Monday, October 27, 2008

On Becoming a Mom

Everyone has heard the clichés about motherhood:

  • My whole world has changed.
  • Once you see that baby, nothing else matters.
  • You’ll never knew you could love someone so much you just met.

With my baby now approaching her first birthday, I feel like I’ve got some “motherhood” experience under my belt and with authority I can tell you--all the clichés are true.

My whole world has changed. Who would have ever thought I’d care about how snug the straps on the car seat are with each and every trip? Where did I lose my ability to sleep in with ease on days I am not working and replace it with an uncanny ability to provide excellent nutrition to those in my household? (Well, not for me, but for my kid!) Where did I become the official “safety inspector” in each and every situation where my precious child ventured? Why do I suddenly get brave in a room full of strangers who have their eyes on me--oh, their eyes are on my baby! Even better! Somewhere in the last year, I have lost parts of the “me” I knew and replaced it with this cliché you call “Mom.”

Once you see that baby, nothing else matters. It is 3 am. My dear, sweet husband who is a much lighter sleeper than I am brings me a screaming, and apparently starving, baby. I wake up, sit up, latch this starving little child on and breastfeed. I’ve done this countless times today. I’ve multi-tasked while doing it. My e-mail is always returned on time. My TV shows are not missed. The phone rings, I talk. I used to prize my sleep above all else. On many days, I still do. But somehow I find myself looking at this baby, who has just interrupted my sleep, contentedly eating a meal. She looks up at me, grins, and goes back to her meal. It is as if the entire world has stopped and it is just she and I sitting there in my bed sharing a special moment. Nothing else matters.

You never knew you could love someone so much you just met. I learned the reality of this cliché before we left the hospital. String Bean had a problem digesting and did what most babies do--she spit up. Not only did she spit up, but with such force that the spit up went into her sinus cavity. I was holding her at the time and felt completely helpless watching this 2 day old baby turn purple as she was unable to breathe on her own. My heart sunk in my chest, I screamed at my dear husband to call the nurse for the love of my life (sorry husband you’ve been replaced) was not breathing! Don’t worry. The nurse took care of business and I later learned that babies do this a lot and it’s nothing to get all worked up over. Easy for you to say crazy pediatrician! I am a new mom! I have pregnancy and post partum hormones racing through my system. This little helpless, defenseless baby that I have completely fallen head-over-heels for has only me, ME! to help her, guide her, love her. I mean, my husband is there, too, but give me a break--like I said, hormones.

God truly gave us a gift when he gave us motherhood. Children are a blessing. Shame on me for forgetting that God gave me this special blessing. Shame on me for getting caught up in the hustle and bustle of life and not enjoying this little life to the fullest.


Amy said...

Excellent, Mandie!

Christy said...

My kiddos are 12 and 9 years old, and they are still the loves of my life. I was just pondering this morning how much I love to just and look at them. They are a CONSTANT joy, and an OCCASIONAL pain in the neck. ;0)

Caryn said...

God truly works a miracle in your heart the minute you hold that baby in your arms. It is really a wonderful mystery! The love we have for String Bean is just as powerful!

Heather @ Not a DIY Life said...

I couldn't agree more! What a gift motherhood is. I like what Christy said - a constant joy and an occassional pain in the neck. That pretty much sums it up, doesn't it?