Ever since the stick turned pink, I’ve patiently waited to feel like a Mom.
It will happen when the baby kicks.
It didn’t happen then. It felt like I was a host in a sci-fi situation. But really, it felt like I was playing pretend. So I waited and told myself: It will happen…
- when we know the sex.
- when he has a name.
- when I hold him.
- when he smiles.
- when he laughs.
- when someone calls me Mrs. Ray.
- when I join PTA.
- when we both stumble on homework.
- when I scoop him up and take him to the ER and answer doctor’s questions.
- when he has a sleep-over.
- when someone says, “you have a nice kid.”
- when he plays sports and I bring snacks for the team.
- when I hear fourth grade drama from other fourth graders.
- when I make my own version of “Dog Food” for dinner.
For a split second on all of those occasions, I felt like a Mom. But then I always slipped back and waited to feel like a real Mom. I feel like I’m playing pretend. I’m just a girl playing an Adult Mom.
I don’t feel like a Mom. I don’t. I question my selfishness. I question my choices. And I absolutely don’t feel like an adult! Maybe some women transform and become Moms. I’m still waiting to be a real Mom.
But maybe, just maybe… I was wrong. I won’t become a Mom.
Maybe we simply become better versions of ourselves.
I’m not entirely selfish. I simply value Me more than I ever did prior to children. I question my choices not because I’m clueless but because my choices are not MY choices any longer. They are the choices of a Family. I’ve been an adult and responsible for human beings long enough to understand that “Adult” status is bullshit. I doubt anyone ever feels like a true Adult and I’m comfortable with that. Being comfortable with this fact means I lounge in my PJ’s at 3 p.m. on a Tuesday without guilt. It means I don’t care about other people’s judgement. It means I can decide the best for my family without trashing your best. It means I can have fun while also being responsible.
My children didn’t radically change me into what I imagined a Mom would be. I’ll never feel like a Mom the way a 24 year-old Erika assumed she would. I’m adult enough to know she was silly to even have assumptions about the future. My children didn’t make me that Mom. They made me the best version of myself.
They made Me shine.
10 :: 30
Finally made my own version of “Dog Food” and I still didn’t feel like a Mom. And that’s ok.
Recipe for Ray Dog Food (written in Erika Ray fashion. Feel free to modify)
- Brown breakfast sausage until no longer pink. Add a chopped onion and continue to cook for 4 minutes.
- Add 1/2 cup of water and used the pressure cooker for 6 minutes with a natural release.
- It tasted like Blah for Sunday’s breakfast. But vowed to not throw it out.
- Next night, preheat oven to 350.
- Dump into an ugly casserole dish. Mix a Ziploc bag of defrosted Cream of Celery soup. Season (cause I forgot to on Sunday). Cause every Blah dish needs soup.
- Bake for 40 minutes.
- Take it out of the oven and REALLY realize the reason people use peas is for color and so no one will mistake certain dishes as piles of vomit. Heat up peas in microwave and mix in the ugly casserole.
- Warn your family that it looks like Dog Food and try to make it a nostalgic dish…
- Be amazed by family members’ reactions and smile when they beg for more.
- Good boys. Good boys.