My first mother's day was 2 years ago...
I was literally filled...with excitement, movement, anticipation.
Already my life had changed drastically as I was now fully aware 24/7 that I was no longer alone. I was already sharing my entire being with this little wonder. All of a sudden I was not only responsible for my health anymore but for 2 healths. Our heartbeats were pulsing in a joint symphony inside.
Yet...I had no clue yet what it meant to be a mother.
I didn't realise I'd fall in love again. In love with a tiny little human who at first could only communicate with me with his investigating curious absorbing big brown eyes, with his soft lovely smelling warm skin, with his lips and his cries. A love you can feel in each fiber of your body in a way you've never felt it before. Every day a look, a new achievement, a tear, ...can make me melt away.
I didn't realise that I'd become so vulnerable. Given the love and responsibility for this little wonder, I now have a very weak spot. If ever something bad would happen to my little Kabouter, I'd be devastated. My world would collapse. I belief I can take a lot of struggles, disappointments, worries for myself, but my tolerance level for Kabouter is a lot lower.
Where for myself my life experience has given me already some scabs, now some crusty scabs have been pulled off again, revealing beautiful pinky but very vulnerable skin.
All of a sudden I've become from empathic to emotional when confronted with other parent's suffering with regards of their children (eg news item on deadly accident involving children, news items on refugee families, a tragic movie, a road side cross marking a road accident's victim, ..). My empathy now creates literally physical pain as I can now relate at a brand new level and transpose the theoretic situation on our family.
The upside of this emotional tie is also that I'm happy and excited over the stupidest little things if Kabouter is. I clap and wave from the breakfast table to busses that pass by outside and point out "Wow, wow, beautiful flower" after a busy hectic day at work which is quickly forgotten at the smile of the little one. I join in for a little happy dance when Jan pulls out a bowl of strawberries. I learn to love to watch stupid baby tv programs, becuase I love that precious moment when he sits in full concentration still on my lap. I guess being a mom gives you a very healthy priority check that puts everything right back into perspective and also learns you to appreciate the small things. (with limits: I'm not crying when I don't get my favourite cookie! Then I'm simply rolling my eyes, shrug my shoulders visibly while I shrink a bit and think "poor little one, what a lot of tears over a refused cookie, I wish I could speed up his learning ahead over these small disappointment learning points. Both for him but also for me!". )
I now have a double identity: I'm Goofball as always, but I am very often also "Kabouter's mom": in daycare I'm greeted as Kabouter's mom, I phone the doctor's office as "Kabouter's mom", etc... But also to Kabouter, I am simply mommy and he has no concept of "Goofball" so far. That's of course stimulated since Jan and I constantly refer to ourselves as mom and dad...and constantly means constantly. Another thing that is new : we are constantly commenting on what we are doing "mommy is now going to load the dishwasher so all these dirty plates can get clean again. Do you want to watch? NO NO don't touch, mommy has to do this. yes, the dishwasher, mommy is putting the plates in the dishwasher". I guess and hope that is something that will pass again, if not Kabouter will be too embarrassed to ever invite his friends over in the future ;)...(hahah, can you picture a house full of teenagers and me still commenting on every step I take "mommy is now going to refill some of your glasses. Yes, your glasses, with drinks. These are drinks that I pour into your glasses" :p. )
I now get to know a whole new world outside, a world I knew existed but that I had ignored until now: it's the world of "family - friendly" places, locations, activities, .... We still go out for dinner frequently, we still love to travel around, but restaurants are now rated first on the presence of a high chair, we've been on 2 last city trips to the local zoo, parks are valued not in first place for their natural beauty but for their playground. Because a laughing child makes happy relax parents. We try to do the same things as before but do them differently.
I am increasingly full of contradictions: I constantly crave for more me-time (time alone on the computer, control over tv channels, ...) and curse when Jan's away too often but when I get it, I miss that little voice in the house and I just want to feel and see that little growing discovering boy and participate in that daily wonderous journey.
Being a mom is so much more enriching and so much more fun than I had anticipated. I guess that's a relief as you cannot undo being a mom.