Sometimes the fact that I’m a parent sneaks up on me. I had one of those moments tonight, actually: Zach has been playing in a soccer tournament all evening, so I had a few hours to hang out by myself after Parker went to bed. I watched a movie in our bedroom and caught up on some blogs on the computer, which is how I spent many evenings before the baby was born. (Nowadays most post-bedtime hours are spent catching up on laundry and doing the work I didn’t have time to complete during the day.)
When I came out of the bedroom to refill my water bottle, the pile of toys in the living room caught my eye. It took me by surprise at first — maybe because those particular toys are new and I’m not used to seeing them. But this wave of holy crap, I have a kid washed over me, just like it had on Christmas Eve as I was wrapping gifts and wrote “Love, Mommy & Daddy” on Parker’s gift tags.
I’ve experienced the same feeling at the grocery store, when I’m loading my stuff onto the conveyer belt and pick up a pack of wipes from my cart. And when I’m talking to a student’s mom, who asks how the baby is doing. The list goes on…which is surprising considering I’ve had almost seven months to get used to this role. After all, it consumes most of my waking (and “should be sleeping”) hours.
I always thought that once I became a mom, I would all of the sudden feel more grown up or have life all figured out. But in all honesty, that hasn’t happened; in fact, the opposite is true. Now that I have a baby, I question all of my decisions and wonder if I’m doing the right thing for him and our family.
But maybe that’s normal. Just like Parker is figuring out the world as a new human, I’m doing the same as a new mom. Everything is different with a child, whether he is physically with me or not, and sometimes my brain has to process that (again and again).
Another sneaky parenting moment I experience often? When I’m hit with the fact that holy crap, this beautiful creature is all mine and I get to keep him. I really like when that happens.