There was a point in my life where I did not know for certain if I would have children. I did not know if I could be a good enough mom. I didn’t know when would be the best time to start having kids.
Giving birth by any method produces a child and it is often said that a new mother is born that same moment. I consider that statement to be a vague description of the woman who just performed an awesome miracle.
Becoming a new mother is awesome. Truly, it is a fantastic event. However, no instinctual wave of motherly glory swept over me the moment I first held my child. Just as Daphne entered the world without knowledge and experience, so I entered the world as a mother.
Daphne and I spend each day together.
I wake to the sound of her chirping and mumbling nonsensical sounds.
I roll out of bed but only after sitting on the edge for a few seconds to roll my neck and relax my shoulders.
To the bathroom I stumble as if I had lead legs.
I kind of splash water on my face to wake up and then put on my eyes.
Making my way to Daphne’s bedroom, I feed the fish and reach down to greet the dogs ‘good morning.’
I open her nursery door to find her sitting up.
She hears the door open and lifts her head up to look at me.
I say “Good morning sweetheart! How did you sleep?!”
Her groggy eyes brighten and she frantically waves her arms and kicks her legs in anticipation of being lifted.
I approach her crib and lean down over it to pick her up.
We walk to the bed where I change her diaper and ask her what she dreamed about. I ask her if she dreamed that she was a cowgirl or an astronaut flying through space.
To the living room we mosey where we play with blocks, plastic spatulas, and rattles between picture books and solo patty-cake.
When she rubs her eyes deeply and starts to grow less enthusiastic about playtime, she goes down for a nap.
In the quiet of my home except for the hum of the fan across the room and the sound of the fish tank filter, I wonder if I’m doing it right.
Am I doing this mothering thing right?
Are all Daphne’s needs met?
What could I do better?
I specifically make time each hour to hold her close and hug her tight. She grows more independent each day. I cannot bear to think of the day she’ll not want to be in my arms. These moments are ones I cherish.
I take time to teach her and explain things to her that she probably does not understand yet: The rain and thunder, the microwave heating up my lunch, why we do laundry.
I wonder if I am letting myself go as I spend more attention on my daughter.
I crave to return to some of my pre-baby hobbies such as drawing, baking, and crafting. Out of practice, inspiration, and time, I I fail miserably at attempts to regain my former talents.
It’s not like Daphne has taken me away from those talents, on the contrary. I hope to incorporate Daphne into my talents and my talents into teaching Daphne. I just simply lack the gumption (or energy) to devote my rare me-time to those things.
After all, I’ve got so many other things to do: Laundry, dishes, vacuuming, researching information, and working out.
Daphne wakes from her nap and I find myself flung back into mommy-mode.
I forget about my post-pregnancy body while we laugh together on the floor over some odd noise that I make.
I forget about all the nausea, swelling, and other ghastly side effects of pregnancy when I look at her eyes full of wonder in experiencing the world around her.
I remember that each moment I get to experience with Daphne is one that I choose.
I choose to laugh with her.
I choose to teach her.
I choose to make each day as good as I possibly can, with or without my morning coffee.
My mind often travels to the future where I see the person I hope Daphne becomes. I should also be picturing the type of person that I hope to become. The type of mom, wife, and friend I hope to become.
Just as much as Daphne changes each day, so do I.
I am realizing that it doesn’t matter that my house is a wreck.
I’m understanding the power of kind, encouraging, and uplifting words as opposed to negativity.
I find myself becoming more aware of the motives of advertising companies and I am eager to teach my child true meanings of love, beauty, and success.
I am coming to terms with my post pregnancy body, understanding that what once was tight has now become droopy but that does not equate to ugliness.
I am learning how to be a mom and that, friend, is a beautiful thing.