Sometimes I wonder what kind of mom I am, and question what kind of mom I want to be. It’s not that I give this a whole lot of thought (though this post suggests otherwise, I realize). I am happy with the mom I am, most times. I also have a 7 month old so being her mom has been pretty new to both of us and, I’m happy to report, I do not think I’ve done any serious damage thus far. 🙂 But I do think about being a mom, her mom, and what sort of mom I want to be. I also think about how, sometimes, my being a person (a woman, a writer, a runner, a scholar) can get lost inside the whole being a mom bit. Sometimes I am happy about that. Other times I realize that I do not want that to get lost. Other times still, I look at myself and introspectively wonder how I am as a mom right now. And then there are those other times when I just sort of want to be That Mom. You know, other moms. Moms that feel very much NOT like the mom I am right now.
There are lots of That Moms at swim lessons. I usually show up to swim lessons in yoga pants that are still too big (but comfy) and my rash guard, on top of my swim suit, with my hair looking decent but pulled back — since I’m still getting in the water with Charlotte at this point and have to deal with the easiest pieces of clothing to get in and out of, in the quickest possible ways. That Mom is sometimes also wearing yoga pants, but they look much better on her. Sometimes That Mom is super dolled up, with clearly recently pedicured toes and manicured fingers, fresh mascara and even lip gloss. I’m lucky if I remembered to brush AND floss my teeth.
The other day there were several That Moms at swim lessons, and I watched them for a long time, sort of in awe of how put together they all were and wondering what the hell their lives were like that they could be that put together. And, I’ll admit it, I was jealous. I wanted to look like all those That Moms. I wanted to have what I assume is all the time in the world that those That Moms had that they don’t seem rushed and their hair looks perfect and they looked like they have been working out with a personal trainer several hours a day. I. Was. Jealous. Then Charlotte splashed her hands down into the water and soaked me, tousled pulled-back hair and all — and thankfully, brought me to my senses.
ScaryMommy recently posted “37 Reasons I’m Not Embracing the Moment” and I was reminded of this as I was not embracing this moment, but instead being totally blinded by all those That Moms I was seeing. And, as I watched my daughter giggle with delight as she splashed away waiting for her turn to be dunked and floated across the water, it just got me thinking – was I ever even going to be That Mom? I mean, was I even That Mom before I became a mom? I had to be honest with myself in this moment — No, I wasn’t even That Mom before I became a mother. I have always been more comfortable in jeans than in a dress. I didn’t learn how to even properly apply make-up until I was nearly 30, and even then that simply consisted (and still does) of eyeliner, a very nude colored shadow and mascara — sometimes gloss, if I’m feeling frisky! I wear high heels, but wedges not pumps, not because I walk all sexy in them but because I’m too damn short that none of my pants will fit if I don’t. I’m not That Mom. Nor will I ever be That Mom. I don’t begrudge any of those That Moms their ability to be beautiful and amazing and all put together, but I’m not going to be able to join their club. Probably ever. And I’m going to be totally happy with that, with the mom I am — or the mom I am becoming.
And what kind of mom am I? I do not know exactly right yet, being that it has only been 7 months. But, so far, what I’ve realized is this: I have become That Other Mom. The one who can turn any conversation into one that revolves around or refers to her child. That loves telling stories about how she almost rolls over or giggles to certain songs or splashes in the pool! Before I was That Other Mom, I was one of those people who didn’t care about all this nonsense. Now that I’m That Other Mom, all I want to do is find people who do care about all this nonsense. Let’s be real. It. Is. Nonsense. I realize that while I am astoundingly happy being a mama, I was very glad to go back to work so that my world could start to revolve, once again, around things other than my child. I love her. I love everything she does and everything about her. However, I also felt that the professional side of my life, the one that is a good role model for my daughter, was lacking a bit. I wanted to think that someday my daughter could look her mom and realize that she too, can have it all — work, life, love, family, knowledge, etc. etc. etc. But you know what, even back at work, I remained That Other Mom.
Not That Mom, mind you, I still do not think I will ever attain that, but I’m a mom. That Mom and That Other Mom, we are all just mamas doing the best we can at this crazy journey called mommy-hood. It’s a wild ride, one I wouldn’t change for the world…but some fancy, new jeans and pedicure might be nice all the same.