It seems like I’ve been a Mom forever.  Even though I’m only approaching the ten year mile marker, it’s hard to remember a time when I didn’t spend most of my days wondering about teaching good manners, washing thousands of miniature socks, tucking in little fingers and toes, and hoping for an entire night of sleep for myself. 

Talking with a friend today about her journey through the Year of One, I was hit with some vivid memories of my own first experiences with my perfect little baby doll showing signs of an actual kid (or-gasp-a real person!).  The cute little giggles, baby talks and smiles gradually turned into real words (even NO!), tantrums, and other expressive noises–sometimes not happy expressions.  When I was making the transition from Mom of Baby to Mom of Toddler, I remember other mothers acknowledging the dramatic personality shift-from easy going to highly demanding.  I also remember thinking it was a lot easier to be Mommy than to be Mom. 

Mom is a whole different ballgame than Mommy.  Mom has rules.  Mom has time-outs.  Mom says No in a super stern “I mean it” kind of voice.  Mom worries a lot about all the things in the real world that she can’t protect her perfect little baby doll from.  Mom is where the buck stops…and starts.  It’s not easy being Mom…it’s hard, sweaty, tiring work.

And honestly?  I like this work.  It’s challenging, exhausting, fulfilling, amazing work.  But, I can’t help but wonder-if I started with Mommy, and now I’m Mom….What’s the next step?