Monday, October 3, 2011

I Am That Mom: Camille

I am that mom who was beginning to doubt I’d ever get to be a mom.

I am that mom who said goodbye to my first child before hearing his heartbeat or feeling her move within me. I learned that it is possible to fall completely in love with a child, even when the idea of him is still brand new. Dreams of sweet baby cheeks, soft skin, and toothless smiles start early in the heart, and I had to grieve those losses.

I am that mom who turned the creation of my family over to God. Turns out, he kind of knows what he’s doing.

I am that mom that knows a baby doesn’t have to grow under your heart to live within it.

I am that mom who became a mom with a phone call. I am the mom who sat on the couch in shock while friends put together a Pack ‘N Play, washed bottles, bought clothes and formula, and painted a nursery. I learned that baby girls can sleep perfectly well in second-hand blue dinosaur onesies, that an old desk works fine as a changing table, and that you can get ready for a baby in a day.

I am that mom who spent the first few weeks of my daughter’s life fearing she’d be taken away. I tried avoiding falling too much in love…and failed miserably. I mean...look at her. You're kind of in love with her now, aren'tcha?

I’m that mom who didn’t get to read the What to Expect book, and thus, freaked out when my tiny baby hiccupped. Sneezed. Pooped yellow. Pooped green. Didn’t poop. I read the “What Your Baby Should Be Doing” bullet points and “What Your Baby Might Be Doing” and worried obsessively if I couldn’t check off every baby achievement standard with my trusty green highlighter. (My child doesn’t roll over yet! I’m a terrible parent….OHnoooo!) Seven months later, I’ve found other uses for the book. For instance, it’s quite effective at propping up the Pack ‘N Play to the perfect angle to reduce reflux.
I am that mom who knows you think your kid is cute…..but is convinced my daughter is the most beautiful child ever. Her perfect eye-lashes, her radiant smile, her gorgeous skin….she’s amazing.

I am that mom who swore I’d never drive a Mini-van until I realized it is the DEFINIITION of sexy. (Those remote-control doors give me shivers. Seriously. And don’t even get me started on the storage space…)

I'm the mom who thinks my husband is sexier than ever when he's in the floor, wrestling with my daughter. He's an amazing father, and I love the three of us together SO much.

Because he's such a great dad, I’m the mom who occasionally chucks the baby into her father’s arms when he comes home for lunch and escapes to the above-mentioned sexy mobile. I love spending time with my daughter, but I’ve learned that it’s important to take care of me too. I’m the mom who put her baby in Kids’ Day Out at six months with no regrets. She MUCH prefers playing with other kids than being strapped in the car seat while I run errands. (And you KNOW how much easier the grocery store is without the baby carrier breaking your spine.)

I’m that mom who truly believes kids should watch little to no TV. That said, I have several hours of PBS kids on the DVR at any time and will shamelessly use “Sid the Science Kid” and Gerber puffs to entertain my child so I can shower and get dressed.

I’m that mom that takes my daughter to Kindermusik, play groups, the zoo, museums, parks, playgrounds, and a dozen other places. I’m the mom who can’t understand why I’m called a stay-at-home mom, since I’m almost never there. I the best way to learn about the world is to get out there and be part of it. I love that Memphis offers so many options for kids, and I love watching her experience new things.

I am that mom who is SO EXCITED to have a live-in student. I’m curious to see just how early I can teach her to read. Her library already rivals that of most adults, and I downloaded a baby reading program for the computer. I’m that mom who is planning to make labels for every item and surface in my house to see if it helps her read earlier. So if you ever visit, never fear! The refrigerator will be clearly labeled.

I am that Mom who gets irritated at my husband’s dirty socks but barely notices the mounds of balls, stuffed animals, blocks, and teething rings scattered haphazardly on the living room floor. (To my mother’s chagrin, I’m the mom who is in the process of turning my formal living room into a glorified playroom complete with activity rugs and alphabet posters on the wall. Hey…it’s her house too.)

I am that mom who watches my daughter sleeping in the swing and feels a peace like I’ve never known. I’m also that mom who cringes if she wakes early because I always have 10 more things on the to-do list. I feel guilty about my failure to find the Donna Reed-like balance between housework, husband care, and mothering, and I feel guilty about dirty laundry and serving frozen pizza for dinner. I feel worse about a day where I don’t read her a story, play peek-a-boo, or sing the alphabet song.

I am that mom who gets kinda freaked out by the crafty moms who furnish their nurseries with hand-sewn bedding and make their own baby clothes and decorate their birthday cakes. My sister-in-law makes this cake. I'm jealous of this cake.

I don’t have a crafty bone in my body, and I feel guilty that all her Halloween costumes will probably come from Target. I hope she's okay settling with a mom that is happy annoying Daddy by buying overpriced things that I could have made. Technically.

I am the mom who never even considered using cloth diapers. I did consider making my own baby food until I remembered that I don’t really like cooking all that much. Also, my fridge is usually too full of take-out containers to hold all those little baby food storage pods. I now have a cabinet and two drawers stocked with Gerber containers. Good thing. At the rate my child eats, I’d be making baby food three hours a day. Besides, she seems okay with the Gerber.

I am that mom who is learning that being an adoptive mom comes with some extra responsibilities. Maintaining relationships with birth families, communicating to Ellie that she’s adopted, educating family and friends, advocating for openness—it’s more than I imagined when I first dreamed of chubby baby toes, but this mom wouldn’t have life any other way.

I am that mom who gets kind of (or a lot) offended when people find out Ellie is adopted and ask, “But who is her real mom?” Or find out she’s bi-racial and say, “But it’s so good she’s light-skinned and looks like you.” I’m the mom who generally avoids conflict and tries not to hurt people’s feelings but will probably use some NOT NICE WORDS if you say something stupid about my daughter. She gives me the strength to speak up for her….something I’ve often had problems doing for myself.

I am the mom who is reminded of God's amazing grace and love every time I look at this beautiful face.

When she smiles, joy chases away all my insecurities, and I am the mom who has it all perfectly together. I am superwoman. I have all the answers. I am THAT Mom....because she is that daughter.

You can read more about Camille at her blog, Embracing the Odyssey.

And thanks, Camille, for providing such a loving view into the life of a mom, adoptive or otherwise.

Come back tomorrow for another I Am That Mom post. I'll meet you here, mkay?

Happy Monday to you and you and you.

1 comment:

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