There are many defining moments in a mother's life when she just knows she's a mom. For me, it happened many times during my daughter Maggie's first year. Who am I kidding? I knew I was a mom when I felt her dancing around inside of me before she was born. I felt such a closeness to her even then. There are a lot of tender moments that I hold close to my heart that made me really realize I was a mom. For example, when Maggie was just a few months old and she used to curl her little fingers around mine and hold on like she never wanted to let go. Or at night, when I'd go in and check on her, the calmness that takes over my body as I watched her sleep -- something that was more comforting than my own sleep. My heart still melts when she is tired and puts her head on my shoulder or points to me and says "Ma ma ma" with a huge grin.
There are also moments that only a mom can relate to. Like when I find myself using anything I can find to wipe her runny nose or when I put my fingers in her mouth to grab excess food she stuffed into it and when I had to change her dirty diaper in the trunk of my car in the mall parking lot. And more recently, when out to dinner I found myself on the floor picking up food she'd thrown or searching for her toys that seemed to have made their way over to the table next to ours. Those moments made me say, "Ah, this is what everyone has told me about!" Overall though, the love and emotions that go along with being a parent are indescribable.
Hands down though, my favorite mom moment was something every working parent looks forward to. A few weeks ago after a long day at work, I pulled up to my house and I saw Maggie waiting by the front door. My husband, Jason, was standing behind her and I could tell she was trying to make out who I was. When she realized it was me, she started jumping up and down, banging on the glass door. I could tell she was calling my name. The smile on her face was priceless. As soon as I walked in she grabbed my leg so tightly and when I picked her up she hugged me for the longest time. That moment made everything in my life make sense.
Whether you share the same sweet sentiments or the true realities (albeit sometimes unpleasant realities) of being a mom, you can appreciate all the little moments that make you love your children all that much more. I thought it would be fun to hear from other Long Island moms on this topic, so I reached out to our Facebook and Twitter fans to find out the moments when they knew they were a mom. Here's what they had to say:
I have been in love before and worried about someone BUT not like this. Talk about someone being your world.
I knew I was a mom when I heard the first cries of my son.
When I became selfless and considered my children's needs over mine.
-Cheryl Susan, via Facebook
When I became pregnant.
-Sabrina Akyol, via Facebook
The first time I heard a child yell for "Mom" and I (we) all turned around.
-Carole Christman Beseler, via Facebook
When I felt her kick inside of me for the very first time.
-Leslie Rose Borg, via Facebook
When I felt my unborn child move. It was magical!
When I first looked in my daughter's eyes and knew I would love and protect her forever!
-Terri Milone-Cantillo, Massapequa
When my daughter said I love you to me for the first time.
-Jennifer Gentile Kafka, Merrick
I started crying when I read all of these! I knew I was a mom the moment I had Shea, that my life was forever changed. Oh, and that sleep was something in the past.
-Kate Benzenberg Connelly, via Facebook
When Monday morning became both a moment of sadness and a moment of yes! I only have to go to work now. Seriously though, I knew I was a mommy when above everything else he had my heart, my breathe and my hand. When his smell became the best smell in the world, and no matter how hectic life got, all could be erased with his smile. Yup, I'm totally wrapped around his finger.
-Nancy T. Olecki, via Facebook
When I heard that first cry -- it was music to my ears!
-Kelly Ulmschneider Jingeleski, Wantagh
When Matthew was very small still and had terrible reflux there were times when he would cry from being so uncomfortable. Mike tried to calm him but when his attempts failed and I took over, he was like putty in my hands. He nestled into my neck, closed his eyes and conked right out. Talk about a liquefied heart!
-Leslie Kolstein DiChiara, Wantagh
When I spent endless hours in the NICU and realized nothing else mattered but my babies getting bigger and healthier.
-Amy Reynolds, via Facebook
I knew I was a mom when I saw my Dad's blue eyes in my sons and realized I hummed just like him when I rocked my son. Glad I have that mommy trait from my Dad.
-Jennifer Marie, Patchogue
I heard our miracle's heartbeat for the first time. Followed by the wonderful sonogram images. My husband says I found my true calling when our son was born.
-Lainie Gutterman, via Facebook
I knew I was a mom when I left my law enforcement career for a 9-5 job so I could be around for my daughter. Arianna means the world to me and no career comes before her.
-Isabel Rojas, via Facebook
I knew I was a Mom when my son's little eyes looked up at me for the first time and there came the tears of joy and I was filled with love! He still looks at me that same way and my heart just melts.
-Courtney Pressler Parver, Plainview
I knew I was a mom when I started sharing my bed not only with my awesome man, but with a little bundle for a midnight nursing. Some of my fondest memories despite the sleep deprivation.
-Robyn Rothke Spritzer, via Facebook
When after a few hours of pain and hard work and it was all wiped away as I held that miracle in my arms. My heart knew a love I've never known before in that moment! Who could ever imagine with each of my babies I would feel the same way. I never knew my heart was big enough for that much love.
-Judy O'Melia, Kings Park
I knew I was a Mom when my first born arrived 3 weeks early and was born on Mother's Day! Never thought I'd be celebrating my first Mother's Day giving birth to my first son!
-Patricia Cunningham, East Norwich
I knew I was a mom when at six weeks before my scheduled sonogram, I found out I had a blood clotting disorder and there was a chance I wouldn't hear a heartbeat. I was hysterical because the immediate love and bond I had for my unborn child started from the minute I found out I was pregnant. There wasn't anything I wouldn't do to save my baby!
-Jennifer Phillips, Ronkonkoma
I knew I was a mom that first night at the hospital after giving birth. I didn't want to be separated from my boy and I stayed up all night watching him, falling in love with my little miracle while simultaneously making sure he was still breathing as he slept. It was unforgettable mix of awe, love and anxiety.
-Jaime Crispin, Huntington
I knew I was a mom when my baby girl looked into my eyes and wrapped her tiny fingers tightly around my pointer finger. It was love in an instant!
-Kristen Mucha, Lake Ronkonkoma
I knew I was a mom when I would rush home after work when normally I would stop to go shopping. I would miss them all day!
-Stella Shank, Babylon
Those three little words every woman wants to hear changed to Its a boy!
-Ellen Rosenfeld, Farmingdale
When my heart was aching through the eight hour surgery my 5-month-old had on his kidney and I wouldn't even leave the waiting room to go to the bathroom because I was afraid I would miss the doctor coming out to give me a report on the surgery status.
-Alison Kyler-Wank, Jericho
I started sounding like my mom! Or, when I realized I continually spoke in an annoying high pitched cheery voice.
-Amanda Khalil, Port Washington
I put my hand in the pocket of my jacket and I found a pacifier!
-Theresa Zimmardi Dodaro, via Facebook
When my handbag became a diaper bag and the books next to the bed on my nightstand were "Jamberry," "Owl Babies," "Goodnight Moon" and "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom!"
-Carine Ulano-Firestone, Bellmore
I knew I was a mom when my infant son threw up all over me and I was so worried about how he felt that I barely noticed!
-Valerie Kann Ennis, via Facebook
I had seven kids (and their moms) over for a playdate and didn't mind at all.
-Loretta Debono Sehlmeyer, via Facebook
I found myself singing "Wiggles" songs all by myself in the car.
-Laura Vella, via Facebook
I said "night-night" to the maitre d' at Lutece instead of au revoir.
-Ann Reznikoff Bratskeir, via Facebook
When I hear my kids gagging and I cup my hands to catch anything that may come up.
-Melissa Goedtel, West Islip
I took my daughter home from the hospital and changed her diaper for the first time. In the hospital, I guess I thought the nurses were in charge because I didn't even unwrap her blanket! I had never held an infant before.
-Laura Sabbagh, via Facebook
I could no longer sleep in on days off.
-Mary Boyd Carroll, Westbury
The test came back positive all four times!
-Toni Giannettino-Lifrieri, via Facebook
I uttered the phrase "Who put the cream cheese in the VCR?"
-Susan Seavers, via Facebook
When I would be at work and all of the sudden find a pacifier or kid toy in my pocket.
-Michelle Breslin Horbert, Mastic Beach
When I got pooped on the first time!
-Ann Alves Walker, via Facebook
When I get up in the morning and am excited to watch "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse!" I even know all the times.
-Carly Cook, via Facebook
When I went from taking an hour to get myself ready in the morning to 15 minutes!
-Danielle Ribando, via Facebook
I never ate my dinner while it was still warm and I'd go months without a manicure, pedicure or haircut.
-Lindsay Carr Gravin, via Facebook
I realized that I could, in fact, sleep sitting up! Also, I knew I was a mom when there was spit up on my couch and I was more concerned about him than the couch.
-Sharon Marcus, via Facebook
When I felt guilty for taking a shower!
-Elaina Veveakis Narvaez, via Facebook
Sleeping until 8 a.m. would be considered "sleeping in."
-Martina Gerrity Shields, via Facebook
You know when Sesame Street is a repeat and get annoyed when new ones aren't on.
-Stacey Felsen Feintuch, via Facebook
The first time I lifted her up and did the "sniff" test. Or when I came to work and a co-worker noticed the white streaks in my hair from her antibiotic. And of course the first time she wrapped her little fingers around mine.
-Susan Jara, via Facebook
I got peed and pooped on!
-Melissa Panzarella Grim, Oceanside
When Andrew would stop crying the minute I held him. The more realistic one was when I stirred a pot of sauce making dinner, made his doctor's appointment with the phone under my chin, held him on my hip and shutting the fridge with my other hip all at the same time! Then laughed hysterically!
-Lynnette Martella Shaw, Levittown
Funny one: When I knew by heart all of the words to every song that the twins' musical toys play (as well as the theme songs to "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse," "Little Einsteins," and "The Fresh Beat Band").
-Michelle Miller Warren, via Facebook
I realized that the applesauce I ate from wiping off her face with the spoon was really spit-up.
-Diane Brady, via Facebook
When I was driving in the car singing the "Wonder Pets" theme song -- when Emmy was not even in the car with me. I mean any song I pretty much belt out now is from one of her shows! That's when you know times really changed!
-Julie Keitelman Millman, Oceanside
When I was pregnant with my second child and (instead of having an anxiety attack with the mess of toys from my son) I swept all the toys into the corner using a broom. My mom taught me that trick. Oh and when I was on my second cup of coffee at 8:30 a.m.
-Carrie Sollin, Lynbrook
I knew I was a mom when it wasn't a big deal to walk around most of the day with my children's spit, vomit and other bodily fluids on my clothes while they were sick because I had no time for my own wardrobe changes. No more "Diva" behavior for me!
-Gilda Burke, via Facebook
I knew I was a mom when I stopped getting my hair done and buying clothes for myself every month and started paying for private school instead. I realized an investment in a good education for my daughter is better than having clothes I didn't really need and a nice hair do.
-Roxana Gonzalez, via Facebook
I saw my reflection in the front storm door holding my daughter on my hip, a diaper bag, grocery bags and talking on the phone. I almost didn't recognize myself.
-Devin Muller, Commack
That first sleepless night!
-Maria Gonzalez-Prescod, Bay Shore
I knew I was a mom when my boobs were no longer mine. They belonged to a 9-pound eating machine 12 times a day.
-Tiffany Macartney, East Northport
I knew I was a mom the first time I got myself and baby dressed and out the door with no help. I remember sitting at a mom's luncheon with my diaper bag stuffed with every possible baby item I would need and feeling so grown up and proud of myself!
-Melissa Argaman, Huntington
I knew I was a mom (or almost) when I was finally pregnant the first time and let my body eat whatever healthy and sometimes not so healthy food it craved to nourish my child without a second's self-conscious hesitation.
-Indre Both, Northport
I knew I was a mother when I drove in the car for the first time without the baby and was still singing kids' songs!
-Kim Padilla, Huntington
I knew I was a mom when instead of running from vomit, I made all attempts to catch it in my hands! -Jessica Grant, Plainview
I knew I was a mom most recently when at 19-months-old my son figured out how to get out of his room in the middle of the night and come find me in my bed! Exactly what I did when I was little. Extremely cute the first time, but a month later it's very tiring!
-Susan Urso King, Massapequa
I knew I was a mom when my parents laughed at me after hearing my new mom frustrations and said it's payback!
-Melissa Kessler, Plainview
What is your favorite mom moment? Share with me below and follow me on Twitter @JenBergerKids