Happy Mother’s Day
I never wanted to be a mom.
Adele was a “surprise.” And at the time, a…well…very unexpected surprise. One that did not fit into my life plans. I was moving away to a big city. I was outta this small town.
But in the words of John Lennon, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” I completely and wholeheartedly believe in this quote.
It was unreal when I found out I was pregnant. I took six pregnancy tests just to be sure. (Maybe there was a problem with that entire EPT shipment…it could happen…right?) And I still didn’t believe it, not even when I went to the doctor and they confirmed it again. I couldn’t fathom it.
I wasn’t “mom” material; I wasn’t maternal. I didn’t have a maternal bone in my body. (And speaking of my body, my breasts were meant for recreational use, not functional use.) This was all wrong for me.
I didn’t really accept my pregnancy until the first time I felt Adele move inside me. I was driving home from teaching a class and I felt that first “flutter.” I became ecstatic. It was just the coolest feeling. I stopped at Wal-Mart, with a glow on my face, feeling my tummy the whole time, anticipating that next flutter of movement.
As I got bigger with each passing day, week, and month, an overall peaceful feeling settled upon me. I used to feel anxious walking into places alone, like if I was meeting a friend for dinner somewhere. I no longer felt anxious and alone when I walked into places. Because I wasn’t alone anymore.
I loved just lying on the couch, sitting at the computer typing, or taking walks and feeling this unborn person inside me kicking away. I often miss that feeling. It is indescribable. I could never picture what she would look like, (I wanted to find out the sex, since I had had enough surprises) but I just knew I would love her. I hadn’t even met her yet, and already I loved her.
Once Adele arrived, I was in total and complete bliss. (Looking back, some of that could have been the Vicodin I’d been prescribed, but anyway…) I would go to the store while someone else watched her, and I missed her so much the entire time. I was so in love with my baby. I stared at her while she slept. I was moved by every sound she made, I marveled at every tiny little baby gesture.
I was officially a mommy.
Despite not having a single maternal bone in my body, I think I did okay in the beginning. I was completely anal, however, making sure I fed her at the exact time intervals the doctor had told me to…checking on her incessantly as she slept…making sure everyone who came within a two-mile radius was a non-smoker who’d just washed his or her hands…I was a protective mama bear.
Now, seven years later (seven years! Really?!) as I listen to my two children
fight play, (my
second child, Eleanor, is now four) it’s surreal to think about how I felt
during that first pregnancy. I wouldn’t
trade it for the world. Any of it. No, things didn’t happen in the order they were
“supposed to happen” in the eyes of many people. But they happened in the order they were
supposed to happen for me. For us. For all of us.
I love being a mom more than anything. That is a statement I thought I’d never make…but it’s true. There is nothing like looking into the eyes of these wonderful beings you created, watching them smile, hearing them giggle…I can’t imagine life without them. I wonder what I did before them.
I adore my children. They are what’s most important to me now…my family. The family that happened while I was busy making other plans. I thank God every day for this…for this privilege of being a mommy to the most amazing little girls on earth.
To all the mommies out there, the mommies of “surprise babies,” the mommies who are unsure, the mommies who are doing the very best they can with what they have, the mommies who question every decision they make…
Calm down. Relax. You are doing a great job. Don’t compare yourself to other moms. You know what’s right for your children. Sure, we all make mistakes – and I’m sure I’ve made tons so far…but I try not to beat myself up for it. Motherhood is a process, and one all moms go through.
In the end, we’ll all look back on the memories we are making every single day, and we will laugh, maybe sometimes cry…it’s all part of it. Part of being a mother.
Happy Mother’s Day.