Last year on this holiday I was 8 ½ months pregnant.
At church when they called the mothers up to honor them with a small gift, I was too shy to make my way to the front. I was also certain that I couldn’t claim to be a mother yet anyway, since my experiences so far were limited to getting kicked in the stomach, nausea, and inability to focus. It turns out this is actually a big part of mothering when the baby is out of your belly too.
Over the course of this last year I haven’t posted too much about my experience or thoughts as a mother for several reasons.
I didn’t self-identify as a parent/mother. Parenting is a pervasive activity which is always going on, but never specifically happening. I spread mine around between blogging, reading, being a student, and a variety of other small labels I feel attached to from my pre-parent days. I didn’t fully know how to integrate “mother” into those other roles.
I didn’t was to be a “mommy blogger.” There are a lot of great blogs I read by other women who are moms. These women make parenting look beautiful and spiritual, fashionable or innovative. (Although, I know it isn’t always, and there are plenty of un-blogged struggles and mundane moments and even some “failures”.) There is also a whole other set of mom-bloggers who write what can be termed “mommy rants.” Although I find these funny, I don’t write with that tone of voice, and can’t keep it up even when I try.
I didn’t feel like I had any experience. Because – news flash – I didn’t! I spent my nine months of pregnancy doing lots of thinking and talking about how we might discipline our child, or where he should sleep, or what our strategy would be for incorporating reading and nature. I thought about what age he should have a cell phone, and how to validate his feelings. However, in the end, I fully recognized that these were my own opinions and predispositions, who was I to say whether our parenting would have him potty-trained by one-year (it won’t) or if these were the right choices for everyone (they aren’t).
But, now that it’s been (almost) one year, I’m getting a little more of a handle on what being a parent means on the practical and theoretical level. Don’t be surprised if you see a few more posts about parenting in the future.