February 18, 2016

On Motherhood


I'm three months into being someone's mother. It seems both short and long at the same time. For a large part of my adult life, I was unsure if I wanted children. Being teacher, I was so mentally and physically exhausted at the end of the day, that most days I thought, "I could not do this 24/7". I vacillated weekly about whether or not motherhood was for me. I had, and still have, fears of how my child will grow up. Will he/she be a good person? How will I react if he or she is not a good person? What if my child is a bully or is physically hurtful towards others? I blame these fears partially on reading the book, We Need to Talk About Kevin (excellent book- chilling but excellent). These fears, when vocalized, were met with anger. People would say, "that won't happen to you" or "you won't raise your child to be like that". Well, thanks for the vote of confidence, but do you really think mothers of children who are bullies or worse, ever thought they were raising someone that could behave in such a way? Highly doubtful. 

There are things I took issue with when speaking with others about the decision to become a parent. The idea that I was somehow incomplete without a child, that the life I had worked hard to build wasn't enough, that I would regret it later in life. I love my son with every fiber of my being but I can say with certainty, that he does not "complete" me. He is a wonderful addition to our lives and yes, makes me a better person, but he did not fill some arbitrary empty hole in my life. I worked hard, alongside my husband, to build a life that reflected us and the things and people we value. To say it was incomplete before does all those previous years a huge disservice. I do believe that somewhere down the road, I would have regretted not having children but ultimately, I will never know and no will anyone else who said those things to me countless times. Also, all of those things seem like shitty reasons to procreate if you ask me. Bringing a child into this world is a HUGE deal. Possible regret is NOT A GOOD ENOUGH REASON. On the daily, I saw what happens when people have children because they think they should and guess who suffers? Everyone. 

My husband and I discussed children regularly. Almost every Friday night was spent discussing how we would raise them, the things we would teach them and show them and ultimately, we decided that parenthood is something we wanted to embark on together. 

Three months in, I can say that parenthood is one of the most surreal experiences of my life. It has brought indescribable joy and unexplained tears. No one can ever prepare you for what being a mom is like, no matter how many times and ways they try to explain it. I certainly didn't understand it as a non-parent. I love this kid so much it hurts. Ours was the slow burn kind of love not a huge rush of emotion but it is deep and profound nonetheless. It is the hardest job I've ever had and I question my ability to do it well on the daily. But at the same time, everyday that we get to spend together is a new opportunity to get it right. To be the parent I want to be. To teach him new things and watch him grow.  Yes, I still have fears about how this whole thing will turn out and think about all the ways (that are much too easy, might I add) I could royally screw this up but it is an adventure unlike any other and I am grateful for the opportunity. 

In closing I want to say this, becoming parents was the right choice for us. It is not the right choice for everyone and I respect those who choose otherwise. I will never try to convince someone that parenthood is the better choice, the responsibility is too much to put on someone who doesn't want it. And also, whenever I used to say that I wasn't sure I was going to have kids, people would get SO angry. I vow never to do that to someone else.  







2 comments :

  1. Interesting point. I knew I wanted kids, but I had a lot of people have issue with me initially only wanting one child. I wasn't sure if we could have a 2nd but people acted like it was a crime to have an only child. I try to just stay out of people's reproductive business! Ha. Hope you are having a good day!

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  2. Great post. Very honest. And love that you said your love for him was a slow burn. I bet a ton of women feel that way, but are to afraid to say it. Very happy for your little family!

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