Wednesday, September 26, 2007

On Mothering

Before Blaine, my identity was "teacher." And for months following his arrival, I battled with my new identity: "mother." I'd always wanted to have children, but the transition to motherhood was astonishingly difficult. I'd anticipated it to a degree, but couldn't have imagined the depth of it. While over the last 17 months I've had moments of "I really like this. I'm really enjoying this," I think it is quite recently that I've quit looking at myself as a teacher who has a kid and started seeing myself as a mother. Only recently have I changed my perspective of what a good day is. Explanation: Here's a typical day. Get up with Blaine, eat breakfast together, read books and play with trains and trucks together. Let him watch Baby Einstein or Little People while I attempt to restore order to my personal appearance as well as the apartment. Play with blocks. Eat lunch. ETC. You get it. It's not earth-shattering stuff. At the outset of this mothering thing, I was devastated at the end of a day like that because I felt like I didn't check enough things off my to-do list. Nothing "important" got accomplished. I wasn't productive in the way I used to be. And no matter how much I told myself that it was important to nurse my baby or change his diapers, I really struggled to feel that. But today we've had a day just like that. We've eaten some peaches, run some errands, gone down the slide outside a few times, watched Einstein, eaten some more peaches, played with trains, and blocks. ETC. Again, you get it. And today I feel plenty happy and plenty productive. Finally my paradigm has shifted. I am thrilled to be a mother and I'm not just saying that. (Actually I never just said that. I've always been pretty honest about how I'm doing as a mother!) Anyway, a few months ago when I decided that I really wanted to do this whole thing again, I realized that this change had occurred in me. I am a mother and I genuinely like it. And I'm so excited for Blaine's new little friend to get here! So much more excited than I thought possible a year ago. So there you go. I'm actually growing.

10 comments:

The Innkeeper said...

So happy for you and your family. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, they made me smile!

Sarah said...

Wow, I'm impressed at how productive your days are! You didn't even mention how you're also saving young girls all over campus! For me, one of the most gratifying things about being a mom is seeing how much mykids love each other. On the days when I feel like a total failure, seeing Samuel hug his brothers makes me feel like I've done something right.

Emily said...

I love your candidness about your motherhood metamorphosis, Anne. I appreciate how you help us all see that it's okay to struggle with finding ourselves in our various roles; I certainly have (struggled.) I think Blaine is one lucky boy to have such a great mom and I'll bet you fall more and more in love with motherhood as he gets older and more verbal and develops a silly little sense of humor; I know this is going to sound dumb, but it's almost painful how cute they get as toddlers.

jeanine said...

Anne, I loved this post. It was a good reminder that sometimes playing with trains and blocks is more important than crossing things off of my to do list.

Katrina said...

Anne, I really appreciate your honesty. I hate it when people only show/tell the good stuff. Thanks for sharing!

liz said...

I think that transition is hard for everyone, and I too think it's great that you're so honest about it. And I'm so glad you're feeling more adjusted, since you're expecting #2! I found that two kids kept me so much busier, I didn't have as much time to wonder whether I liked it or not. Plus there's that little matter of buying a house (?) and moving, which will keep you plenty busy :)

Sugar... said...

Oh, I'm glad to hear that someone is enjoying motherhood right now. I was busy plotting the imminent death of my children this morning, but decided that it would be to strenuous a task to accomplish since I am over 9 months pregnant. Maybe later? ;)

kate said...

I too love your candidness. You have evolved into such a beautiful mother! Blaine is a lucky boy to have you and so is the new little one you're having!

lori said...

ah, yes - such an evolution process. And I often wish to be further along in the process than I am! But it IS rewarding.

And playing with Blaine yesterday gave me such insight into your mothering. He was so polite and so happy. And he knows so many more words than I realized! Good work. All that play time is paying off! :)

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