Not Normal

I first knew I was not going to be a normal mom when I attended my first birthing class.  We had to meet with a partner and tell her what we loved most about being pregnant.  We broke off in pairs. She told me her reason and I told her mine.

Then we regathered in a big group and introduced our new friend and reported on what our partners said.  My partner and I were dead last.  Girl after girl reported– all saying the same thing–  “This is so and so. She loves to feel the baby kick inside her.”  Literally every girl’s favorite part of pregnancy was feeling the baby move inside them.

Then it was my partner’s turn.  She was the very last to go, and by this time she had figured out that she did not get a normal partner.  She looked a little shy and a little embarrassed as she reported, “This is Tiffany.  She likes not having a period.”

I don’t remember the crowds response, but I do remember feeling different than other moms.

I have felt “not normal” many times over my mothering career.

Like the time I cried at Disneyland because I saw a mom nursing her baby.  I had just weaned Locke and we had gone to Disneyland without him.  But I wasn’t crying because the nursing phase was over in my life or because I missed Locke;  I was crying because I was so happy I never had to nurse ever again.  I nursed 4 kids for a year each and that was enough for me.

My most recent “not normal” experience was just yesterday when everyone was posting pictures of their kids’ first day of Kindergarten or preschool and the moms were sad about it.  Some dreaded the day. Some even cried.   And there I was getting Croft ready — totally excited for her big day.

It is not that I don’t love Croft.  I do. I will probably even miss her.  But I know Croft is ready.  I am happy about her school and her teacher, and she was so excited too. But I also love growth, change, and new opportunities.   (I would be living in a third world country right now if I could talk my husband into it.)

Overall I am okay that my kids are growing up.  That is what we do.  Growth is a sign that our bodies are working as they are designed. That our brains are developing. And that all is normal with our kids.  Imagine if they really did stay little forever.  That would actually be sad and scary.  So I see moving on up as a good thing.

Some days I long to be normal.  But most days I accept who I am and tell myself that there is not one right way to be a mom.  There is not one right way to feel or one right way to act or one right way to be.  We all handle the stages of motherhood differently according to our strengths, weaknesses, talents, goals, beliefs and experience.

And that is normal.

 

8 thoughts on “Not Normal”

  1. I was thinking about this yesterday. I feel so torn because I always think to myself, “I can’t wait until they’re older so we can… I can’t wait until they’re older so things are easier. I can’t wait until they’re older so we can experience different things.” But at the same time, I don’t want them changing and growing SO fast. It seems that time has gone so incredibly fast and while I’m excited for them To learn, grow, develop, and change, I miss their innocence. I don’t know if I totally can even understand it myself. I long for them to grow older, more independent, smarter, etc. but I believe it is the speed at which it is happening that I don’t like.

    1. I do that too, except now my oldest I a teenager and my 2nd is almost 12 and I don’t think parenting gets easier. In fact I think older kids are harder!

  2. Oh, and I would have added “pregnancy boobs” along with no period to the best part of bein pregnant. 🙂

  3. Hi, I feel exactly the same way. My oldest son will be at preschool for 5 days a week this year and I am happy about it. He loves it and it will be a great time for him to develop and grow. Having two special needs kids, I find it interesting that everyone asks “Are they walking, talking, sitting up, potty trained, etc yet?” as if there is pressure and that you are a bad mom if you’re kids aren’t developing “normally”. Then when they reach a certain age, people say their kids are growing up too fast. As for me, I am grateful for my kid’s growth and accomplishments at any age.

    1. Jen, thanks for your insight. There is a pressure to have kids potty trained by a certain age, or off a binki, or walking or crawling or speaking. We panic in those moments when they are “delayed” and then just like you said, in the next breath, we complain that our kids are growing up too fast. I love your perspective with children with special needs. Growth and development really are a blessing. Thank you for your comment.

  4. Tiff, I love that you said that mother’s all mother differently and that is normal. And my favorite quote that I share with all mother’s that came from you, “Don’t judge other moms and they will be less likely to judge you.”

  5. Hahaha, I’m not normal in the exact same ways….in fact during this month’s cycle I thought “dang it, I should just get pregnant so I don’t have to deal with this!” And I am super excited that school started. I figure I may be sad when the youngest starts school, but for now, it’s a blessing. My eldest just started first grade and she LOVES school she comes home so happy, it makes me happy.

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