I have been a mom for 3 years. I have loved every single minute of it, but I have begun to wonder, what actually makes me a "mom"? I am the same person I always have been, it's just now that I have a 3-year-old tugging on my pants leg. Sure my body has changed, I guess that would be a sign of my "mom-ness", but other than that, I am still Silly Annie girl who really thinks she is funny.
But there are things about me that make people proceed with caution or assume that I am different. This is in no sense a bad thing--I just am now finding the humor in it all.
I, like many moms know that people look at moms differently…even if your kids aren’t in tow. Maybe it is the mom swagger—the confidence “yea, I’m a mom—I can do it all, I am superwoman in my household!” only to realize that no, really, you have a cape still attached to you and that’s why people are staring.
Moms know other moms—just as motorcyclists give their signature “wave” of solidarity while passing eachother on the highway, moms give the “look”. It’s the “I’ve got your back” and “I understand why you are frazzled” look. Why, just the other day I was eating dinner with Deacon at a restaurant and a woman next to me was darting her eyes from her purse to the buffet line deciding what’s more important: potentially losing her purse in theft or watching her son make a mess all over the dessert bar. So I gave her the nod and said, “don’t worry, I’ll tackle anyone who tries to get to your purse” and off she went to assist her son. She came back and smiled with appreciation. It was as if we were tag teaming and the restaurant was a boxing ring—we owned it. Knock out—moms for the win.
Being a mom has it’s advantages—people more often hold doors for you, ask if you need help to the car, stuff a few extra crackers in your to-go bag for the ride home, lollipops for our children at the bank—people just know that moms really can’t do it all (even though we think we can). Wait a minute…we can do it all—we just accept the help graciously.
Moms like me know how to transform. One minute we are professionally dressed and ready to tackle the work world. If you are a full time Mom (God bless you!) you may be dressed to kill while walking your children to a play date or doing any other daily necessities that we work moms can't unfortunately get done. BUT when we are home and know that we will be there for a long time, we can magically dress into a slob-pjs, running shorts, oversized t-shirts---whatever you choose. WHY? I'll tell you why. It's comfy---and it is a lot easier to chase dragons or play puppy dog in comfy clothes than in jeans and high heels!
We moms also know how to transform for social events. Magically, we find time to shower, paint our nails, put foreign makeup on our face and show the world what we once were! This is the part I love, when I zip line down the stairs only to find my husband's jaw on the floor realizing that his wife "still has it!" That all becomes interrupted when your child (or more) comes running to you with a snotty nose or boo-boo--and that's ok--because while we are smokin' in our little black mini, we know how to bandage the scrapes of childhood and we know how to work a wet wipe! If we get a little "mom" on us--ie boogers or blood or crusts of dried food we don't really bother changing--we just flick it off and head on our way.
So here it was, a Friday night and I was going out on the town with a dear friend of mine. We were traveling to Cincinnati—which from my house almost seems like a different country. I was excited—I was going to dance and sing and be “Anne” again. For a few short hours, my family was allowing me to rediscover who I am outside of what I already know. I would never trade in my life for something better—they way it stands, I couldn’t be any happier, but just from 10pm to 2am on Friday I was able to set aside Raffi and Disney and dance the night away to Fergie and other electro-pop beats that made my feet move in a way I didn’t think I could.
After our night of dancing we found ourselves at a neat little restaurant and I stuffed myself with Chicken Pad Thai and I remember looking at the clock and giggling at the fact that it was 3am and I was still out.
I made it home at 3:30 (yea, I know.) and lost of evidence of my girls night out and transformed back into being a mom. I was awakened at 6:30 by my sweet little boy, we snuggled tight with Doug and watched Saturday morning cartoons and I felt like all was right with the world. I thought, “yea, I can to do it all.”
I have decided this: I am a mom. But I am also a wife, a friend, a dancer, a singer, a comedian, a co-worker, you name it—I probably play the role. And in order for me to be a great mom, I NEED to be “me”. It is ok to be the person I always was, I just need to juggle an extra title.
So, here is to us moms—We are the ring leaders of life’s circus—we do it all, and yes, it is ok to continue to define who WE are in the process.