Catherine Connors is a mother, writer and recovering academic who traded the lecture hall for the playroom and discovered that university students and preschoolers have much the same attention span. She still dips her toes into academic waters by writing the occasional scholarly article about the place of motherhood in Western philosophy, but mostly now she changes diapers and wipes noses and indulges in long reflections on whether Yo Gabba Gabba is a harbinger of the decline of western civilization. Oh, and she blogs: in addition to Bad Mother blogging at BeliefNet, she is, among other things, the author of HerBadMother.com, Managing Editor of MamaPop, moderator of Her Bad Mother’s Basement, co-founder and co-editor of WeCovet, Contributing Editor at BlogHer, and (deep breath) founder of and contributor to Canada Moms Blog. And in her spare time… oh, wait. She doesn’t have spare time. But she’s okay with that.
Four years ago, my daughter was born. Four years ago, I became a mom.
My own mother used to tell me that she considered my birthday as much her day as mine, because it was the day she gave birth, the day that she became a mother. For many years I rolled my eyes at this. Not anymore. I know, now, exactly what she meant. For fours I’ve known.
Emilia’s four years have been four years of her growing and learning and transforming from an impossibly tiny – and impossibly loud – little baby to an impossibly mature little girl. They have, for her, been fours of wonder and joy and frustration and love and screams and hugs and tears and giggles and giggles and more giggles. They have also been, for me, four years of sleep deprivation and confusion and anxiety and learning and learning and learning and – of course, always – wonder and joy and love and laughter. These have been her four years, but they have also been my four years. They’ve been her four years of becoming a little girl, of becoming – of continuing to become – her. But they have also been my four years of becoming mommy, becoming a mother, becoming me. Because becoming a mother has been one of the – if not the – defining transitions of my adulthood. It, more than almost anything I’ve done in the last two decades (almost) (gah), has made me who I am. Becoming a mother was a birth, of sorts, for me, too.
And such a birth it was.
Happy birthday, baby girl. And happy BIRTH day, me.