I would like to tell you that I was "born a Mother" when I got pregnant with the Muffin Man, but that really wasn't the case. I've always been kind of ambivalent about the whole Motherhood thing, and I vacillated between wanting to have a kid and not wanting to have a kid on a daily, sometimes hourly basis. I'm a narcissist at heart, so the thought of putting all my desires and needs aside in service to a small, helpless human being didn't exactly sound all that appealing, but I figured I'd probably regret it if I didn't at least give it the ol' college try, so I took a leap of faith and stopped using my diaphragm regularly. Fast forward a bit - through my initial panic at actually getting pregnant, nine months of weight gain and flatulence, and a natural birth - to a labor and delivery room at Cedars Sinai hospital where I was dazed and in shock and expected to know what to do with a squalling infant who had apparently just made his entrance into this world downstage vagina. I guess that technically I was "born a Mother" the day the Muffin Man arrived, but it took a while for that reality to sink in for me. As I've related ad nauseam here on the blog, I'm not a touchy-feely, highly emotional person, so the rush of love and whatever else some women feel post-birth didn't happen for me. Yes, of course I loved my son, but I mostly felt a lot of pain and an outsized concern over the incredible swelling of my lady parts.
I personally feel that I am "born a Mother" again and again. The first time that I really consciously understood that I had become a Mom was when I was alone for an entire day with my infant son and no help. The subsequent times of really having my eyes opened to being a Mom are varied: changing a bed full of vomit in the middle of the night and feeling more concern for Noah than for the fact that I had regurgitated peas in my freshly-washed hair; canceling a night out with friends because my kiddo was teething and not caring that I was missing two for one margarita night; and, on a daily basis, making decisions about what to do based on what's best for my kid instead of what I desire. That, my friends, is how I know I am a Mother. The narcissist still resides somewhere inside of me, but I manage to keep her under wraps in the context of Motherhood. My poor Hubby, on the other hand, may see a lot more of that selfish little bitch than he ever bargained for.