Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Parenthood: When Will You Wear the Mom Shoes?

Over the long weekend, Keith and I paid a visit to St. Louis where his brother, his wife and their kids live. Our plans were to celebrate New Year’s Eve with the whole crew. We had steaks, champagne and comfy clothes. Keith and his brother also had some man errands to take care of. They shopped at Home Depot, they made runs to the liquor store and they went to the Ram vs. 49ers game. Man errands. While they did that, I received a crash course in child care from my sister-in-law. I’m not really sure how I did, but the visit ended with my twin nieces allowing me to braid their hair. I mean they actually sat still long enough for me to weave their hair into an intricate and complicated (for me at least) French braid. Sounds like a major score, right?

 Awesome auntie behavior--we were doing gymnastics. But how many moms do you know hold their children upside down?

I must say, I was very pleased with my skills in the auntie department by the time we were ready to head to the airport. I was, however, a bit weary of what my mommy skills will someday shape up to be. It’s so much work to raise kids. Moms don’t get to punch out at 5:00. They don’t get sick days or vacation days. All this I knew already, but seeing it first-hand made me so much more appreciative of what they do. I feel like I need to go back and re-do 28 Mother’s Days, for my mom and my sister-in-law and all the mothers of the world. Those homemade coffee coasters in the shape of mittens that my brother and I painted at my dad’s workbench in the basement just don’t seem like enough.

As I marveled at how gracefully my sister-in-law defused fights over toys and dried tears over stubbed toes I became aware that this would someday be me. I tried to put myself in my sister-in-laws shoes. At almost the same moment, my niece came clomping into the room in a pair of high heels, her little feet barely filling the pointed toe box. And while she carried herself quite well in those big shoes, I did not miss the irony of her get up.

I imagine motherhood starts off like a pair of shoes that are a little too big and I imagine that over time you fill the gaps with all the love and giggles and bedtime stories. And I’m sure that those quickly become your favorite shoes. I’m going to hang onto this shoe analogy for another second and say this: I’m still wearing my slippers. And I’ve got my feet up on the coffee table. But one of these days I’ll be ready to wear the mom heels.  

Newlyweds, what are your thoughts on motherhood? Does it scare the crap out of you?


  1. Now that we've almost hit the 1-year mark, we're talking about getting serious on the baby front. I'm excited & nervous!!!!

  2. I'm not worried or scared, I'm just not ready. I feel pretty peaceful about it though, and feel like I'll be ready when the time comes.