Angel shares her shift from graduate student to a young mum, taking on the immense responsibility and honour of motherhood. From a series of Story of M.O.M. stories collected for our exhibition Story of Mum: Mums making an exhibition of ourselves by Christina Douyon for the Museum of Motherhood.
Now that I am a mother, I find myself describing myself as a mother first, then a wife, therapist, student etc. Even being a woman seems to somehow become overshadowed by the immense responsibility and honor that accompanies motherhood.
I was only 24 years old when I became a mom; 13 months later, I welcomed my 2nd daughter into the world. Before that time, my identity centered on being a graduate student.
I moved across the country to attend my dream school, because I could. I didn’t have anyone to take care of except for myself and to be honest, my mother still helped me with that from time to time.
I have changed SO much through mothering my daughters. I have become more tenderhearted, more compassionate, and of course I can function on much less sleep. When my first daughter was born, I became interested in everything related to her. I was a sponge, soaking up new information and wanting desperately to make sure that she had everything she would ever need or want.
I don’t like to admit it, but I’m a bit of a “helicopter mom”-- I’m the one who calls the daycare center every day to make sure my daughters ate their lunch, and who irons their jeans each morning. Being a mom is hard work and has taught me to be more patient with everyone.
It really is true that I never knew I could love so hard, and that capacity for loving has extended to everyone I come in contact with, in one way or another.
Looking back, what do you now notice or realize about your mother?
Looking back, now that I am a mother, I finally understand why she worried so much. I always thought that she was just trying to ruin my fun and make my life boring, but now I see how difficult it is to “let go” of the most important part of your life, and to trust that they will be ok. It’s not that she wanted to keep me from enjoying myself; it’s that she wanted to keep me safe in a world that becomes more and more frightening every day.
Even dropping my kids off at daycare was difficult for me at first. I was genuinely afraid that someone might mistreat them or put them in danger. Each time I worry about my daughters, I develop a bit more empathy and appreciation for my mother.
This post was collected by the Museum of Motherhood (M.O.M) in New York, partners in our online and touring exhibition Story of Mum: Mums making an exhibition of ourselves. You can add your ownI'm a mum and a... photo here.
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