I was president of my mom’s group a few years ago. Every month, our newsletter included a President’s Greeting. It was usually a cheery preview of the month’s upcoming activities. Since I’m not very good at cheery previews, I used the space to write my own personal thoughts on motherhood. I am including these on my blog for my children to read one day.
July 2006: Why did you have children? Was it to cement the bond between you and your husband? Was it to give your parents a grandchild? Was it to see life perpetuate itself? Was it so you’d have someone to take care of you in your old age?
I know it certainly wasn’t because you wanted to clean a messy house. Or because you enjoy saying, “No, please don’t do that” a thousand times a day. And especially not because you wanted to change dirty diapers.
There are thousands of reasons why people have children. And sometimes it’s a combination of all of those reasons. But whatever the reason, I’ll bet you never expected the journey to be like this.
If anyone had told me I’d be up in the middle of the night covered in puke, I’d have laughed. “No, not me! That’s just an urban legend.” Or that I’d be inventing games to entertain my daughter while changing a poopy diaper, or that I’d be so excited when my kid learned to blow her nose.
Luckily, there are lots of joys to go along with the not-so-joyous parts of parenthood. I get to be the Boo Boo Kisser and make it all better. I get to experience all the Firsts (Steps, Tooth, Haircut) of another person’s life. I get to make Katie laugh just by stalking her with my tickling hand. I’m the one she calls when she’s scared. And, best of all, I get to hold her in my arms and rock to her favorite song before sleep.
I’ve developed a lot more empathy for the crises of the world. Before I became a mother, I would hear an awful news story and think, “Oh, how sad.” Then I’d go on with my day. Now I want to cry because I think how awful it would be if that happened to my baby girl.
Becoming a mother has peeled away the layers of insecurity, vanity, pride, and selfishness inside my soul. I’ve found a different person inside, one that I never thought I could be. This was not my reason for having a child, but it’s been the best byproduct I never imagined!