And here are the times I have been THAT MOM:
I admit, I've jumped to defend breast feeding too quickly before. But really, it's only because I loved it so much, personally. Not because I think it's the best thing for every mom or that it's easy.
I raced to register for the top toys, holders, slings, bottles and thing-a-ma-jigs when I was pregnant with R1. There wasn't a useless gadget left unturned.
I struggled to bounce back from my C-section but acted as if nothing hurt. I bit my lip and acted like sitting down didn't feel like a semi truck was trying to rip through my lower abdomen. I needed people to think I was a strong mother earth life giver. I was ashamed that I had a c-section and didn't earn my female bragging rights by giving birth naturally. I automatically felt less worthy.
I felt vindicated and better than others when both my kids were potty trained by their second birthdays, as if I was better than others. UGH. I can't believe I just admitted that. Shame on me. Who cares?
But then there were other times when I was the OTHER MOM. The one that knew her toddler was being slightly ill behaved but found it so adorably cute, I didn't correct him right away. I let him sleep on my chest on the couch for the first 4 months because that was the only way we could both rest.
I was the one who wore her maternity pants months and months after the baby because comfort was number one and I threw out my give-a-damn 30 sleepless nights ago.
I was the other mom because by R2, my "What to Expect The First Year" gathered dust on a shelf and I didn't care if she was 3, 4, or 7 months before she tried baby food. She had a booster instead of an antique highchair, only one bib that didn't even get washed between meals and was nursed so publically, a mother orangutan at the zoo pointed at me and acted like we must be sisters.
My two experiences at being a mom to a newborn could not have been more different. The first time, I was scared shitless and totally flabbergasted that I was actually given such an amazing responsibility. I was in too much shock to realize what I was doing. I remember quite vividly the yellow notepad that I wrote down the times R1 ate, thinking how in the world was I going to keep up with his feedings. I remember trying to pump breast milk in the bathroom stall between journalism classes at college, and pumping with one hand and the steering wheel in the other, driving back to my part time job.
With R2, I remember how sweet and timeless those 6 weeks were during my maternity leave. It was July but the heat was comforting and warm. We slept on the couch together all day and watched The Nanny and Roseann all night. We had pink blankets, pink onesies and pink bows bigger than her head. I nursed her for as long she let me. I let her have her pacifier longer than she really wanted it. I laid on the couch and inhaled the scent of her hair while I should have been doing the laundry, the dishes, the dusting.
So yes, I was THAT mom, and I was also the OTHER mom at times. But what I am most proud of is that I am RYDER AND REESE'S mom. And that's everything.
Because that's how I love and that's how we make things work.
Just like the moms in that commercial, we all mother in different ways but we all have a common goal: To have happy, healthy and safe children who will love us back a fraction as much as we love them because that would be enough to sustain us for a lifetime.
That's just how we love, and it works.