I get this question more often than you would think. My answer is usually this: I don’t feel like a mom. I just feel like someone handed me a baby and said, “Make it stop crying.”
Homegirl is both a bundle of joy and a ball of tears. I feel like every day is a constant guessing game of trying to figure out what she needs. Everyone always says babies are helpless. Everyone is wrong. Parents are helpless. We have no idea what we are doing.
While I was pregnant I had a Netflix marathon and binged on the tv series House MD. One quote about parenthood stuck out to me: “When I see people with their kids, it's so natural. It's like they have an instruction book imprinted on their genes. Maybe I just didn't get a copy.” This resonated with me more than I can say.
But the most comforting piece of advice I’ve received about being a new mom was from a great friend with two amazing children. “You have known your baby longer than anyone else. So you are the expert.” While I still don’t feel adequate enough to care for a babychild, she has a point.
No one knows this baby better than I do. Heck, I carried her for nine months, endured hours of painful labor, and have been by her side all her (short) life. So I guess I am the expert.
But unlike most moms I’ve come in contact with, my life didn’t stop when I had a baby. In fact, it picked up speed and is now on the verge of a crash landing. Along with being a mom, I am a full-time student, wife, intern, writer, runner, social media manager, and podcast editor. While I’m drowning in responsibilities and deadlines, I couldn’t be happier.
Before Babygirl came into play, I was floating in a sea of unrealized dreams and sunken potential. When I started college I was like the Titanic: lots of expectations but I hit an iceberg along the way. Lost in my own unsure sense of self, Scarlett was the lifeboat that pulled me out of the water.
When I found out that we were having a girl, I wanted more than anything to raise a confident, competent, don’t-need-no-man sophisticated lady. As my pregnancy progressed, I thought more and more about how I could raise her this way. But I realized, I couldn’t expect her to be anything more than I was. So. I changed my life drastically.
No more waiting around for dreams to manifest themselves. No more excuses for myself. Homegirl was counting on someone to pave the path for her. And I’ll be damned if it’s not lined with diamonds and my own sweat and tears.
If I want to tell her she can be anything she wants then I need to show her she can. If I want her to develop and use her talents to benefit herself and those around her you better believe I'll be doing the same.
So this isn’t easy: my life is go go go around the clock and my house is a mess and I’m still trying to lose the baby weight but I'm happy. I have a sense of who I am and where I am going. What is it like to be a mom? It means being the best person you can be for your babygirl.
If you want to keep up with all the baby cuteness of Scarlett, follow her on Instagram!
In your experience, what does it mean to be a mom? How has becoming a parent changed your life? I'd love to hear your experiences in the comments below!
Read our story of announcing our pregnancy.
Read my story of how I met my husband.