Sandy J. Green
IS THERE REALLY SUCH THING AS AN EXPERIENCED MOM?
This past weekend was my second Mother’s Day. Perhaps it’s not surprising that I don’t have many particular memories of past Mother’s Days. My family has traditionally done the same thing every year - my mom’s side (my local family) gets together to have brunch at a restaurant or at someone’s house. It’s always pretty low-key, but we’re a pretty low-key family. I don’t have any negative Mother’s Day memories, it’s just that none of them really stick out in my mind. That changed, of course, 2 years ago.
On Mother’s Day, 2017 I was pregnant and expecting my Avi. I was anticipating motherhood and excited to celebrate Mother’s Day as a soon-to-be initiate of the club. I remember exactly what I was wearing, where we ate and who was there. Even though I wasn’t a mom yet, it was an exciting day for me, thinking about what was to come.
Mother’s Day 2018 was my first Mother’s Day as a mom. I bought my ‘Mombshell’ t-shirt (seen here) just for the occasion. Jared gave me the most beautiful gifts - Avi’s hand and foot prints, a collage of pictures of Avi and me, and he printed several of my favorite pregnancy photos. We had brunch at my parents’ house and I felt like a queen. The new mom of the pack.
As this Mother’s Day approached, I didn’t know what to expect. Almost 2 years in, motherhood still seems new to me and yet I also feel like I’ve been doing it forever. At this point, am I considered an ‘experienced’ mother? The concept of the ‘experienced’ mom strikes me as sort of a funny thing. Every stage and every new development Avi goes through, I have to transform myself into a different parent. First I was a newborn mom, then an infant mom, and now a toddler mom. Each phase takes a different skill set, building on those I learned before. And while I haven’t been there myself, it seems like even with siblings, every child is different and will experience these stages differently. And so, we never really become experienced parents. We’re just learning and relearning as we go along.
All of this swam through my head as Mother’s Day approached. Jared, the ever gracious, giving, and thoughtful husband that he is, went out of his way to make me feel special. I got to sleep in and when I finally woke up, I was greeted by my sweet boys, cards, and gifts. Brunch with my family was lovely as always. We ate, played games and exchanged gifts and cards. But it didn’t have the same spark as last year. I’m not the new mom anymore, I’m just one of the moms. It’s not better or worse, but it’s true. Our babies grow and develop and we, as parents, grow and develop right there with them. They aren’t squishy, new newborns forever and we don’t get to bask in the glow of new mom-ness forever. But I love taking my place as one of the moms. And who knows, maybe one day, I will feel like I’ve gained some experience in all of this.