Good Reads

Being A Mother

Thursday, September 26, 2013

I came across this in one of the volumes of Chicken Soup for the Woman's Soul sometime ago (authored by Dale Hanson Bourke) & then stumbled upon it again earlier yesterday on Facebook, shared by Mommy Treats. The selection is about the gist of being a mom, & personally, I feel it drives the point all the way home in describing the depth of love & fear women develop once they enter motherhood. I cried both instances I read it (I'm cheesy, i know).

Since Joaquin turns a year old today, I find that it's perfectly timely that I re-post a copy of the PDF version (though with slight, but negligible differences from the original). To moms & moms-to-be, read on.

We are sitting at lunch when my daughter
casually mentions that she and her husband are thinking of 'starting a family.' 'We're taking a survey,' she says, half-joking. 'Do you think I should have a baby?'

'It will change your life,' I say, carefully keeping my tone neutral.
'I know,' she says, 'no more sleeping in on weekends, no more spontaneous vacations....' But that is not what I meant at all.

I look at my daughter, trying to decide what to tell her. I want her to know what she will never learn in childbirth classes. I want to tell her that the physical wounds of child bearing will heal, but that becoming a mother will
leave her with an emotional wound so raw that she will forever be vulnerable.

I consider warning her that she will never again read a newspaper
without asking 'What if that had been MY child?'

That every plane crash, every house fire will haunt her. That when she sees pictures of starving children, she will wonder if anything could be worse than watching your child die.

I look at her carefully manicured nails and
stylish suit and think that no matter how sophisticated she is, becoming a mother will reduce her to primitive level of a
bear protecting her cub.
That an urgent call of 'Mom!' will cause her to drop a soufflĂ© or her best crystal without a moment's hesitation. 

I feel I should warn her that
no matter how many years she has invested in her career, she will
be professionally derailed by motherhood.

She might arrange for child care but
one day she will be going into an important business meeting and she will think of her baby's sweet smell. She will have to use every ounce of her discipline to keep her from running home, just to make sure her baby
is all right.

I want my daughter to know that everyday decisions will no longer be routine. That a five year old boy's desire to go to the men's room rather than the women's at McDonald's will become a major dilemma.
That right there, in the midst of clattering trays and screaming children, issues of independence and gender identity will be weighed against

the prospect that a child molester may be lurking in that rest-room. 

However she may be at the office, she will second-guess herself constantly as a mother. 

Looking at my attractive daughter, I want to assure her that eventually she will shed the pounds of pregnancy, but she will never feel the same about herself.
That her life, now so important, will be of less value to her once she has a child. That she would give it up in a moment to
save her offspring, but will also begin to hope for more years -
not to accomplish her own dreams, but to watch her child accomplish theirs.

I want her to know that a Cesarean scar or shiny stretch marks will
become badges of honor. 

My daughter's relationship with her husband will change,
but not in the way she thinks..
I wish she could understand how much more you can
love a man who is careful to powder the baby or who never hesitates to play with his child. I think she should know that she will fall in love with him again for reasons she
would now find very unromantic.

I wish my daughter could sense the bond she will feel
with women throughout history who have tried to stop war, prejudice and drunk driving. I hope she will understand why I can think rationally
about most issues, but become temporarily insane when I discuss the threat of nuclear war to my children's future.

I want to describe to my daughter the
exhilaration of seeing your child learn to ride a bike.

I want to capture for her the belly laugh of a baby who is touching the soft fur of a dog or a cat for the first time.
I want her to taste the joy that is so real, it actually hurts.

My daughter's quizzical look makes me realize that tears have formed in my eyes.
'You'll never regret it,' I finally say.

Then I reach across the table, squeeze my daughter's hand and offer a silent
prayer for her, and for me, and for all of the mere mortal women who stumble their way into this most wonderful of callings. 

I hope that one day, Joaquin will get to read this and truly understand how much he has changed mine & my hubby's life in ways we can no longer imagine being without.

Happy birthday baby, mommy & daddy wish for nothing else but for you to live a healthy, joyful & prosperous life. We love you more & more each day!


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