It's Sunday morning and I am soon to be heading out to church. It looks like I'll be going without my baby, which will be only the second time since she was born that I've done that. She's sleeping, and I'm definitely not waking her up just to give myself the privilege of stressing out about whether she'll stay quiet and content during the sermon. Heck no, let the child sleep!
I get out without Gwen three to four times a week: to yoga class, to Weight Watchers, during Gramma time, and occasionally another outing such as today's to church. Yoga and Weight Watchers are okay, but during other outings I usually feel pretty weird without her. Like I've gone out without my pants, or something.
The first time I went to church without her was just a few weeks ago, under the same circumstances. Chris stayed home with the napping Gwen while I went to church, and when I got there, another baby from our mom-and-baby group was being baptized, and his little siblings and cousins were there, and then in addition to the family we usually sit beside (whose younger daughter is the only other child under ten at our service), another family with three little ones showed up and sat down beside me. So I was completely surrounded by kids, and didn't have my own to cuddle. I felt all left out. Which is completely bizarre, I know.
It's even worse when I go out shopping, which usually happens during Gramma Time. I'll inevitably end up at Babies R Us or the Wal-Mart baby section, perusing the goods and wondering what Gwen "needs". And there will inevitably be other moms and dads and even grammas there with their own wee ones, and I'll smile dotingly at them, and maybe even ask "How old?", and then realize that my mommycred in the form of my own adorable baby is absent, and so I just look like a weirdo. A mamawannabe.
Maybe my own identity has been so swallowed up by the identity of Gwen's Mom that I don't know who I am, or how others view me, when I don't have her there to instantly serve as my introduction. Moms meeting in public places strike up conversations quite easily, and without my Gwen I don't have the "in" to join the discussion, because who am I if I'm not carrying a baby?
Being a mom is really weird sometimes.