Movies make everything look so simple. One recent movie I can think of is “Waitress,” where Keri Russell’s character gives birth to a baby she initially didn’t want, and instantly, deeply and totally falls in love with her new daughter. Now, don’t get me wrong. I love my newborn son immensely, gaze at him adoringly all the time and love to take pictures/video of him all the time, but…..I don’t know if I really feel like a mommy.
There are some babies I’ve really felt an attachment to, including my own, but does that make you a mommy? Does the fact that you’re lactating make you a mommy? How about having “mommy hands” — i.e. the ability to do all sorts of stuff with a baby in one arm? How about the desire to pick up your baby, even if he’s sleeping, after you’ve gone to run errands for less than an hour? Maybe I do feel like a mommy, since all those things apply.
However, when an old friend from high school asked me if I was happy, I had to pause. I was like….well, yeah, I’m happy, but….I sure am tired. (This was a few weeks ago, when my son was still sleeping at intervals less of less than 3 hours between feedings. I look a lot more human and have more energy now that he’s doing more, regular 4-hour intervals.)
I suppose I am wondering all this because it took me a long time to get to a point where I wanted to have a baby. And, to tell the truth, I only decided it was time because I realized I was getting up there in age. And, watching my husband, I sometimes feel as if he has way more zest for the role of parent than I do. (Seriously, he loves being a daddy. I almost wish we had had kids earlier for the joy of seeing him interact with our son.)
Oh, but my son’s incredibly soft skin….his gorgeous huge eyes that everyone says came from me…his precious tiny toes…even his eyelashes that seem to elongate everyday. Sometimes, I just want to squeeze him with both arms, even though I only need one right now.
Does it make me a bad mommy that I don’t quite feel like a mommy?