The C Word (No, Not That One) (Day #88)

I have officially become a cliche.

I suspect that many (most?) of you know this already.  Perhaps you discovered it yesterday, as I did.  Or maybe you made the pronoucement here or here or here.

Think about it:  four months ago, I was a pregnant twenty-something who was afraid that motherhood would turn her into a person she didn’t like very much, convinced that being a mom would require her to give up the stuff she REALLY cared about, like her career and her beauty routine.  Today, I am a thirty year old woman whose beauty routine consists of washing her face with handsoap and slopping lotion on her dry bits who refers to herself in the third person as “mommy.”   To other adults.

How did this happen?

That question is rhetorical, of course, because we all know exactly how it happened.  Post by post by post.  The question now is, how do I feel about it?  How do I feel about the fact that I am exactly the person I was terrified of becoming?   A person who cried when she realized she couldn’t bring her baby to bed with her anymore (and then proceeded to sleep with her on the carpet in her nursery every night for the next week).   A person who talks about her child’s poop.   At the dinner table.    A person who doesn’t need (or even want) a break from this mommy gig.  A person who refers to motherhood as “this mommy gig.”

How do I feel about the fact that I have become a mommy cliche?

I LOVE IT.

I love that I am transforming the way so many mothers before me have.  I love that my experience resonates with so many women who have been where I am.  I love that cliches like “isn’t motherhood the greatest?” and “it goes by so fast” and “enjoy every moment” don’t feel like cliches anymore.  Motherhood is the greatest.  It does go by so fast.  And we must enjoy every moment, because once those moments pass, we can’t get them back. 

I love who I’ve become and who I’m still becoming.  I love that it is in and through my experience as a mother that I am discovering a wholeness I never knew I was lacking.  A this-is-who-I-am completeness I thought I already had.  That’s not to say that being a mom has become my end-all-be-all – it hasn’t.  I don’t feel as though I am a mother more than I am other things.  Motherhood is just another piece of the identity puzzle for me.  But somehow, it’s the one that connects the other pieces.  It’s the one you put into place and then sit back and say, “I see it now.  The whole thing makes sense.”

The oddest part for me is the fact that now, looking back, it seems so obvious that I would end up where I am now.  And so funny that I couldn’t see that I would.  Which I guess isn’t odd or funny at all, really - after all, that’s what makes the path from there to here so cliche.  This is what happens to women like me.  This is what motherhood does to us.  Not all of us, of course.  Not in every case.  But so often.

Often enough to make it a cliche.

In retrospect, I understand it.  With a little foresight, I could have predicted it.  But the truth is, when I was there - when I was her  – I never imagined that I would end up here.

Some of you did.  Some of you knew this would happen.  Some of you want to scream “See?!” and “I told you so!” at your computer screen (which, let’s be honest, makes you a little cliche, too).  You knew it would happen because it happened to you.  And that’s what makes this cliche so beautiful:  in it, we find ourselves, and then we look around, and we are not alone.

I am a cliche. 

How cliche is that?

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(Moms:  have you become a mommy cliche?  Do you think such a thing exists or am I just perpetuating mommy stereotypes by acting like it does?  Are you different post-baby than you thought you’d be?  Do you feel like you have a lot in common with other moms or not so much?  Non-moms or moms who don’t like the mom questions:  does it make a person less interesting if they seem to fit into an existing social mold?  Should we strive to be unique and different and surpising?  And most important:  Do you know where I can get an awesome cliche necklace like the one in the picture?)

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