Motherhood is the ultimate test of imposter syndrome. There’s no training period, no internship for the first few weeks or months. Maybe you have a mentor in your own mom, baby nurse or among your mom friends; maybe you don’t. But moms who have been around the block a time or two quickly realize it’s not *usually* when you first lock eyes with your precious baby at the hospital that you truly feel like a mom (although it can be!).
Here are 5 other “oh okay, I’m really a mom” moments…what are yours?
Taking the Baby to Their First Doctor’s Appointment
Of course, putting your days-old newborn into the carseat for the ride home is a transformative moment – terrifying and wonderful. But you do likely have the support of the hospital staff, maybe a partner, or a family member or two helping you ensure baby is strapped in for his or her inaugural voyage.
But the first time you take baby to the doctor, and not only safely buckle them into that carseat, drive them to a new destination, and then realize you’re 100 percent responsible for their health, today and for 18+ more years? Wow.
The First Time You Leave Them For More Than A Few Hours
Babies are literally attached to us for 9 months (and let’s face it, it’s actually 1 months), and for some moms, that is enough to feel like a certified parent. But for others, the first time you’re really separated, whether that be to drop them at daycare for 8+ hours, or take a weekend away with your husband or girlfriends, is when you feel the wonderful weight of motherhood. They are yours, you are theirs – and being away is freeing but frightening.
When You Have Another Child to Your House for a Playdate – Sans Parents
Sometime when your kids are toddlers or young school age, you may find yourself inviting another small child or two into your home for snacks, games…and lots of chaos. Taking care of your child + another child can feel like you’re in charge on another level. Even more so if you drive that other child, along with your child, home from school. You’re now as trusted as the professional teachers or experienced daycare providers from which you just drove away – and we all know generally that’s not true at all, ha!
The Moment You Recreate a Favorite Memory from Your Own Childhood
Cutting down the Christmas tree with Grandma and Grandpa. Going on your favorite beach vacation and introducing your kids to the little ice cream spot you used to go every day. Taking the kids to Disney World. Even initiating traditions like pizza & movie family nights. If you have a core memory from your childhood, and you are able to give your child that core memory as well, it’s like reliving it, in your new role…and that’s pretty amazing.
When You Say No Even Though You Don’t Want To
Motherhood at time can be about being the grownup. And part of being a grownup is realizing that you have to say no to things you’d like to say yes to, for the sake of raising a good and decent human being. That can be saying no to iPad time for bad behavior (as much a punishment for exhausted parents as it is for kids). It can be saying no to unlimited sports or activities sign ups that you know just doesn’t work for your family’s schedule or budget. It also means saying no to a teenage party or Spring Break trip (which actually sounds like a great time to the teenage voice in your head).
When did you feel like a “real” mom?