The only thing constant is change—and motherhood. I’m astonished to discover that along with my pregnancy weight not magically melting away, I can’t find a single tiny moment that is just me. Even when my husband steps in to relieve me of my duties, I can’t relax. I can’t stop mentally preparing for what might come next. I can’t stop thinking about the baby. I can’t stop being a mom.
I knew that once I had a baby my little one would be as much as part of my daily life as my husband and my Oreo craving, but for some reason those two seasons of Parenthood didn’t prep me as much as I thought they would. Even if I get the chance to sink one toe into a hot luxurious bubble bath, I still can’t unwind.
Before I was a wife, I got to be a girlfriend for a while. I understood the intricacies of relationships and what being in a ‘til-death-do-you-part relationship might be like. But before I became a mom—I was just me. (OK, I do have dogs. They gave me some practice. But I will have to wait a couple of years until my son is able to play fetch.) Now, thrust into this mommy role unrehearsed, I’m having a challenging time relaxing into my new role. If only I could turn down the volume on my Mom-O-Meter so I could have a moment to regroup. I need Calgon to “take me away”—from myself. I was not prepared for the constancy that is being a mom.
I hope that I can find a balance between being myself and being a mom. Or maybe those two “me’s” will morph into one someday soon. Or maybe I can find my Tonilyn Is a Mom instruction manual and figure out how to adjust my Mom-O-Meter volume. Being able to take a long bath (or even a five minute shower) as me and as a mom is something I look forward to.
In that moment when I think the new mom in me might jump out of her insecure skin (and that I can’t smell any worse from being unable to bathe thoroughly), I look down at my little baby, and he smiles. He smiles because he knows me. He smiles because I am his mom. My baby weight may not be melting, but my heart certainly is. I am glad that I am his mother. I am glad that I am his constant.
I think I deserve some Oreos.