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Growing Up Mommy

Remember when you were a kid and you claimed to be all full, completely unable to eat another bite, until you realized ice cream was for dessert, and then you made up something about how there was this little pocket in the bottom left corner of your abdomen where, you were sure, only ice cream would be able to find a home? Well, Manchild is just about there. Only he likes to be sure he has plenty of water before bed. In fact, he likes to make sure he’s full all the way to his neck with water. This may or may not have contributed to 4 bathroom breaks in 90 minutes last night.

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I will be “Mom” or “Mama” but I really don’t like being called “Mommy.” Even by Squish. Even when he is tired and sick and plaintively insistent that he needs me.

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Yesterday’s post reminded me of one of the biggest fears of my childhood: earthquakes. I distinctly remember, at age 6, standing on a stool to get some cereal out of the cupboard and thinking that “The Big One” was due to hit Utah any minute and if I didn’t get down from that stool that instant, I was a goner.

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Sometimes when Facebook comes up with people I may know and want to befriend, I become very grateful that I didn’t marry “that guy” from high school. And that my husband has a full head of hair.

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This blog post about motherhood being something you take on after you “grow up” or something you take on that helps you grow up. I was 23, married, and college educated when I had my first child, and had earned a Master’s degree before I had my second, so I don’t really fit into either category — the young, unwed, uneducated mother, or the older, educated, “grown up” mother.

I didn’t have a baby because I thought it would turn me into a grown up, or because I had nothing else I could have done with my twenties. In some ways I think that having kids so young has kept me “young.” After all, I’ve hardly had a “real” job and my career goals are nearly as vague as they were when I was 18. I don’t necessarily feel comfortable, or at ease, or like I belong, with those mothers who got all their ducks in a row before having kids. Nor do I feel like I am qualified to take on a lot of  “adult” responsibilities, like pestering insurance people about bills and the like. But I do feel committed to being a strong, steady, and loving influence in my children’s lives; to teaching them to be respectful, responsible, and disciplined; and to helping them become independent, thoughtful, contributing members of society. And that feels very grown up.

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