I just realized that I need to change my profile information for this site; it says I'm a new mom. I'm still a mom, but with my life with Simon approaching the 2-year mark, I'm not exactly "new" anymore.
And that's a good thing. Mommies aren't like cars; we don't instantly depreciate the moment you drive us off the lot. I'd say that a Mommy is like a fine wine (just in case that simile hasn't been overused enough lately), but that's not right, either; a fine wine might improve with age, but you can't enjoy it in the meantime. Being a Mommy means being necessary, useful, indispensable from the very beginning.
As ready as I thought I was for my Baby Boy to be born after a long almost-nine-months of pregnancy, I wasn't ready. Fortunately, a newborn doesn't need much from its mom except love and the sheer tenacity to bumble through until her exhausted brain treks up that steep learning curve, gaining experience as she goes. I loved Simon before I ever saw him, but damned if I knew how to give him a sponge bath. Still, I was the best Mommy I could be, and that was good enough for him.
Now? Well, I got the sponge bath thing down just in time for him to switch to the tub; now I have the challenge of keeping an excited, squealing toddler from running around in the "big people" tub. I'm more confident that I was when we started, and waaaaay more experienced. I've survived poops that would turn an elephant-keeper's stomach and smiled through snotty kisses. I've cried over a boy who's growing up way too fast for my liking, even as I cheered on his first steps and marvelled at the brilliance of his first words.
I might have all that experience under my belt, but when you're a parent, the stuff you learned yesterday doesn't necessarily translate to tomorrow's problems. I know so much about Baby Simon, and I'm quickly learning about Toddler Simon, but Little Boy Simon? I can't imagine.
I'm not a new mommy anymore- and I'm glad. I was happy as a new mom, but I'm definitely more relaxed now. I've started to get back to having my own life (even though Simon is part of everything I do). I'm more competent and confident as a Mommy than I was 20-plus months ago.
And that's all I've got. I'm not going to conclude this ramble by saying that I'm a better mom, because I don't know that. I've always been the best one I could be, and I think that it's been pretty good so far. Being a parent isn't like a car; it's not like wine, and it's not like a career where you get promotions for gaining experience. It's like... beng a parent. New or used, we're all just doing the best we can, trying to keep up with the amazing little critters we're mommying or daddying for as long as we've got 'em.
OK, I'm going to change that profile thinger now. "I'm a 26-year old used Mommy..."