Sunday, October 01, 2006

To be a mom

THESE ARE NOT MY WORDS. I FOUND THEM ELSEWHERE AND WAS TOLD TO SHARE THEM. i WOULD LOVE TO GIVE CREDIT TO THE AUTHOR, BUT HAVE HAD NO SUCCESS IN FINDING HER.

I WISH I COULD SAY I WROTE THIS. WHAT I CAN SAY IS THIS IS HOW I FEEL. I BET YOU DO, TOO.


We are sitting at lunch one day 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 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 the primitive level of a bear protecting her cub. That an urgent call of "Mom!" will cause her to drop a soufflé or her best crystal without a moment's hesitation.

I feel that 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 childcare, 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 discipline to keep from running home, just to make sure her baby is all right.

I want my daughter to know that every day 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 restroom.

However decisive 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 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 said.

Then I reached across the table, squeezed my daughter's hand and offered a silent prayer for her, and for me, and for all the mere mortal women who stumble their way into this most wonderful of callings. This blessed gift... that of being a Mother.

Please share this with a Mom that you know or all of your girlfriends who may someday be moms.



Pin It!

12 comments:

Dawn said...

Good post, Cyn...

Amanda said...

That was awesome and so true! I had a friend tell me tonight (who has no kids) that she never hears from me anymore. Which isn't true, she hears from me, just not as often. She said, "You never go out anymore". I said, "Carly, when you have kids, you will understand why. I want to be home with my babies".

kpjara said...

That's beautiful! What a wonderful heritage to offer your daughter these wise words.

homemakerang said...

fyi maryjanes farm magazine is out!!!!! have to get it!

carla said...

Very lovely...(and now I have tears streaming down my cheeks!)

cityfarmer said...

Any one of us could have penned those words...we should be so proud to have the highest calling of all...my hear skips a beat...I have a myriad of flashbacks every day...especially now with a grandson...

Dawn said...

Thanks for stopping by my tribute to my FIL.

I have seen this piece before, and absolutely love it. Every word is so true!

Lori said...

Oh I love it! I hung on every word, it is so true. Only after being a mother do you realize this. Thanks so much for sharing it. I enjoyed it.

homemakersheart said...

Thanks for sharing, that is awesome! (with tears welled up in my eyes)

Cindy said...

I've read this before but it never fails to bring tears to my eyes and goosebumps to my arms.

I do so much love being a mom!

kansasrose said...

I sent this to my eldest daughter...so beautiful! hey Cyn! Did ya know you won the Golden Apron award for this??????

Rachel said...

I like this one.