I'm currently writing this on my phone, on the train, on my way to work. Owen is all bundled in the carrier and there's an older man who keeps looking our way and smiling. Maybe it's because he too has children and remembers what it's like to have a little one under the age of one. Maybe he never had kids but always wanted to, or it could possibly be that he thinks I'm a little nutso commuting with my baby in the rain, but whatever his smile means to him, it sparked something within me. And while I had every intention of writing this today on the train, I'm glad that he's here and admiring our situation because I too admire where we are.
I'm honestly a little worried about how excited I am to celebrate my first Mother's Day, but hell who cares. I've survived the first 7 months of motherhood and that should absolutely be celebrated. It's not that I have these grand expectations of what the day should be or what gifts I may receive. I am just truly looking forward to hanging with my two favorite guys and reflecting on this life changing role. In the day to day trenches of this life it's often easy to forget just how much has changed since I became a mother.
People say it all the time, and now I say it all the time, but nothing can prepare you for this kind of love. It has built me up, broken me down; and built me up time and time again. Hell, sometimes it happens daily, but being a mother is like nothing else I have experienced. Prior to my pregnancy I struggled with anxiety. I'm not trying to belittle anxiety for those of you who have experienced it or are experiencing it in a more severe way, but it is a part of my past that I am glad I worked out. Which required seeing a therapist and confronting it head on. I wasn't sure I could handle it compounded with the stress of being a mother, so before Zack and I started trying I did my best to deal with it. The level of anxiety I was experiencing definitely wasn't something I wanted to bring into the equation as a mother. And while I strongly believe every ounce of that therapy was worth every dollar I spent, I have felt an even deeper sense of peace since I became a mother. Granted I have my days where I'm sure there could be nothing better than a bottle of wine for dinner, but all and all I have been able to sleep when there's time, not stress over the small things, and focus on what's important - raising Owen. I could go on and on about how amazing Owen is because he truly is the fucking best, but despite however self-centered it may seem, I want to take this time to acknowledge myself as a mother.
If I'm being honest there's a part of me that longs for the nostalgic days of just Zack and I where we could simply grab drinks after work without having to give it a second thought. I miss mornings where we could sleep in and go for breakfast or just do nothing at all. Of course I would never trade our life with Owen for any other, but you don't realize how free you were until you have kids. The constrictions of parenthood test you in new ways both personally and within your relationship with your significant other. Luckily Zack and I have always had a very independent relationship and I think that has helped us thrive as parents. We have been very aware of the fact that because we don't have family around we have to be each other's support system which means giving each other time for ourselves. Some weeks or days are better than others, and sometimes it's unbelievably hard to ask one another for time when it feels like there isn't a minute to spare, but I really believe we have found our stride. We passed by a couple recently fighting in the city. I'm sure their argument had reason, but I couldn't help but think back to the petty arguments we would have or minor issues I would push because what else was there to do?! It could simply be the exhaustion, but I really believe this new role has mellowed me out and I'm happier because of it. Our relationship has become even stronger through it all.
I know I'm not the perfect wife or mom, but I'm growing and learning each and every day. I definitely don't have all the answers and know I never will, but I am dedicated to loving and caring for Owen, Zack and myself with everything I've got. I might look back and wonder why I did x, y or z, and if and when those moments come I will readjust and carry on, but today is about celebrating me, and my mom, and Zack's mom, and my mom friends and you despite how we all mother our children. A friend and I were having a chat this week and she touched on, like she has before, how motherhood brings together the most unlikely of friends. And I couldn't agree more. It unites women of different backgrounds, cultures, ages, political beliefs, religious beliefs, and so on because despite all of the differences, a fellow mom gets what it means to have to take a shit with a baby on their lap in order to make it happen. And if this is the common thread I'm all about getting to know more moms cause I'm pretty sure no one warned me about that, or that you can really just take your personal space and throw it out the window the minute you give birth. So cheers to you all and may someone else hold your baby so you can shit in peace today! Happy Mother's Day.