About a month ago, I was reading a post from a mommy-blogger that I totally related to. She was talking about how as a mom who didn't start having kids until she was well into her 30's (like me), her new life as a mommy didn't really feel "real" to her for a long time. She said she spent so many years as a stressed out workaholic (again, like me) that when she quit her job to stay home and raise her kids, she felt a bit like it was a long vacation, and not really her real life. She said that even though she was absolutely having the time of her life, she felt like at any moment, someone was going to show up, take her daughter and say: "Okay, vacation's over. Time to go back to your real life now." She said it took a real "A-ha" moment for her to internalize her new role as mommy and really integrate it as part of her new self-image.
I couldn't get that post out of my mind, because it was exactly how I felt. I'm LOVING staying home with Gracie. But I felt like at any moment, someone was going to find me and say: "Ha! You didn't think you were going to escape that easily, did you? Did you really think we were going to let you spend your days playing with that beautiful little girl forever? Go sit in your windowless office, and get back to working 60 hour weeks right now!" (Yes, my imagination talks to me in cheesy dialogue from a really bad detective movie).
Now, I know what some of you are thinking. You're thinking: "Um, didn't pushing an almost 9 pound baby out of your va-jay-jay without any drugs make you feel like a real mother? I mean, you'd think that the labour, the breastfeeding troubles and the sleepless nights would make you realize - hey, I'm a mommy now!"
But, like her, I didn't really feel like I was a "real" mommy yet -- until yesterday, when I had MY "A-Ha" moment.
This week, the guy at work who has my old job is on vacation, so I've been taking Gracie to the office to fill in. It's been going pretty well, but yesterday Gracie was just not co-operating. She slept in, so her morning nap was going to be too late for me to take a shower and still get us out of the house at a decent time, so I had to skip the shower. I just washed my face and put on a little makeup, found a headband and put my hair back and headed to the bedroom to find some clothes.
That's when I discovered that I had been doing lots of laundry for Gracie and hubby, but that there wasn't a single clean shirt to wear for myself. So I actually sorted through the laundry hamper, pulled out all of my t-shirts, laid them out on the bed and compared which shirt had LESS spit-up on it. And that's when I had MY "A-ha" moment.
It just totally hit me, like a ton of bricks, right then and there. I am a mommy now. Choosing your least spit-up on shirt to wear out in public is a totally "mommy" thing to do. This really is my "real" life.
And I'm loving every minute of it.