By Rachel Ballin
Excuse me while I put on my mom jeans.
Don't try to hide it; you know exactly what I mean. Your mom jeans, the pair of jeans that are less than flattering and make you look frumpy, but they also happen to be so comfortable. Be honest, they’re worth it. I say, wear them with pride along with your frizzled hair, half-done makeup and shirt with a little smear of whatever your child decided to wipe on you that morning. Now go ahead, grab your stale, cold morning coffee and let's chat.
Here we go - There are several things I vowed I would never do as a pregnant woman and a mother. I’m sure when you think back to being pregnant and being a new mother, you can remember some of the vows you made. Maybe you stuck by them all, or maybe you threw them all out the window once motherhood took a life of its own. Either way, right or wrong, I say own it. You made your choices for a reason. It doesn’t make you any less of a mother; in retrospect, it most likely makes you a better one for adapting to your new role.
My story is a real mixed bag. I vowed to love my children more than life itself and to provide them with a loving, nurturing home. Thus far, with the support of my husband, I think we have held up that end of the bargain. However, there are several little vows I definitely threw by the way side along the way. Actually, some are quite humorous and I’d love to share them with you.
My first half broken vow happened a few weeks before our son was born, when my husband and I were shopping for our first ‘family’ car. The sales man tried to convince me I needed a minivan. I swore to my husband I would never ever drive or own a minivan. Although, we did not buy a minivan, my extended expedition is almost as large as a small bus and can comfortably seat nine. Do I have seven children? No. Nor, do I plan on having that many either, in case you were wondering. But the extra room, I can't lie, is nice.
My next fully broken vow involves elastic waist pants. Let me tell you they were made for a reason. I had never worn a pair of 'jeggings' until my last pregnancy. I swore them off, the first two pregnancies, thinking they screamed “I'm a pregnant lady” a little too much. Man was I wrong. They were super comfortable, but still flattering. I also vowed early on to never be 'that mom' at school. You know, the one that the ladies in the office cringe at when she calls, afraid of what she will say and at the same time annoyed, because she’s already called eight times this week. I'm pretty sure my name is on a list somewhere in red pen. Don’t get me wrong, I'm always polite and pleasant. But as I've learned from having children, I do have a voice and I have to be my children’s biggest advocate.
Lastly, I vowed I would never say cliché things my parents said to me like “because I said so” when responding to being asked why for the 242nd time in one day. Well surprise, surprise, I just used that little beauty yesterday.
I’m sure if I really thought harder there are more, many more, little broken vows, scattered in the ditches along my journey through motherhood. I’m sure you have some too. Maybe they’re similar or completely different, but when it comes down to it, right or wrong, at least we are all on this journey together.
So let’s not punish ourselves for these broken vows, but see each one of them as a lesson learned, have a good laugh and grow as mothers, caregivers and providers.
It's funny; as we enter motherhood, each woman has a view of what kind of mother she wants to be. Plus the reverse, what kind of mother she definitely doesn't want to be. If there's one thing I've learned in the past six years, it's that these expectations are exactly that; expectations. They're ideals, visions of what motherhood could be like. They’re photos in our minds from our own childhoods, books and movies. Really, motherhood is a life changing wild ride. All I can say in the end is hold on, buckle up, experience the journey and cherish the ride.
I hope you enjoy reading my point of view on Fridays. If you want to read more throughout the week, have questions or topics you want to read more about check out my Facebook page, “Baby Talk – with Rachel.” It’s full of valuable information and ideas about motherhood, parenting and child development with educational activities. I’m really loving connecting with the community and having these conversations with you all. Thanks for your support and keep it coming.