Happy Monday everyone!
I was going to post this yesterday but I had such an amazing day with my family that I decided not to blog. I don’t usually write on Sundays anyway, and I figured this could wait until Monday. I had breakfast in bed (my FAVORITE breakfast!) with my guys, time with family, and an engagement shoot, it was really a wonderful day!
Whenever I see someone pregnant for the first time and we get to talking, so many things run through my head. There are so many things that I want to tell her! I feel like everyone shares the worst stories with pregnant women. I know I heard some horror stories – in labor for 50 hours, torn in every which direction (sorry guys!), and basically any horrible story that someone can come up with – they share. So I really go out of my way to tell first time pregnant women that my delivery was awesome, and not to listen to those stories. Just go in prepared for anything, calm and cool, and God will work his magic. But the thing that I really want to tell them is very hard to articulate.
Everyone says your life will change, and that’s definitely true. But not in the way that you think it will. When you don’t have kids, and someone tells you your life will change, you think yeah yeah, I’ve heard it before… and think about the things in your mind that you know about. No vacations last minute, no sleep with a newborn, blah blah blah. And believe me, when I was pregnant, I heard it too. The tangible things are easily measured. It’s the things that you can’t touch, the things that can’t be measured, that are hardest to share with someone.
Awhile back I got this email. Usually I don’t forward these types of emails, I read and either save for later or delete. This email really hit me though. Whether it’s fake or real, it doesn’t really matter. It says what I really want to tell every first time pregnant woman. That your entire being will change. That your heart will be walking around outside of your body. That you will feel a kinship and connection with every woman that has ever given birth, or raised a child – biological or not. That you will feel so lucky to have modern medicine, and not have to give birth wondering if your child will be dead when you’re done, as it was even just 100 years ago. That a little person growing inside of you will now control your every thought and decision, from the little things like whether there are chemicals in those chicken nuggets, to where you live because you have to be in a good school district. That you will now begin to understand and marvel at God’s love for you, because you realize how much you love your own child.
Wow, I’m getting goosebumps just writing this.
Being a mother changes your life like you never dreamed possible.
So, here’s to all the mothers out there that are reading this. I know Mother’s Day was yesterday, but hug your mom, send her a quick text message or call her – just to tell her you love her. Because believe me, she loves you more than you will ever realize, until you become a parent.
You can read the email I was referencing underneath the photo of me and my baby. Whenever he tells me that he’s not a baby, I tell him that even at 50 years old he will still be my baby, he needs to just accept that fact now! ;)
Here are some thoughts on what it means to become a mother, from a randomly circulated email from a few years ago. And let me tell you, the McDonald’s line REALLY hits me hard, especially with my six-year-old who wants to go by himself.
Being A Mom
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 moments 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 herself 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 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 say. 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.
Happy Mother’s Day to all of you fabulous moms out there!