The landscape of my life has changed. Of course my life has changed by becoming a mother, but quite literally, the view from my kitchen is much different now (a blossoming backyard with four monstrous tomato plants in the corner) from what it used to be (a cramped sidewalk and the neighboring building's brick exterior).
Waiting to become a mother is an intense state of being that is unique to expectant women, and it's a perilous task. We take the test, announce the news, marvel at our beautiful, bulging belly and then find ourselves in this awkward state: the state of the wait.
The clock drags through pregnancy. It creeps and crawls through the period of total helplessness when you are constantly occupied by newborn needs. It actually comes to a complete stand still on long, sleep-deprived mornings.
The peanut butter in a peanut butter sandwich. The Midwestern plain states of this great country. The moderate among extremists. A woman with a mother and a few young children, right smack-dab between two generations. The middle is a sticky place to be.
Once, while deep in the throes of a mid-morning play date, a few fellow moms and I bravely challenged one another to make a list of the "super" characteristics that we were trying to embody. We called it the "Super-Mom List" and spent a few days reflecting on trying to fit into mom-sized superhero costumes.
You will look at the clock and feel slightly panicked when you read "7:00." The baby has slept through the night. You will begin to smile and the chorus will begin to brightly sing in your mind. But first. First you will want to check the baby, make sure the baby is okay.
Like most parents, I cannot help but indulge in the impulse of an occasional daydream: How will this child, whose nose I wipe without disgust, diapers I change with minimal complaint, and favorite books I read ad nauseum, turn out once he finally functions independently of me?
I have a confession to make. As I sit in my favorite cozy coffee shop writing this column, nearly eight-months postpartum, underneath my black t-shirt and green capris I am wearing -- are you ready for this? -- maternity underpants.
Understand that your children are not her children. More than likely, your friends will adore your children. However, you cannot expect that they'll love your offspring quite as passionately as you. My friend Ashley puts it like this: "While I may love your children and want to know about what happened at preschool, I don't need to know everything."
Since becoming a mother, breastfeeding has become one of my favorite subjects. Breast feeding comes with its own learning-curve, triumphs, and culture. It's fresh. It's local. And for many of us, both moms and babes, it's all the rage.