After finding myself in the unemployment line for the second time in two years, I started a blog in 2009 as a way to showcase my writing so I could get a "real job." I soon discovered that life behind a keyboard beats a corner window office any day of the week. When I'm not writing, blogging, vlogging, or consulting in the social media space, I try to do good in the world, in my neighborhood, and in my family of one kid, one husband, one dog, two cats, and a fish.
There are a few defining moments in motherhood: your baby's first steps, your baby's first words, your baby's first day of school.
Oh yes, it's that time of year where millions of moms are sending their babies to school for the very first time and the rest of us are relishing in having time to take a long, hot bath in the middle of the day. Not that I do that. Much.
For me, another defining moment was the day I dropped my baby off for preschool.
I mean, sure, I felt teary-eyed that he was going off for THE LONGEST TWO HOURS OF MY LIFE without me there to guide him but the defining moment came in the afternoon. In the carpool line.
It hit me.
"I'm in the carpool line. This is a carpool. This is something that moms do and I'M DOING IT."
I felt like I suddenly had this external validation that I was really a mom and that I must be doing something right if I had made it this far.
You know those people that are preparing for the birth of their first child but feel totally prepared because they have dogs?
Yeah. That was me. That was us. It wasn't just me that went into parenting with blinders on. My husband was right there alongside me. In fact, I even remember having the conversation with someone at work:
"So, do you think you're ready?"
"Oh yeah. We have two old dogs. They need lots of medication. They wake us up in the middle of the night. It's pretty much the same thing."
Now I laugh at people like me and I tell them all the ways in which children are nothing like dogs.
That's the question that startled me into the realization that I was wholly and completely unprepared for motherhood.
Becoming a parent wasn't a natural choice for me. I didn't have that biological clock ticking away and I certainly didn't hear the alarm even as I approached "advanced maternal age." And yet I was pretty sure that if I didn't give the whole motherhood thing a try, I'd regret it until my dying day.