Time Warp Tuesday: Mothering


It’s been a long time since I participated in a Time Warp Tuesday, but I was just thinking I should go check to see what this month’s topic is, when posts started popping up in my inbox. It’s been a winding road for me to really get back into the swing of things around here, but since she started it, I’ve always loved, if not participating, reading everyone else’s take on each topic for Kathy’s brainchild.

And this week it’s ‘mothering.’

I did start out wondering just how many posts I’ve published that relate to the subject at hand. I know I’ve posted a few about my own mother, but it turns out not so many about my own mothering, of a child, at least, and that’s what I wanted to talk about.

So I found this.

What strikes me the most now about this post, aside from how much huger our little baby’s become, is how my own feelings have changed so much, in direct proportion to Abby’s verbosity.

It’s been a long time since I felt the need to articulate, even to myself, the feeling that I’m not a mother. Okay, a long time to me, but still, at least a couple of months.

All the feeding and bathing and dressing in the world never stopped me from feeling that way before, but a constant barrage of ‘Mom!’ has made all the difference. Mom, look, Mom, help, Mom, I want! It’s validation from the only person who can really make me mom.

Two days ago at the grocery store, we saw another mom and her baby at the deli counter. Side note: I suck at small talk, always. After a few sentences, other mom announced her tiny 15 month old’s birth weight and length, and asked Abby’s. I realize now it would have been entertaining to add ‘I wasn’t there’ after the ‘I don’t know,’ but just the ‘I don’t know’ stumped her enough to stop talking to me.

Looking back, I can say without a doubt that last year, I would have spent at least half an hour crying over that encounter. But really, to what end? Who cares about a birthweight? Who cares about some stranger in a grocery store? I did, but I don’t anymore.

A year ago, the three of us ran into an old high school friend of mine at the same grocery store (we only have the one), who remarked that she hadn’t known I was pregnant. I held it together long enough to respond that I’d never been pregnant (confusion galore!), but I was upset for days over that one. That wouldn’t bother me the same way now either.

I think the biggest change is that while the situation is almost exactly the same as it was a year ago, I feel a thousand times the mother I did then. Nothing can take away the number of times I’ve already heard ‘Mom, look!’ today. That’s what matters.

8 Comments on “Time Warp Tuesday: Mothering”

  1. Skatermom says:

    I think (from reading this) that there’s one other change you might not even realize. The more YOU feel more like a mom, the less those comments upset YOU, then the better mother you’re being to Abby, who will model her response to those kinds of comments and questions based on how you handle them. There are lots of different ways to become a parent. Whether or not someone else views some of those paths as “less than” is not nearly important as who we feel about the journey we’ve taken. You are clearly Abby’s mom. Your writing stakes your claim to motherhood over and over. Well done!

  2. Kathy says:

    Welcome back to Time Warp! So happy that you decided to join us again this month and I really appreciate your kind words about me and my “brainchild.” πŸ™‚

    It is really interesting to see how far you have come between these two posts. It’s a huge step, more like a leap, forward how you are dealing with these situations now. I too used to be afraid of saying the wrong thing and freaking other people out when I am just being honest about life and pathway to building my family.

    Recently my therapist encouraged me to share what I am thinking or feeling with a particular loved one who I often sensor myself around. She suggested that I say what I mean to say and then wait without judgement for the person’s response. If she doesn’t respond, which can be typical in these situations, my therapist said to try saying, “does talking about this make you uncomfortable?” And then again, wait for her response, if she gives me one.

    I thought her advice was awesome, though to be honest I haven’t tried it yet. πŸ˜‰ Anyway, I thought you might appreciate her insight too, when it comes dealing with those who don’t “get it.”

    Thanks again for doing the Time Warp again with us this month! I missed you and it’s great to have you back! πŸ™‚

    • aprilvak says:

      I’m glad to be back. I’ve missed time warping with you!

      And it does feel good to calmly, matter-of-factly discuss things with someone and be the one to ask if talking about it makes them uncomfortable. I can’t do that every time yet, but I will one day.

  3. It really makes me happy to see you feeling more like her Mom because you ARE her Mom!

  4. Lavender Luz says:

    I really like what Skatermom said.

    There is such power in the word “Mom,” isn’t there?

    • aprilvak says:

      I like it too. A lot.

      You’re right, there are some words that can change everything just by hearing or speaking them, and that’s one.

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