Since the baby was born a lot of people have asked us, "what does it feel like to be parents?" Alex's response is usually, "permanent" or "weird". I haven't come up with an answer that's quite that concise.
Being Mother's Day today--my first--I'm thinking more about the question, and whether I really feel like a mother yet.
In some ways, nature has sent me a clear message that I am forever linked to this little person. When he cries, I have an irrepressible urge to pick him up, soothe him. My body tells me when he's due to eat, and when he's satisfied and content I feel that all is well with the world.
Even though my life is forever altered by the responsibility of caring for a child, I am fundamentally the same person. I still enjoy great food (although I have to eat much faster these days), I still have no interest in housecleaning, and I would likely vote the same way today that I would have voted a couple of months ago.
Becoming a mother, like becoming a lawyer, may bring with it a whole bundle of expectations, but I think ultimately you find your own interpretation of the role. When you enter any profession, a switch doesn't go off in your head, forcing you to adopt certain characteristics. You learn how to get the job done with whatever unique talents, limitations and values you bring to the table. That's probably the transformation that I'm going through now.
I guess the answer to the question, "what does it feel like to be a mother?" is that it feels like society has a lot of expectations of me, but all I can really do is follow my heart and hope that I can be enough for my child. Sometimes it's overwhelming and I don't know how I will give him everything he needs, but I know I'll pull it off, because I have to and because, more than anything, I want to. If it was easy we wouldn't get our own day every year, would we?