I’ve dragged the ironing board out of its near-permanent space in the corner of my laundry room and assembled it in the most cheerful place I can find in my house: next to the breakfast table where sunlight streams through the windows. It takes close to an act of God to get me to pull out the ironing board…ugh, but it’s just days before my baby’s first Christmas Eve church service. I’m standing there with the iron in my right hand, steam pouring out between hisses, trying desperately to make my left hand hold the tiny white corduroy sleeve just right so that I can get the iron’s nose to press it flat. It is at this moment that I realize, once again, that I am now a capital-m Mom.
Only Moms iron tiny baby sleeves.
It’s a month later, and I find myself sitting on the floor of my laundry room at 8:22 p.m. on a Monday (sitting on the floor because I can’t bear to stand anymore after a day of toting around a 19-pound baby, cleaning the kitchen more than twice, and climbing our flight of stairs 23 times). I’m sitting criss-cross-apple-sauce with a bottle of advanced formula Shout spray in my hand and a pile of food-stained footie baby pajamas sounding me. I laugh because I am living another Mom moment.
I remember distinctly and powerfully the moment my daughter was born. I remember my husband handing her to me seconds after delivery. I remember holding her to my chest and instinctively speaking sweet, calming words to her. That was the moment I became a mother.
But, it is in these odd quotidian moments of caring for my child that I deeply realize I’ve transformed into a Mom. Doing her little baby laundry, stocking my freezer with ziplocs of pureed food, planning obsessively how to manage our breastmilk stash, worrying incessantly about managing her sleeping schedule… I pause in these moments, transported in an out-of-body experience, to observe and marvel at myself being a Mom.