Two and a half has me thinking.
Thinking about before and after.

Before becoming a mom and after meeting my children.
Before husband and wife meant mom and dad, and after Sean wept holding our first daughter in his arms.
Before knowing and now.

I used to think being a mom meant having the patience of Job. Calm in the face of whatever was thrown at you, figuratively of course, because a real mom wouldn’t raise a child who threw things. I knew good moms wouldn’t snarl at their kids in public, or private for that matter. They wouldn’t delete pictures because they thought they looked fat or that their children looked less than adorable. And they certainly wouldn’t wish that their kids would just go away, if just for a moment.

Before becoming a mom I thought standing at that alter in Saratoga was love. I thought sleeping on the right side of the bed was sacrifice. I thought joy was the first, second and fifth cups of coffee. I thought I knew what kind of mom I’d be.

Standing on the other side of knowing I have to chuckle. She was so smart, so self assured, that pre-mom me. She looked around and saw who the real moms were. She could identify immediately who the women were that didn’t deserve to have the kids they growled at in the grocery store or who criminally berated their children for not listening. Truth was she didn’t have a clue, but really how could she. She didn’t know, couldn’t know.

I won’t say that childbirth is what made me a mom. I’ve read too many accounts by truly incredible, authentic moms who have found their way to being a mom through paperwork and transatlantic travel. I think at some point as I caressed skin softer than the softest sheets you could imagine, pressed my lips against hair that warmed me to the core, and welcomed the touch of tiny fingers on my lips, in my eyes and over my ears, I realized that I was taken. A magnificent line had been drawn that forever bound me to another soul, that for whatever the future might bring, we belonged to one another. All of my days, every breath that I draw are for this person, these people in fact.

The essence of what makes me a mom is the understanding that all my actions impact my children. There’s no taking off, no bailing or denying. No breaking up. There are just decisions and moments. A hope that when faced with a decision I can base it on the best information I have at the time and balance it with wisdom and emotion.

More and more I am learning what makes me a better mom is forgiving myself for not always allowing wisdom to beat emotion, or emotion to trump wisdom.

The other thing making me a better mom (Ok, when I’m not giving the girls the semi-mommy, let-me-type-for-one-more-sec-mommy) by entertaining and challenging me, places like PBN and LightIris. And of course coffee, lots and lots of hot, fat free, sugar free, vanilla Coffee Mate drowned coffee.