When Does "New Mom" Expire?
I still remember the first time I used the expression "I'm a new mom, sorry I'm late" - Best excuse ever, but not always a lie, in fact, more often than not it was the truth. Since the first time - "I'm a new mom", slips off the tongue as easily as "hi". Without even skipping a beat if I'm feeling insecure, or cannot maneuver the stroller properly, or forget to pack anything extra for my baby when she has a blow out, "I'm a new mom" slips right out. It's become my crutch. Sometimes I say it to get out of appointments, or to move an appointment because I purposely slept in... But, now, I'm noticing that I may have used this expression a few months past it's expiry date.
My daughter is a year and a half... am I still allowed to say new? A car is still considered new for the first few years, right? Does new give me some sort of exception? Or can I just say "I'm a mom" and get the same kind of empathy. I don't want someone's sympathy because, it isn't the end of the world, and I can usually still accomplish everything I need to get done, but at a slower pace. I just want people to have a little more patience with me, so I use "new".
I am uneasy with the notion that Moms are superhuman because that's a lot of pressure. Literally, I need my mom to be more mom than me so that I can mom to my Little. You know? So, the thing is, if I still need my mom for things, does that mean that I am not "mom enough" to earn my "Not a New Mom" title and still get respected even if I'm late to everything? If my kid has a stain on her shirt? If she hasn't napped? If she doesn't have her sleep routine down to a perfected art? Can I still use "new mom" as an excuse?
My point is, I guess, I want to know why we are so hard on "veteran moms" but empathize with new moms? Taking care of tiny humans is a task - no matter the stage. Getting them out of the house in perfect attire, with back up clothes, a hat (because Lord knows someone is going to give you side eye if your kid isn't wearing a hat no matter the weather), a week's worth of snacks, toys & water is daunting. Can we just appreciate that I showed up at all - yes, "I have my hands full" and I only have one, but I do not need to hear it from you Mrs. I-had-all-my-kids-40-years-ago-and-think-I-still-know-it-all.
It's okay to not have it all together even if you've been in this role a while. Having a Mom title does not mean you need to be perfect, it doesn't mean you have to have your shit together all the time, it just means you're someones whole world. They have no clue whether you're doing it right or wrong because you're all they know to carry that title. I saw a post yesterday about a child's fondest memory of their mom: "the days when we had the little things for dinner - a plate full of our favorite little snacks & we sat in front of the TV to eat dinner" She thought her mom was THE BEST on those days while her mom considered it her "failed days". You never know if your failures are actually their favorites - Try not to be so hard on yourself Not-So-New-Mom.
Hold your head up high next time you're running late, or doing something that may not be the "right way" to someone else. You may not be a New Mom but every day is new, Mom.