I realised while I was writing all about what Gus has been up to lately that there is another person in this relationship that has been doing a lot of learning and growing in recent months—me! Sometime in these past 3 months in particular, I’ve really settled into this role of mother. I certainly don’t have it all figured out yet, but I’ve started to feel like I know what I am doing. I am no longer a new, inexperienced mother who feels thrown in at the deep end with no idea what is going on. I am a cool, confident mama who has a bag of tricks and a growing stock of experience to call upon when things are tough. (Okay, I don’t necessarily feel cool or confident when I am trying to figure out why Gus has been screeching and screaming for 20 minutes, but at this moment, while he is lying next to me, peacefully sleeping, I feel very cool and confident.)
When did this all happen? I read or hear stories about mothers’ difficult early days with their babies, and I know, intellectually, that this happened to me, but it is so far from my life now. Not that it was all hard then—we are blessed with a very easy-going baby—but I remember spending an unusual (for me, but probably not for the average new mom!) amount of time crying and can’t remember why. Gus is only 6 months old; you’d think I would be able to remember back that far. And it also makes me a little sad that I am already forgetting those little details—if I can’t remember now, what hope is there of remembering in the future? I know it’s cliché, but this all goes so fast! I think I do a passable job of living in the moment, I just wish some of these moments moved at a slightly slower pace.
Another thing I have become aware of recently is that this is who I am. Amy: mother. Many women worry about losing themselves and their identity once they have children. For me, motherhood has gradually subsumed me over the past six months, in a lovely and exciting way. I feel like I can, if I try, trace the path backward to my old self, and it makes sense, but I can no longer imagine who I would be without Gus. The flip side is that I get confused when I think about the future and realise that someday I will no longer be a mother to a baby. I obviously will never stop being a mother, and hopefully we will have more babies in due course, but there will be a day when *this* is not my life. To someone who is just getting used to this new identity, it is strange to think that it will not last forever. It will ease away just as seamlessly as it came, till one day I wake up and realise I have changed yet again, without knowing when or how.
I don’t think I have ever been as reflective about my life as I am now. I don’t know if it is because I am at home all day so I have time (ha!) to think about these things. Or maybe it is beause I have this blog—don’t they say something about how recording an event can alter that event? Or is it merely the nature of parenthood? This life-changing event happens so quickly (I know pregnancy lasts 9 months, but how much can you really prepare for everything that a baby will bring?), you need to take time for your brain to catch up.
So this is me, as a mama. I don’t think I have mentioned yet in this post how much I love it. I guess, for me, that is just a given. I am so blessed to have such a lovely baby and an amazing husband to parent with. I, thankfully, am pretty much back to my laid-back self after worrying about every little thing for weeks and weeks after Gus was born. But one thing that hasn’t changed in these intervening months is how my heart feels like it could burst when I think about how much I love this kid.
St Monica, pray for us, that we may mother our children in a way that brings them wholeness, happiness, and life in our Lord.