Friday, January 25, 2008

Took this from my friend Courtney's Web Site. It's long but worth it.

Being a Mom

We are sitting at lunch one day when my daughter casuallymentions that she and her husband are thinking of “starting a family.”“We’re taking a survey,” she says half-joking. “Do you thinkI should have a baby?”“It will change your life,” I say, carefully keeping my toneneutral.“I know,” she says, “no more sleeping in on weekends, no morespontaneous 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 shewill never learn in childbirth classes.I want to tell her that the physical wounds of child bearingwill heal, but becoming a mother will leave her with an emotionalwound so raw that she will forever bevulnerable.-I consider warning her that she will never again read anewspaper without asking, “What if that had been MY child?” Thatevery plane crash, every house fire will haunt her.That when she sees pictures of starving children, she willwonder if anything could be worse than watching your child die.-I look at her carefully manicured nails and stylish suit andthink that no matter how sophisticated she is, becoming a motherwill reduce her to the primitive level of a bearprotecting her cub. That an urgent call of “Mom!” will causeher to drop a soufflé or her best crystal without a momentshesitation.-I feel that I should warn her that no matter how many yearsshe has invested in her career, she will be professionally derailedby motherhood. She might arrange forchildcare, but one day she will be going into an importantbusiness meeting and she will think of her baby’s sweet smell. Shewill have to use every ounce of discipline to keep from runninghome, just to make sure her baby is all right.-I want my daughter to know that every day decisions will nolonger be routine. That a five year old boy’s desire to go to themen’s room rather than the women’s at McDonald’swill become a major dilemma. That right there, in the midstof clattering trays and screaming children, issues of independenceand gender identity will be weighed against the prospect that achild molester may be lurking in that restroom.However decisive she may be at the office, she willsecond-guess herself constantly as a mother.-Looking at my attractive daughter, I want to assure her thateventually she will shed the pounds of pregnancy, but she willnever feel the same about herself. That her life, now soimportant, will be of less value to her once she has a child. Thatshe would give herself up in a moment to save her offspring, butwill also begin to hope for more years, not to accomplish her owndreams, but to watch her child accomplish theirs. I want her toknow that a cesarean scar or shiny stretch marks will become badgesof honor.-My daughter’s relationship with her husband will change, butnot in the way she thinks.I wish she could understand how much more you can love a manwho is careful to powder the baby or who never hesitates to playwith his child. I think she should know that she will fall in lovewith him again for reasons she would now find very unromantic.-I wish my daughter could sense the bond she will feel withwomen throughout history who have tried to stop war, prejudice anddrunk driving.-I want to describe to my daughter the exhilaration of seeingyour child learn to ride a bike. I want to capture for her thebelly laugh of a baby who is touching the soft furof a dog or cat for the first time. I want her to taste thejoy that is so real it actually hurts.-My daughter’s quizzical look makes me realize that tears haveformed in my eyes. “You’ll never regret it,” I finally say. Then Ireached across the table, squeezed mydaughter’s hand and offered a silent prayer for her, and forme, and for all the mere mortal women who stumble their way intothis most wonderful of callings.

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Baby Ticker has been removed

Ticker has been removed due to arrival of baby on July 1 at 1:15 AM.