Do you remember the first moment you "felt" like a mom? Back when I was pregnant, I thought that giving birth would be that moment for me. It makes sense, right? When the baby comes out of you, you ARE a mom. So you must FEEL like a mom!
But I didn't. I was so caught up in watching what the nurses were doing with my daughter across the room that I didn't have that "eureka" moment. I wouldn't have it for a few hours, actually, until the first time I used the words "my daughter."
And then ... I just ... felt it, felt a sort of euphoria rise up from the tips of my toes. It was real! I was a mom!
Turns out I'm not the only one to find that the "I'm a mom" feeling comes not at the moment of birth, but at times that are completely unexpected.
More from The Stir: Fathers Share the Moment They Knew They Were a Dad
The Stir asked moms to share their magical mom moment, and their answers were at times heartwarming and at times hilarious:
1. Probably the first time my son peed on me and I didn't bother to change my shirt! Although the older I get, the more "mom" I feel lately. I even feel like the bags under my eyes signify some rite of passage.
2. There was one the night she was born when I realized the primary job in my life was going to be raising this little person, and I just knew in my bones I would do anything for her for as long as I lived.
3. When I changed a diaper and I actually loved it because it was my child and not someone else's.
4. Giving her a bath for the first time -- I felt like it was the greatest accomplishment of my life. She was so tiny and fragile and I held her very life in my hands, and if she didn't drown, I had done something right!
5. The first night in the hospital. Exhausted, overwhelmed, and overjoyed, sitting in the dark by myself, I realized that I was the one responsible for this little human being and my caring for him with everything I had was the only way he would survive this crazy thing we call life.
6. The moment that her father left me pregnant and without a dime to my name, I knew I had to hold it together and grow up real fast for her. Every decision I have made in the past year and a half has been with her in mind and not taken lightly.
7. I don't think it was honestly until after I went back to nursing school and had to learn how to juggle 100 different things ... at that point in time, I finally realized I was 100 percent responsible for their futures.
8. One night I was burping my son, he was maybe a week old, he put his little hand on mine and relaxed his head on me. It hit me that this little person was mine and he was 100 percent dependent on me. It still amazes me to this day how effortless loving him is and how just this morning at 3 a.m. he decided it was time.
9. I guess I'd have to say the first time I went out alone with my daughter.
10. I always knew I was a mom and loved being one, but when it really kicked in was when my firstborn son was 3 months old and was choking, turning blue. It really hit home. It hit me that I have to always protect love and be there ... everything.
11. The first time I can remember feeling like a mom was when I was pregnant with [my daughter], not even when she was born, but when I realized I loved her in my belly and I did not even know her.
12. While in the hospital they came in to take [my daughter] for all the tests (hearing, vision, reflexes) at about 2 a.m. They told me to rest and they'd be back shortly. About 10 minutes later I went into panic mode like "where is my baby?!?!" I hauled my sore ass outta bed and wandered the hospital halls in the hospital nightgown and those grippy socks until I found the room she was in and then didn't leave until the nurse wheeled her back with me. I wouldn't let her out of my sight after that.
What was YOUR "I'm a mom" moment?
Image by Jeanne Sager