Saturday, November 2, 2013

The Calm and Panic of Impending Motherhood

It hit me one day. Holy shit! I’m going to be a Mom! Sure, I had been knowingly pregnant for 16 weeks or so, but something clicked. I don’t remember what spurred it. Maybe I saw a minivan drive by, or maybe it was when I went to the children’s consignment store and TOYS WERE EVERYWHERE. I think that was truthfully my first moment of panic through this whole thing. And it’s entirely selfish.

This moment of panic wasn’t about raising a child, childbirth, or the many other terrifying thoughts that pop up when you know you will soon be in charge of a little life-form. It was about Me. Me, Me, Me.

How can I be Me, when I am called Mom? What is going to change? Will my cool nature fade away for some stomping tyrant? I don’t want a f*%king minivan! The stereotype of motherhood felt pressed upon me in one big suffocating moment. I was in a glass case of emotion, friends, and still kind of am.

I’m sure a flurry of internet searching would result in one cheesily-written, comforting article, but I’d rather fall back to the Moms in my life to be comforted. Moms like my Mother, who probably had some of these same feelings. Of course, I’ve only known her as Mom, but it seems her cheerful, fun personality has shined throughout the stress I surely caused. That is, if “You haven’t changed since High School!” refers not only to her beauty, but also to her charming ways.

I then look to my Chambana Mom friends. I am lucky to know some really amazing Moms in this community. Moms that take their children to community events like Friday Night Live and art shows at Indi Go Artist Co-Op. Moms that are active in bettering their community and incorporate their children into this practice as well.

I’d like to call out a good friend of mine, Stephanie, who will kill me for doing so. I first met her at a Surfabilly Freakout show at the Cowboy Monkey, singing and dancing and bringing, no BEING, the party. Yeah, that’s still her, with an amazing toddler in tow. Sometimes the dance parties are at home instead of downtown, and that’s okay.

I got this, right?

Motherhood will undoubtedly change me, as any large life event can and should. What I must have faith in, is that even in the moments where I say to myself, “Who ARE you?!” I can reflect to the times of growth I’ve experienced throughout this journey. Sometimes the house will be covered in toys and smell like a dirty diaper, but other times I’ll walk my child through Downtown Champaign with its shops, cafes, and art or through the beautiful parks of Champaign and know that we’re learning a lesson of community and growth together. Ultimately, that’s what it is all about, right?