Tuesday, August 01, 2006

On being a mom

I read other mommy blogs and many contain sentiments about how during the hard times of dealing with a newborn (those endless midnight feedings) or baby (the neediness, separation anxiety, tantrums) they find themselves wishing they could take a break (more than one even mentions thinking it would be a relief to give the baby up for adoption). These sentiments are in blogs by mamas without infertility issues as well as ones who gave birth after dealing with infertility and even adoptive moms. I have never had these feelings. I can't help but think it's because I spent over 14 years wondering what it would be like to parent my son. There is a difference, I think, between wishing to be a mom for a long time and vicariously being one after birthing a child that somebody else raises while you secretly yearn to have had kept him. I really treasure the opportunity to finally be a mother and while I certainly have been sleep deprived, I just find that all the other crap in my life is just not that important, that the opportunity to meet my daughter’s needs, whether they be at 3 am or when I am about to shower or eat, is a privilege for which I am so very, very grateful.

In yesterday’s post I finally admitted that I adore being a mother. As a defense mechanism I had come to believe and tell others that motherhood just wasn’t for me. But when I was a little girl I loved playing with dolls. I took them for walks in their buggy, dressed them, fed them, put them in their crib every night, even did their laundry. I knew from an early age that I wanted to be a mommy. Yet after giving up my son I must have started a subconscious conversation with myself about how there were so many other opportunities for me – after all, isn’t that one of the reasons why I relinquished him? Over the years I began believing I wasn’t meant to be a mother – I didn’t have the patience, the talent, the joy and drive for it. And I had so much “potential” to be “something” or “somebody”. Well, I got my college degree, and I’ve had some good jobs and worked plenty of long hours. But I never felt like somebody until I became my daughter’s mother.


Blogger Maxine said...

I love being a mother, too, but the last couple of years have been really hard for me. Parenting an older child who is as, uh, energetic and wild as mine. Parenting a baby/toddler was relatively easy for me, it's gotten tough as she's gotten older. I'm with her 24/7 and by the end of the long long day, I am so worn out. The 3 a.m. feedings *pale* in comparison to a mouthy stubborn crabby 5 yo :)

1:43 PM  
Blogger suz said...

i understand. it took me 12 years to have another child after losing my daughter. i was so traumatized by the event, felt so awful about myself, I questioned if I could, or should, do it. I did. I do it well. No regrets.

3:30 PM  
Blogger Lilian said...

Kateri (at Wet Feet) wrote something similar once, you should try to look it up...
(I just came here for the first time from your comment on her blog, Hi! :)

For some reason I also feel the same delight and I never really felt a need to take a break, at least during their first year (now, with two boys, 2 and 4, I do get pretty exhausted!).

12:00 AM  

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