This year will bring my second Mother’s Day since my precious baby boy came into my life. While I am certainly no pro at being a mommy just yet – nor will I ever be – the profound shift in my reality has allowed me to learn quite a bit over the past year.
I have learned a lot about what it means to be a mother. This, in turn, has helped me develop a deep gratitude for my own mom and for all the mommies out there. Our moms deserve to be celebrated, pampered and showered with gifts. So, I put together a top 5 pick for some gift inspiration for that special mom in your life:
I have also learned some things about myself and what it means to me to be a mom. One of the main lessons is to be confident in all that I do for my child and know that all the “helpful” advice out there does not hold a candle to my mommy instinct. I remember going to my sister in law’s bridal shower where several women stated that it was CLEAR AS DAYLIGHT that I would not make it to my due date given how gigantic my belly was. Oh and how wrong, wrong, wrong they were. Good thing none of them live close to me because, towards the ends of my pregnancy, I was in the kind of mood that I would have marched – errr, waddled – over to their house 39 weeks pregnant and given them a piece of my mind.
One of my favorite comments of all time happened when I was walking down the street with my then 3 month old. He was crying quite loudly and I knew it was because he was in his phase of not wanting to be confined to a stroller. An older man passed by and, despite the fact that I clearly looked like I was in a rush to get somewhere – stopped me to suggest that I perhaps “give that poor baby a pacifier.” Sir, my baby is 3 months old. Did it ever occur to you that I am familiar with pacifiers? And did it ever occur to you that I have purchased every single pacifier on the market but this particular baby hates pacifiers? I smiled politely, of course, and kept walking only to be confronted by a couple more people pointing out that my baby must be crying because he is hungry. So, as a freshly minted mom, even though I KNEW I had just fed my baby 5 minutes prior to leaving the house and I also knew exactly why he was crying, the doubt creeped in nonetheless. Was I starving my child? Had I, perhaps, not tried every single pacifier out there? Maybe I should have worked harder and tried to import some brands from Europe? A good mom would have worked harder.
I now giggle at the thoughts I used to have and no longer take stranger’s unsolicited advice to heart. I have learned to let the majority of the comments roll off my back, and, more importantly, filter out the ones that are actually helpful and relevant. I have the confidence to believe that only I know what my baby wants and needs. This newfound respect for myself as a mother did not develop overnight. Rather, it came about very slowly, very methodically. If I could turn back time, it probably would have taken me just as long to get here so I offer no advice. Rather, I offer reassurance to all the new moms out there. Know that one day you will possess this strength as well. And until then, try to chuckle at the old lady in the department store trying to fervently convince you that your baby is crying because he needs a diaper change. Little does she know, you JUST changed his diaper. That’ll be our little secret!
And so, my dear fellow mommies, on this mother’s day, I hope the tantrums will be kept to a minimum, the food pickiness will vanish for the day and the blowout diapers will be directed at daddy. Most of all, I hope that all your kids, regardless of age, will gather together to celebrate the wonder woman you have always been and will always be in their eyes. And, of course, some goodies wouldn’t hurt either!