Saturday, June 12, 2010

You're the Mom?!

It always amazes me what people will say to complete strangers.
We were at the grocery store with sweet Hannah to pick up her Zantac prescription when a lady who works there comes up to us and asks if she can get a peak at Hannah. We had her in the bottom part of the grocery cart in her carseat with a blanket on top, but sure, why not... I lifted the blanket so she could look at her. The lady asks me how old she is and I answer 6 weeks. Her eyes get really big and she looks me up and down... 'and you're the mom?!' she exclaims.

Why, yes- yes I am the mom. Thanks for asking.

She quickly recovers and asks/states 'you've lost all the pregnancy weight already?!' I'm just not sure how to respond and I'm sure my face conveyed my emotion. I was dumbfounded and frankly a little annoyed.

What's it to you? And no, I have not lost all the pregnancy weight.


Okay, okay, so there are worse things than someone commenting on something like this, but seriously, I don't get saying this to a complete stranger. And in my opinion, she seemed to be commenting on my perceived age as well. I'm turning 28 this summer... 28. Not 16.
I've always looked younger than my age and I knew it was only a matter of time before someone would mistake me for the nanny or the babysitter, or the big sister or anything but the mom.

But I am the mom. 

And have been for 3 years.

Something I've been thinking about for the past few weeks is how having Hannah Mae home with us feels. Like... really feels. I've been waiting for 3 years to have my child home with us. To mother a living child must feel different from mothering a child in my womb, right?

But no. No is the conclusion I've come to. It doesn't feel any different. I don't feel any more a mother now. But to everyone else, I've finally become a mom. They can clearly see my identity as a mom now.
It hurts that my identity as Owen's mom is overlooked. It hurts even more that he's overlooked.

But I know the truth. I can feel and sense my motherhood and it hasn't changed. Not one bit.


michelle hendrix-swords said...

you're right. from the time you find out you are pregnant, you are a mom! *HUG*

Kelly said...

How annoying of that woman!

I'm so glad you are the mother to a beautiful daughter but you're right. You're always a mom to Owen, too. You two are amazing parents who won't ever forget that. He will live on in your hearts and in Hannah, too.

Sara said...

Ebe, I can completely understand how that would get under your skin... it does mine just reading that. It is so hard for others to "get it" unless they have been there in some way. You have been a mom since Owen was put in your tummy:) His life deserves to be celebrated till you see him again...

I will celebrate that precious boy with you!!!
Celebrating our precious boys right now!

Open Air said...

I am always surprised what people have the nerve to say! You're a mom--and have been for a long time!

People are always saying I look younger too. I figure we'll appreciate that when we're, say, 80. They'll be saying, "You mean you're not 60? Wow!"

Thanks for sharing that you felt as much of a mom when you were pregnant as you do now. I felt like a mom when I was pregnant, and I still do. I have found it hard to believe that I could feel any more like a mom--even with a living child.

But I know what you mean--the rest of the world doesn't see it that way. I find that difference--between how I feel and how the world sees me--to be one of the most difficult aspects of this whole process.
But we know how long we've been moms--even if the rest of the world doesn't exactly get it.

heather ryan morse said...

i am the kind of "unfiltered" conversationalist that would have commented on the weight loss and the age of a complete stranger. i would have totally meant well...just always trying to connect with other women and don't always say the right things. so i will go ahead and apologize for anything i said that was inappropriate, love.

hey, i will take it..someone thinking you are back to a pre-baby weight and looking younger than you are...there are worse things, right? :) at least you aren't fat and old looking :)

oh, and to are even more of a mom than i..because you have been enduring the hardest thing i can ever imagine...the death of a child..and, in your case, more than one child's death.

Vanessa Murphy said...

"It hurts that my identity as Owen's mom is overlooked. It hurts even more that he's overlooked."

I could so put "Matthew" in for "Owen" and this could be my sentence. It hurts. Exactly.

Freya said...

Sorry--that's totally unpleasant! I empathize though, on Mother's Day our Church gave out chocolates to all the Mom's and I felt like I had to sneak up and take one because only few people actually knew that I was ever pregnant (even though I was several times!) but I also felt completely entitled to one...It actually reminds me of a sermon I heard by Tim Keller (a prominent NYC preacher) who explained that when Lazarus was dead and Jesus went to his tomb, Jesus got angry--not because people were crying and upset, but the Greek word used there implies that he was angry at death itself--Jesus never WANTED him to die, but he did die (which Jesus also took care of) and God feels the same way for us, he didn't WANT our children to die, but they did, and it pains Him that we are so hurt, and it pains Him that there is death at all--it wasn't supposed to be that way.
Thanks be to God for giving you Hannah Mae, that although you've been a mother with empty arms for years, you can have her to hold and care for and fulfill the role that God first began with Owen. Take Care, Manley's!