Embracing my mom-ness
I have a theory that every pregnant woman adopts a mom idol. This is a woman, either a friend or family member, whom the “preggo” views as the ideal type of mom they themselves hope to become. This domesticated goddess is closely observed and studied for every clue on how to become like this woman once they reach their motherhood destination.
My mom’s “mom idol” was my Godmother, Carol Arban, and to this day my mom still practices Carol’s mommyisms (such as baking, lots of baking), which also may come from her sister, Carol (my mom likes her some Carols). So, when I got pregnant, I looked to the moms around me.
I had two close mommy friends, my Sara(h)s. One Sara in particular (whom I believe might be the other Sarah’s mom idol as well) fits my motherhood bill to a tee. My motherhood type is the hip sexy mom who nobody would believe is a mom because she is just so fabulous. Charlotte York from “Sex in The City” also fits this bill, and I’ve always said Sara is the Charlotte in my group of girlfriends. So there you have it, I’ve got my mom type down. So how do I become this woman? I studied Sara (don’t worry Sara, not in a creepy way).
Sara is amazing. She is cool, collected, and the most relaxed first-time mom I’ve ever met. She wears cute tops, heels, and jeans to events. She looks amazing physically, and was drop-dead gorgeous on her wedding day less than a year after giving birth. Sara has fun, lots of fun, with both her crazy cool daughter, and her husband. She goes to Tahoe for the weekend with friends, or takes her beautiful little family to dirt bike events out in the desert… the desert… and I can barely make it to the mall! She dresses her daughter in the coolest hip baby clothes ever, and her little personality leaps off the pictures on Facebook.
I could keep going on about all the little things which make Sara my mom idol, but I’ll sum it up by saying I love her because she is the anti-mom. She is who she was B.C. (before child) yet, she is even better. I set out on my pregnancy journey determined to adopt the anti-mom philosophy and embrace motherhood without losing myself in my child.
It started slowly at first…the mom persona. I found myself several weeks post partum too little to hold up the maternity pants but too… ummm, wide… to fit in my pre-pregnancy pants, and not just my pants but my fat girl pants. I CAN’T FIT INTO MY FAT GIRL PANTS!!! So, my mom brought over a bunch of her clothes for me to try on and hopefully use while I continue to slim down.
So there I was, standing in my bathroom looking in the mirror at myself in my mom’s jeans… my mom’s jeans… OH DEAR GOD I’m wearing MOM JEANS!!!! I quickly took them off and told my mom they wouldn’t work because of the length, thank god I’m so much shorter than her, and suggested we go to Old Navy so I could buy a new pair of jeans to live in.
Then the hunger set in. I’ve always been petite, and have never really had an appetite. As a child I was so thin, from my heart problem, that they put me on a milkshake and croissant diet. In high school I was so fragile looking that the only principle part I ever got in the school play was that of a dying woman. Even when I was pregnant I was so nauseous I never really experienced those pregnant cravings which I heard so much about. But now, weeks after I’ve given birth and cut back my breastfeeding, I have a hunger inside of me I have never experienced.
So, what did I do with this hunger? I satiated it of course. Every chance I got, which wasn’t very often, I ate whatever I could get my hands on. I was eating ice cream for dinner and pizza for breakfast. Then it happened: I jumped on the scale to weigh my baby and discovered that not only was the baby growing nicely, so was I. I had gained 10 pounds… 10 pounds! It sunk in… Oh no, I am becoming the fat lazy mom who eats bon-bons. What’s next? I’ll become addicted to soap operas?!?! I was definitely not fulfilling my anti-mom dream and in fact I was becoming the horribly scary image of the “mom” stereotype I had in my mind.
I was determined to turn it around and get back on track. I started working out and eating better in preparation for our big trip to the Bahamas (which is a whole other column waiting to be shared). I went shopping, quite often, for cute and hip outfits for the Bahamas. I even dropped $300 on two dresses at a local boutique because I needed these cool things to help turn my “mom-ness” around. The day before the big trip I made an appointment at the hippest beauty salon in downtown Sacramento, and beautified all the things I had been neglecting for the past six months. I felt on top again. Here I was looking fabulous and feeling great.
So we go to the Bahamas. The trip in itself negates the whole, “cool, calm, and relaxed” mom thing I’m going for. I’m anxious beyond belief and trying, very unsuccessfully, not to cry the entire trip, but I keep on trying to at least project the anti-mom vibe. So, I beg for tickets to see Kris Allen at the Atlantis Resort, the last winner of that teenybopper show American Idol, who I actually really do like, but this act will definitely make me younger and less “mom” like. I spend hours dolling myself up, slip on one of my boutique dresses, and prepare for a night without the baby, at the casino resort, to see Kris Allen. This was it. I was hitting my anti-mom target straight in the bull’s-eye.
At the show it started to dawn on me. There is a very diverse crowd, but a general grouping of kids and moms, or moms with their kids. Here were these older “mom” women, either with their girlfriends or dragging their husbands along, drooling over the much younger Kris Allen. But was that me too? Yes I had dragged my husband along, and of course I was drooling over Kris Allen, have you seen him? But I didn’t count. I’m so young. Am I that much older than Kris anyways? I Googled it… he was born in 1985. So, I win! Only five years younger… sweet… I’m redeemed. I decide I’m not one of these “moms,” I’m like Kris’s super cute wife Kati, if she had lived up to all the rumors and been pregnant like all the tabloids had suspected.
I left the concert with my head held high. I had a lot of fun, and my husband and I were successful in not talking about the baby the whole time. Then it happened… like a punch to the gut. It started out so innocently. A group of designer clad rich pre-teens living it up on vacation stop me in the hall and ask if I can take their picture. Of course! I’m so cool looking all done up in my dress, and feeling hip after my Kris Allen experience, why wouldn’t the kids think I was cool too. I’ve always related to this age in a cool camp counselor kind of a way… so, here it is — I’m back to being the B.C. (before child) me; pre-teens think I’m cool enough to stop and ask to take their picture.
With the final click of the camera I hear the two most horrifying words which knock me straight off my anti-mom pedestal. As a group, in unison, they say “Thanks MOM” to me…TO ME! What? What did you just say? MOM? I mean I know I am a mom, but to a three-month-old tiny baby who can’t even say the word “mom.” I am not the mom to a group of pre-teen kids, I’m the cool camp counselor…right? RIGHT? Needless to say, I was defeated. I lost my anti-mom crown before I even had the chance to try it on.
What do I do now? How do I find a place for my own identity within the new identity of being a mom? Will I ever be as cool and gorgeous as Sara? Never have been, so why would I think I could start now? So, I’ve accepted that I have changed as a person. That I will never be the BC Christy I use to be. I don’t even want to say it, but it’s true — I may never fit into my treasured designer jeans I had custom tailored to fit my BC body ever again. But, it’s OK. Until I figure it all out, I am putting aside my Charlotte York fantasies.
On this day, my first Mother’s Day, I’m going to embrace my “mom-ness” because I realized I win no matter what; I will always be me, but better, because part of me is now in the coolest, cutest little boy I know. I still love Charlotte and Sara, and everything they have to teach me, but I think, especially now with my new column, there might just be a little more Carrie in Christy.