Throughout my college years, Carrie Bradshaw became a voice of reason for my group of girlfriends. Sex and the City quotes littered our AIM profiles, our letters to one another, and were repeated on a more than regular basis. One quote in particular has seemed to make a comeback in my life, albeit having a completely different meaning to me now.
I will never be the woman with the perfect hair, who can wear white and not spill on it, and chair committees, and write thank you notes, and I can't feel bad about that.
While that all rang true to my life years ago as a single 20-something navigating the world, it takes on a whole new meaning as a married parent of a 2-year-old. A certain 2-year-old who, as more experienced mothers could've predicted, will never be the toddler who can wear winter white corduroy pants and not get them covered in chocolate. Insert sarcastic comment about the best laid plans of mice and men... or something like that, right?
But I also know that I will never be the mother who can let her child walk around in those stained pants, as they have since found their way to the garbage.
I will never by the type of mother who can turn off the baby monitor at night in hopes of getting a better night's sleep.
Because in fact, at this point, I am fairly certain I will never be the type of mother who is actually capable of a decent night's sleep.
I will never be the type of mother who can ignore my daughter's cries, no matter what the time of day or night is.
Because those cries, while they are becoming fewer and far between, will always instill an instant gut-wrenching pain in my heart.
There are so many things I know I will never bring myself to do, so many ideologies I know I will never be able to embrace, and countless pieces of solid advice I am just too stubborn to try. After more than two years of being a mother, I am still trying to discover who I am, beyond being a woman, a sister, a daughter, and a wife. It requires a lot of introspective thinking, a lot of trial and error, and a lot of learning to trust my judgment and more importantly, learning to trust myself. I may not be a lot of things, but I can confidently say I am the best mother I know how to be. That confidence is something that I have had to reach far down inside of me and really search deeply for. It didn't come easily, and it certainly didn't come right away. I know, in my heart, that every decision I make, every choice that causes me worry, and every doubt I have had are solely based on the fact that I have an innate need to do what I know is best for my baby, whatever that may be and whatever that may look like.
With that being said, I will always be the type of mother who puts her daughter's needs before mine, sometimes to a fault.
Because I haven't yet learned how to balance the needs of my child, my husband, and myself.
I will always be the type of mother who will pack her daughter's clothes for a trip in neatly labeled zip lock bags, even though the difference between jeans and shirts is painstakingly obvious.
Because being organized in an over-the-top-way is a temporary relief to the long-term anxiety I struggle with when it comes to my daughter.
I will always be the type of mother who will never leave the house without snacks, diapers, and toys; even it is just to run down the street to grab one thing from the store.
Because I inevitably will be the type of mother who will leave the extra diapers at home the one time my child decides to do number two while we are in public.
It's taken me a long time to get a handle on this whole "parenting thing," and to be at peace with the choices that am making. I may not be a parenting expert, but I am absolutely, whole-heartedly, and without a doubt, a mother.
And for my baby, and for my family, that has proven to be more than enough.