makes you a true, authentic mom? Just link it in the comments and I'll stop by!


Anonymous said...

I can so relate to number 3. I was in day care at 6 weeks old and my mom still keeps asking me when I'm going to get a "real" job.

I'm the black sheep in the family for sure.

singedwingangel said...

Ahh motherhood, nothing like it and there are days we would give it away.. Loved the post.. I feel the gallstones issues I did that with last one and got MISDIAGNOSED for my entire pregnancy and LOST 35 lbs carrying him. I was a ticked off woman let me tell ya...

Noelle said...

beautiful post...but...yikes! my kids would not survive if i only had 2 or 3 hours of sleep. momma needs her sleep. at LEAST seven hours. kudos to you!

missy said...

i love this post!!!!!
i love truth.....even if it is not exciting to everybody, i know i look at some people and wonder why they feel the need to be something because they think that is what others want!!!!! the fact that you are you is AWESOME!!!!!!!
thanks for sharing!!!!!
i will have to think about this one today....i will let you know if i can come up with a post!!!!!

Shanna said...

Love your site! Totally relate to the 10K things!! Saw your tweet for Friday, do you still need someone? Would love to help out!

Confessions Of A Working Mom said...

I loved your "five things"-- especially the one about disspelling the myth about being "super mom". I think so many women strive for that, and come up short, and blame only ourselves. At least, I know I do!


Kathleen said...

Great post. As a new reader to your blog, it gives me a great sense of who you are. I love that you can be so honest. No one admits that they aren't a super mom (so much pressure!). Ugh. Lame. Cool that you're not like that.

Theta Mom said...

I love this post and I have been having the best time checking out all of you THETA MOMS! Thanks so much for playing along!!!