When was the moment you knew you were a mom?
This is a question I recently came across and it really made me think. There have been so many small moments over the last seven months introducing me to my new identity as mommy.
Even before Little Lovely arrived, all of the preparations helped me begin to understand what motherhood might be like- setting up her nursery, buying my first pair of maternity jeans, and feeling her little kicks and hiccups. I distinctly remember being on our babymoon in Jamaica, and after a delicious dinner and some dessert, baby had a dance party in my tummy. It was the first time we really felt her strong moves- she must have enjoyed the sweet treats!There was certainly an instant bond and connection when I met Eloise for the first time – counting her tiny fingers and toes and snuggling with her on my chest in the hospital. With so many people around and a whirlwind of information and activity it was a bit difficult to have special, quiet moments for reflection.
I know we began feeling like a family once we got home and settled. A specific moment was Labor Day, about a week after Eloise was born. She had slept well the night before, we took our first family stroll that morning and invited the grandparents over for a little cookout. It was a great day and family memory. But it wasn’t until Jody went back to work and I was alone with Eloise that the reality of motherhood truly hit me. Quiet mornings learning each other’s rhythms; feeding and sleep schedules ruling the day and lots of neighborhood walks to break up the afternoons. A defining moment for me was the first time I packed up Little Lovely for a trip to the doctor. I was somewhat overwhelmed figuring out how much time I needed to get her dressed, fed and clicked into her car seat so that we would arrive on time. We made it with a few minutes to spare, and as I approached the front desk to check in, I was asked by the cheerful receptionist, “And whose mommy are you?” Such a simple question, but it was the first time I introduced myself as Eloise’s mother rather than Emily. I proudly told her I was Eloise’s mommy, and we headed to the waiting room. Looking down to check on baby, I noticed that she was smiling up at me. It was the first grin I had seen, and while it probably wasn’t a true smile that early on I felt like she was giving her mommy reassurance that we were doing well so far.