April 20, 2009

The Second Time Around.





Becoming a mother for the first time is... probably the biggest shifting that a woman will ever experience in her life. When you give birth to that first child, the ground underneath your feet raises up a tad, all dreamy-like, and then suddenly it jolts so far to the left that you're standing in Japan. You are no longer even close to the place you'd occupied in life just moments before.

My God! You're someone's MOTHER!

This momentous shift was not an easy one for me to adjust to. Because... I didn't want to be in Japan! I wanted to be back in my old, comfy, well-worn plot in life! I think I spent the first three years of Ezra's life trying to hitch hike my way back across that ocean. No one would give me a lift, however. Probably because I smelled like sour milk. And had the craaaazy eyes.

It almost makes me feel badly for all the firstborns in the world out there. Because every firstborn is the son or daughter to a firstmom. And that's just plain scary, no? I, as a firstmom, was pretty much clueless to things like time management, baby care, and... oh... emotional stability and whatnot. (Not that I'm any more stable now, but at least now I'm aware of my instability- And aware that this instability is universal for people of the mom-persuasion. See? That right there is Progress!)

My experience with becoming a second-time mother has been a very different one than the first. In the four years between children, I've grown comfortable in my role as a mother. Not that I have mothering all figured out... that's not what I'm saying. I'm saying that thinking of myself as a mother, as someone's actual mother, has become second nature- whereas before, this thought made me want to run screaming into my own mother's arms- burying my face there until all the responsibility and sacrifice passed by me and I could emerge happy and carefree again.

Being comfortable in my role as a mother has been the main difference in my experience with the birth of my second child. It has been, all-around, much easier. I have fallen in love with the mamma in me. I see now that she was always a part of me, waiting in the wings for her time on stage. I am no longer afraid of what I lost in crossing over into motherhood, I am now more acutely aware of what I've gained.

I am still completely ungraceful and bumbling when it comes to things like, oh... time management, positive discipline, and basic baby care. You'd think I'd been raising two sacks of potatoes over here if you ever saw the day-to-day chaos and tomfoolery that make up my life at the moment. Forgetting to change the baby's diaper for 8 hours at a time... almost leaving the house to go get ezra from school without bringing the baby along... writing myself ridiculous notes like 'DO SOME LAUNDRY' or 'EAT BREAKFAST' or 'BREATHE IN AND THEN OUT. (REPEAT AS NECESSARY.)'

(That's an important one right there.)

It's like a crazy, messy, loud, wild, colorful, boisterous gypsy camp here most days.

But it's a gypsy camp I wouldn't trade for the world! Because I get to be the lovely gypsy mamma! And this wacky little brood of mine... it is rich with rumpled, scruffy joy. Joy that's rough around the edges yet better for the wear- like an old family photo carried faithfully in a back pocket.


12 comments:

mrs boo radley said...

You rock. You know?

MoMar said...

Yep, Mamma, you rock...

Laura said...

I like this a lot. I had a really, really hard time, too. I guess I'm afraid of The Second Time Around, thinking it would be as nightmarish as when I was a firstmom. You give me hope. :)

Megan said...

It's amazing, Emery, that Ezra is your little clone and Myer is Chris's. You have beautiful boys!

becca said...

Emery, you are such a crazy good writer! I loved reading this(and I'm not even a mom).

Anna Hosking said...

Amen.

Thanks for the encouragement today. Japan is a bit overwhelming at the moment. :)

Curdie said...

I know exactly what you mean. Thanks for writing it out.

manda said...

"Probably because I smelled like sour milk. And had the craaaazy eyes."love it!!

christopher said...

my little girl's name is emery jo, spelled just like yours. i thought she'd be the only one in the whole world with that name.

meg said...

I was wondering if it isn't to personal, did you guys plan your first pregnancy? And how long had you been married when you found out you were pregnant?

I'm just wondering if these things might have been a factor in your feelings of not being "ready" for lack of a better word.

Emery Jo said...

meg: our first pregnancy was planned, 6 months after we'd been married... although, we'd been dating for about 5 years.

jilian dee said...

I can't say how much I loved this! I'm soon to be a momma and am still young (22) and not sure how to shift. I have wanted to be one all my life but now that it's actually here I have no clue what to do. But I guess staying focused and embracing it will be the best thing :) thanks so much for this post. and you are a great mamma