May 12th, 2013

A new take on Mother's Day

Every Mother’s Day, I have been excited to remind my mom how much she means to me. I don’t remember much about when I was YOUNGER-younger (except once saying I couldn’t tell the Mother’s Day gift we got her, but “you wear them on your ears”) and she may have been “sOoOooOo meannnn” when I was in high school, but my appreciation for her was always there on Mother’s Day. My relationship with her really did change throughout those years, though.

You see, my mom was (and still kind of is) scary. She was always friendly with us, but not in the way some moms are “OMG total BFF” with their kids. She would not allow gossip and certainly never bad talked anyone. She had rules for us to follow and we had simple expectations to meet. We had to do school sports, or work. We couldn’t be “lumps” (one of my favorite pastimes!) and we always had to help out around the house. We weren’t allowed to watch MTV or VH1. We had to earn things, they weren’t handed to us. We were expected to earn A’s and B’s. And if we messed up, there were consequences. Period.

I got away with some stuff in high school, sure. But mostly I didn’t. Mostly I got caught doing stupid things and got punished. Harshly Fairly. My friend Hooch reminisced recently with me about my grounding junior or senior year that kept getting extended – for months! – due to my bad attitude. I didn’t like it, but I knew I deserved my punishments. I never snuck out (except one time when I walked home my sister’s friend and then stopped by at a party for 5 minutes and then left, earning myself the nickname “schwing.”) I avoided doing a lot of questionable things I might have otherwise done, because I had a good, healthy fear of my parents – mostly my mom.

There was no feeling in the world like coming home on January 26, 2002 (we still refer to this incident as 1/26, that’s how bad it was) drunk out of my mind and puking everywhere. I knew I was in for it. People were calling my friends to check on me and they said “we’re not worried so much about Kelly having drank too much as we are about her mom killing her.” I remember very little about that night, but I do recall her silhouette in the window, waiting for me. (The next few months I was either at home, school, or church.) I had a few more lapses of judgement throughout the rest of my “drinking years” (ha) but I certainly learned from this. I would often in college make smarter decisions when I’d think about my mom’s reaction.

My mom committed 100% to mothering us properly. No-nonsense. I thought it was “omg so annoying” at the time, but now I appreciate it. Her resolve never wavered  She never showed signs of being unsure of her parenting. She committed to it every day. I rarely saw her break. And she has three pretty darn good kids (if I do say so myself) to show for it. She always put us first. Sometimes it meant not having as much “fun” with us, or having us be mad at her, but she had the end game in mind: smart, responsible adults.

Now, my mom is one of my very best friends.

I can talk to her about anything now. She’ll always be honest with me when I ask her opinion. She’ll listen to me when I’m upset and offer suggestions if I ask for them. She’ll out-dance me at ANY wedding. I couldn’t ask for more! She inspires me to be a great mom (just like her) but also to be as active and passionate as she is. I can’t wait for our baby to have her as a grandma, he or she will be just as lucky as we were growing up.

I thought a lot about my mom today, but also about my beebee! This is one of those weird Mother’s Days where I can kind of celebrate but not really? Baby got to spend the day with me (as if he/she has a choice) while I ran errands.

(Sidenote: I got wished a Happy Mother’s Day in Home Depot so that MAY be my first stranger acknowledgement?!)

I feel so excited to introduce baby to our family and all the amazing people in it. Finding out baby’s gender (still a secret!!!) was incredible and it’s really changed my pregnancy. It was the first time I actually cried because it just made it so REAL. I was really nervous about finding out the gender and I am so glad we decided to just rip it off like a Band-Aid and stop my wondering! I feel like I am bonding with baby so much differently than before. (Sidenote: I think this happens differently for everyone regardless of when/if they find out gender pre-birth, there’s no right/wrong way or time, it just made a huge difference for me!) It stinks to not share it publicly yet, but it’s been nice “getting to know” him/her and I can’t wait to see the look on my mom’s face when I get to tell her in person!

Pregnancy has been a funny thing. I didn’t expect my body to revolt so strongly. I didn’t expect to have to stop running due to debilitating nausea, exhaustion, and worst of all, excruciating hip pain. Maybe I expected it after I was carrying a few pounds of baby in the third trimester, but not this early. I didn’t expect to only be up 2-3 pounds. (It was less than two last time I checked pre-breakfast but that was a week or so ago.) When I was attempting to lose weight I’d gain that in a week if I went “off diet,” and now my only weight regret is said with a snap, “darn, I ALMOST made it to 50 lbs lost before getting knocked up!” I also thought I’d care more. Nope. Just happy baby is healthy! I hate and am confused by a lot of the above; I wish I was showing more, I wish my anterior placenta wasn’t keeping me from feeling baby’s super active kicks. But while I have these gripes and share them, deep down I don’t really care. (I just like to complain, my mom and B can vouch for that.) I am just so happy baby keeps passing their tests (all NT testing was negative!!) and growing on schedule. I hate the symptoms and issues but I am happy to sacrifice my body and sleep and waistline and uh boobs and whatever else I need to, just for the sake of him/her.

B was off work yesterday so he spoiled me a little bit with an amazing dinner. Risotto with goat cheese, roasted garlic, chives, and some special basil; and parmesan crusted chicken topped with parsley walnut pesto! I can’t wait to spoil him on Father’s Day in return, of course. B has made me a mother (well, almost! October it’s “official”) and I wouldn’t have wanted to do it with anyone else. (Except my Top Five list maybe – and please note that Vince and Andy have been replaced by Pitbull and John Cena – but they were unavailable and uninterested.) Seriously though, I’m the luckiest there is. Big Daddy was born to be a dad. I remember telling that to a friend after we’d been on a few dates- I could just see him as an adorable dad. Six years later we’re on this journey together!

And in all this, I can’t neglect to thank the pugs for how they’ve prepared me for motherhood as well. I know everyone drills into you to “get your sleep,” “things will change,” “there goes your personal time/space/whatever” and other unsolicited bitter advice… but the pugs have gotten us ready for some of these things already! When they wake us up in the night puking/pooping/peeing. When they’re sick and have to be rushed to the doctor. When we need to find sitters for them when we travel. When we have to leave early due to their schedule. When one pukes on the other and the third tries to eat it. I’m pretty sure they’ve done us a great service. I know that it’s not the same as parenting a child (my pugs won’t grow up to tell me they love me, or hate me, or make me buy them a horse, or pay for college, or whatever) but I think dog ownership certainly makes you more ready. You, pugs, were the first to teach me unconditional love. Even when I come home to one of you eating poop. For that, I thank you. I can’t wait to see them with their new brother or sister.

(I was asked by a friend where the pugs’ announcement of my pregnancy was. This was all Sophie could come up with. Truly, she’s excited. Just doesn’t want to have to share my lap.)

I’ve said it before but should say it again too… I am so thankful for my friends. Very few of my in-real-life friends are moms, so I’m lucky to have great internet mom friends too. All of my mom friends (and just baby-loving friends in general) have provided me with so much support, and SO much love this Mother’s Day. I wondered if being the only mom in my core group of friends would feel lonely, but my mom friends from all areas have welcomed me with open arms, and I feel so supported and loved. And my core group of non-mom friends have shared so much excitement and enthusiasm. Our families have been amazing too. My in-laws are so sweet and excited for us, my sisters have been planning my NJ shower even though they both (probably) can’t be there, B’s aunt even sent us some giraffe baby items she knew we’d think were adorable. Loved and supported are the only words I can think of to describe how I feel. I couldn’t have wished for more.

I feel like this somehow became an award acceptance speech, but I’m emotional and rambly. So I make no apologies. Just sharing so much love for everyone helping me out on this journey! Cannot wait until baby is here and I’m celebrating next Mother’s Day with him/her in my arms. (And a beer. Or five. THAT I miss.)

7 comments to A new take on Mother’s Day

  • Jenell

    Beautiful post from a beautiful lady! I’m so thrilled for you and B!!! :) I had a beer for you today, it was New Castle! :) Delish.

  • Happy (1st? Pre?) Mother’s Day! I’m pretty sure that dogs are the best possible preparation for babies. We’ve been up in the middle of the night, dealt with all possible bodily fluids, gone to the emergency vet at 3 am, and spent more money than makes any reasonable sense. You and B are well prepared and will make awesome parents to Baby!

  • This was beautiful and I love your honesty about your mothers parenting. I find it frustrating when people just say o yeah my mom is the best but do not actually acknowledge why or how she is that way!

  • I love this post and love the relationship you had/have with your mother… and your pugs. ;)

  • […] in most of them. Awkward would be the best word. Best moment this week: Talking and thinking about Mother’s Day, spending Saturday with B and celebrating our first pre-Mother’s Day together. Besides that, […]

  • […] in most of them. Awkward would be the best word. Best moment this week: Talking and thinking about Mother’s Day, spending Saturday with B and celebrating our first pre-Mother’s Day together. Besides that, […]

  • hannah

    dropping by to say that you look absolutely beautiful and so healthy! thinking about you always xoxo

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