Jordan Catalano, And My "Mom Reality" Danielle Hampton

I sit here and write this from my couch, where I am half typing, half watching the glorious (and tragically, prematurely canceled) show My So-Called Life.  I’ve watched it countless times before, but only recently has it hit me with a bit of an epiphany.  You see, I’ve always been a Jordan Catalano kinda girl, and I’ve always related to Angela in the deepest way. Throughout my adolescence I’ve had my Rickies and my Rayannes, and my junior high girlfriends and I even had a favorite local band we’d pretend were the Frozen Embryos. And as I got older I still found that I totally “got” Angela. In my mid-twenties I still did. But now, suddenly, I am relating more to Angela’s parents. The English teacher. The neighbor boy’s Mom. The bus driver.

By television standards, I’m all grown up.

I don’t know why it took My So-Called Life to tell me I was a full-fledged adult, but it did. And since that moment when I said, “Whoa. Hey. Angela’s Mom- I feel you, I know what you mean,” I’ve been noticing my interests have shifted in other areas too. In fact, while watching Twilight the other day, I noticed that neither Edward nor Jacob is my Twilight crush. It’s actually Mr. Charlie Swan, Bella’s Dad.  That hunky, mustached Dad. Yup, I’m Team Charlie. And I got where he was coming from. I mean, I wouldn’t want my child hanging out with a vampire, no less upstairs, with the door closed!  I mean, really!  See, I can relate.  And then again while watching the Real Housewives of NJ, I found myself appalled at Ashley’s behavior, and thinking about how Jacqueline really needed to do something about that girl. Thinking her entitled self can just ask for her own place in the city after crying about the commute? Puh-lease.

It’s funny how little moments like these sneak up on you and kind of jolt you into your reality. And it’s not like I spend all day with my son not thinking about the fact that I’m a mother. But because it all just feels so natural and it kind of just happens, I don’t always think about it, nor do I think about the fact that I’m 29, a stay at home Mom, and happily living in a small town. Maybe this is just a new mama thing, but it still makes me laugh.

And furthermore, outside of relating more to the parental figures in movies and television shows, I’ve caught myself doing some curious things that really jarred me into that “I really am a Mom” reality when I realized what I was indeed doing:

1. Finding myself getting totally excited when I suck a really good booger out of Henry’s nose with that blue nose sucker thing from the hospital. I’m talking Super Bowl excited.  My husband and I stopped mid-high-five the other day and looked at each other. “Are we really high-fiving to celebrate a huge piece of snot right now?” Yup.

2. This one is embarrassing. And somewhat creepy. But I kind of find those Anne Geddes baby pictures cute now.  I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been immersed in all things baby for the past year, or maybe my hormones killed off all traces of my normal level of sanity, but just the other day I found myself admiring a photo of a chubby, squishy baby, dressed as a bee, set in a hive. Before you jump to conclusions, no, I wasn’t googling Anne Geddes baby photos- our pediatrician just clearly has a keen eye for decorating and they are all over the place. And apparently, I like them now.

3. And one more- the mama bounce. When Henry was a newborn he liked to be bounced and rocked all the time. He’d prefer to have me standing, doing a little back forth step and bounce, one foot to the other. Even though he’s out of the wanting to be bounced stage, I still find myself doing it…while I’m just standing there, not even holding a baby. In fact just the other day I was pushing a shopping cart in our local market and caught myself doing the step and bounce all the way down the pasta and soup aisle. And I only noticed I was doing this when a girl said, “look Mommy, that weird lady’s dancing past the raviolis!” Thank god for her though, or I would have found myself bouncing and stepping all the way through the store.

When it comes down to it though, even though I’m relating more to the parents in movies now, and finding myself getting excited over a particularly good nose suck, it’s not like I’m gravitating towards Bill Cosby or Mr. Belding. And even though I am relating more to Angela’s Mom, the Mom in me still finds Angela Chase’s dream boy right up her alley. So maybe I’m drinking wine out of a sippy cup, and maybe I’m finding pleasure in receiving jogging strollers for my birthday. My “Mom reality” still has room for a little Jordan Catalano, even though it was he who actually jolted me into that reality in the first place.

How about you?

Have any of you mamas had one of those moments where you’ve caught yourself watching a television show, or doing something so “Mom-like” and all of a sudden have that “Ohmygosh I’m a grown up/a parent/how did I get here” moment?  Or even if you’re not a Mom, have you had one of those “ahh I’m an adult” realizations?

Do share in the comments below!

Images via annegeddes.com and popdose.com


Danielle Hampton is a high school English teacher turned stay-at-home Mom, living in Arizona. She blogs daily at Sometimes Sweet and tweets too much via @danihampton. Come say hello!


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  7. Oh too funny! My mom told me when I was younger, and of course I didn’t believe her, that as you age you never feel older on the inside. I now have to agree. I just turned 30 and I often catch myself having teenage thoughts and saying ew gross!

  8. I found myself realizing that I had been catapulted into adulthood via the “mommy railroad” when my college friends told me they were heading to Bonaroo. The music festival scene was totally conqured in college and I can’t imagine sitting outside in 94 degree weather, unable to bath daily, pissing in a squat near ground position and call it a vacation. A vacation to me now would involve a family friendly hotel and a cool and hip baby sling. I’m not 30 yet, but I definitely feel I am on Steve Martin’s “ParentHood” trail circa 1989 and that’s totally okay.

  9. Back in my 20′s, my friends and I talked about the types of condoms and tequilas we preferred. In my 30′s we talked the wines we were trying and the joys of still getting carded at bars and when buying said wine. We’d compare notes on the eligible bachelors that came in and out of our lives in conversations that rivaled episodes of Sex and the City… Now, in my (very early) 40′s we talk about which tupperware containers and laundry detergents work best. We dress for comfort over fashion (thank god for kitten heels and ballet flats). We go to our kids’s soccer games rather than our boyfriend’s soccer games. Instead of following The Dave Matthews Band concert schedule, I’m following my first grade step-daughter’s school concert schedule…. All that said, my friends and I still talk about winel!

  10. Oh my gosh Danielle! I had the same thoughts the other day while watching my own So-Called Life marathon from Netflix Instant. I too used to completely relate to Angela with her crush and friends and such. But now, as a mom myself, I totally found myself relating to Angela’s mom wondering if I’m going to go through the same mother-daughter type of relationship when my baby girls are older. I’ll be telling my daughter not to dye her hair and wishing she’d tell me what was really going on in her head :)

  11. I realized I was an adult when the love of my life proposed (new years eve), and then we moved up to Flagstaff the next day to start our new life…..which included finally going to a university. We were away from all our family and friends, and it became just the two of us in a new place. The second time it hit me was when I realized that most of the time I rather be at home, reading, cleaning or watching a movie then going downtown and partying. I still love good a night out, but its not the main source of fun anymore…..and Im thankful because that means less hangovers and more productivity!

  12. I’m not a mama yet but this is surely something I look forward to. I love the way you use television characters to describe the feeling. great read!

  13. Wow, I totally have been thinking these things myself. I am totally team charlie and most of the shows I watch now (modern family, the middle) I totally identify with the parents now! I guess 28 is grown up….

    • Thats how I know I’m a grown up (27 and I have a 3 yr old) ….When The Middle became my favorite show and I keep having these “Frankie” moments and Im like watching going …”I feel ya sister” lol

  14. I’ll take it a step further in the “Oh dear God I really am a parent” category; when you start realizing your beloved childhood movie characters, even animated ones, are actually totall brats who talk back to their parents, whine, and throw fits. Somehow these personality perks eluded me until I started raising my own child and found they can come all too easily without encouragement! As for the future teenage years, I’d be very dissapointed for more than one reason if my children were arrested for underage drinking at a Buffalo Tom concert.

  15. I’m not a mom (yet!) but I’ve definitely had those “holy crap, I’m an adult” moments. For instance, I bought a fancy pan & kitchen towels with money I received for my birthday last year & I was more excited then any reasonable, sane person should be when dropping $50 on a pan. Also the other day I got my cats new cat litter which I can’t seem to stop raving about. 14-year-old me would be very disappoint that the highlight of my week 10 years in the future is finding a great cat litter & buying a new frying pan.

    • I get really excited when there’s still the traditional $25 in my birthday card from my dad (yes, I’m 31, and he still does this) because I can go buy the fancy cheese and cereal!

    • haha, so true. My younger self wouldn’t even believe it if she saw me now, or saw me happily spend a $50 Target giftcard on diapers and baby oatmeal.

  16. I am so dead right now. I was watching the episode with the Dead tickets and I remember being a kid thinking Angela was SO cool but this time I was totally siding with Graham. We’re so old now…

  17. I find the television programmes I am obsessed with change as my life/circumstances change. When I was engaged I loved to watch Bridezillas and Whose Wedding is it Anyway. Then when I was pregnant I was bored of those shows and started watching Baby Story and anything birth related. Then after the birth of my daughter I stopped watching those and now I watch House of Tiny Tearaways and Supernanny. My husband has also discovered he has grown up when he realised he disliked Facebook and loves watching Bargain Hunt and Antiques Roadshow. He also told me he was a ‘Fashion-Barrista’.

  18. haha Dani, I laughed the whole way through this…and also did the tender “awww” a bunch. I just adore you!! And yes I, too, completely have had those moments. The most recent was this morning when I was dancing around the house singing “le freak, c’est chic” and doing the “aww, aww” sound over and over. I suddenly stopped and said to Don…”oh no. I am such a mom!”

  19. This one is kinda gross and maybe a bit too “TMI” but my uh-ha moment came almost immediately when my son was first born and I was whipping out my boobs in front of anyone and everyone. Just weeks before I gave birth I vowed I would not be one of “those moms” who breast feeds so explicitly but I made a liar of myself. It hit me, I’m a mom and I care more about feeding my baby than ppl seeing my bare breasts in public. true<3!

  20. I’m not a mom yet, but at 24, I see these changes starting to happen also.

    On another note, I find it hilarious that the embarrassing admission is not pulling particularly good boogers from your child’s nose, but simply liking a kind of trite and somewhat disturbing photo. Also, I’m trying wine in sippy cups.

    Great post.

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