It's taken me a while grow into and even fully accept my role as "mama", and I'm still growing, for sure. However, I think I have arrived at a point where I can look at myself (and laugh at myself) daily when I realize, "Yep! I'm a mom!" Here are ten ways I know I'm a mama, interspersed with some cute pics taken lately!
1. I am so used to hearing crying that I hallucinate daily that I hear Ava crying when she really is not. For example, when I'm in the shower and she's sleeping, I always hear crying, and it's always just in my head. When I'm drying my hair, I turn off the hair dryer every five seconds to see if what I hear is really crying. It's not.
2. This morning, when Ava woke me up for the day at 5:45 am by screaming loudly, I thought: I want nothing else in the world right now than to buy a Keurig and plug it in right by my bed so I can simply reach over and press a button to get a cup of coffee. Making a pot of coffee downstairs takes way too long. This was a serious thought, and I actually looked to see if there was an outlet close enough to my bed to make this work.
3. I used to hate little errands to drop off clothes at the cleaners, get gas, get the mail, or pick up medicine at CVS. Now, I LOVE those errands and even look forward to them since they are legitimate outings that take up time! Anything to get us out of the house is great in my book.
4. The other day, Brent was holding Ava and asked me to help him get a glass of water. I rolled my eyes and sighed really loudly because I can make a sandwich, flip pancakes, pick up the house, open the mail, answer emails, and feed the dog with one hand while holding a 16 pound baby in the other. Getting a glass of water one-handed is a total rookie task, but I helped him anyway. :-)
5. I am an introvert and used to go entire days without talking to anyone, especially working from home. Now, I am talking, singing, and making noises ALL DAY to keep Ava occupied. I think nothing of making clicking and kissing sounds for hours at a time. I regularly sing the ABCs, the Itsy Bitsy Spider, and random Christmas songs at the top of my lungs on repeat for 30 minutes while making dinner to keep Ava happy.
6. I know Ava is not supposed to watch any TV until she is 2. Are these people serious? Sometimes a mama just has to fold some laundry. Ava watches maybe 15 minutes of TV a day, but I have completely memorized all of the songs on Dora the Explorer and Micky Mouse Clubhouse.
7. Speaking of memorizing, I have memorized all of the 8 or so books that we read to Ava daily, especially the bedtime books. I can recite them without even thinking about it. Recently, I noticed that I just say the words by memory and half of the time I'm not even on the right page!
8. I used to love shopping for myself, and I remember thinking that it would be a bummer to shop for someone else instead of myself (selfish!) However, I have not bought anything for me in months, and I've bought a TON of clothes for Ava, and I have no problems with it whatsoever. I LOVE buying clothes for Ava, to the extent that I probably need to reign it in a bit!
9. I don't carry a purse anymore, only a diaper bag. Last Sunday, Brent and I went on an actual date out to dinner, and I ordered a glass of wine. The waitress asked for my ID (what?), and I didn't have it because it was in the diaper bag... at home. I was like, "Lady. I don't have my ID because it's in my diaper bag at home with my 7 month old. Plus, we've been married for 8 years. I promise - I'm 31 years old." She said she thought we looked like we were on our first date (Thank you, but I'd like a glass of wine!), and she would not give me any wine because I did not have my ID. Guess I need to start carrying the diaper bag on dates! Romantic, no?
10. I used to have a laundry day - Mondays. Now, laundry day is every day. I have no idea how the basket piles up so quickly, but I put in a load every single morning. I go through at least 2, usually 3 shirts and pants per day since I get spit up on like clockwork. I gave up wearing real clothes long ago. Now I only shop in the workout section of Marshall's, and I'm totally fine with that!
And last but not least, I know I'm a mama because even on the most challenging days, I am reminded how much Jesus did for me, and it seems like nothing to do all of these things for Ava. I love her so much I can hardly stand it, and our bond continues to grow.