Last year during a visit from my mom and a stroll to the park when the twins were about 6 months old, my mom asked me a question.
“So, do you feel like a mom yet?” she asked.
I was bewildered and curious to hear this question. I mean, of course, I felt like a mom. I was always tired, my hair was a mess more days than not, I was still wearing my maternity clothes (and still am at this moment and the twins are now 13 months), but I was happier than ever.
Still, the question stuck. Because despite the fact that I was already a mom for 6 months, I kept thinking, “Do I really feel like a mom?” Afterall, I was still new to the whole “mom thing”. I never had that “aha!” moment that made me think, “Ok, now I am really a mom.” Becoming a mom was just something I knew I wanted and I didn’t really think much about how it was going to feel.
Then I realized that becoming a mom is not the same thing as feeling like a mom.
Motherhood is a new role and new moms have to take on a different identity. Just like a new graduate needs to go through the phase of adjusting to their new career, a new mom goes through a transition of awkwardness to care for a stranger that is living in her house. But when does a new mom start to feel comfortable with her new title? And what does it feel like to be a mom?
I haven’t been a mom for very long, so this is something I learn about every day. I have learned that being a mom feels like many, many things.
It feels like mustering up enough energy in the middle of the night for a feeding. It feels like getting the courage to venture out in public with your kids by yourself for the first time. It feels scary and exhilarating at the same time by knowing the fact that you are responsible for caring for someone for the rest of their lives. It feels lonely. It feels full of joy to see your child take her first steps. It feels hilarious because your kids do great T. Rex impersonations (without them realizing they are doing it). It feels comforting to know that you have the strength within yourself to handle whatever comes your way. And it feels amazing to discover that your heart holds more love than you ever thought possible, and despite the fact of how hard it all is, you are exactly where you need to be.