Saturday, January 19, 2008


stolen from another blog

We are sitting at lunch one day when my daughter casually
mentions that she and her husband are thinking of “starting a family.”
“We’re taking a survey,” she says half-joking. “Do you think
I should have a baby?”
“It will change your life,” I say, carefully keeping my tone
“I know,” she says, “no more sleeping in on weekends, no more
spontaneous 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 she
will never learn in childbirth classes.
I want to tell her that the physical wounds of child bearing
will heal, but becoming a mother will leave her with an emotional
wound so raw that she will forever be
I consider warning her that she will never again read a
newspaper without asking, “What if that had been MY child?” That
every plane crash, every house fire will haunt her.
That when she sees pictures of starving children, she will
wonder if anything could be worse than watching your child die.
I look at her carefully manicured nails and stylish suit and
think that no matter how sophisticated she is, becoming a mother
will reduce her to the primitive level of a bear
protecting her cub. That an urgent call of “Mom!” will cause
her to drop a soufflé or her best crystal without a moments
I feel that I should warn her that no matter how many years
she has invested in her career, she will be professionally derailed
by motherhood. She might arrange for
childcare, but one day she will be going into an important
business meeting and she will think of her baby’s sweet smell. She
will have to use every ounce of discipline to keep from running
home, just to make sure her baby is all right.
I want my daughter to know that every day decisions will no
longer be routine. That a five year old boy’s desire to go to the
men’s room rather than the women’s at McDonald’s
will become a major dilemma. That right there, in the midst
of clattering trays and screaming children, issues of independence
and gender identity will be weighed against the prospect that a
child molester may be lurking in that restroom.
However decisive she may be at the office, she will
second-guess herself constantly as a mother.
Looking at my attractive daughter, I want to assure her that
eventually she will shed the pounds of pregnancy, but she will
never feel the same about herself. That her life, now so
important, will be of less value to her once she has a child. That
she would give herself up in a moment to save her offspring, but
will also begin to hope for more years, not to accomplish her own
dreams, but to watch her child accomplish theirs. I want her to
know that a cesarean scar or shiny stretch marks will become badges
of honor.
My daughter’s relationship with her husband will change, but
not in the way she thinks.
I wish she could understand how much more you can love a man
who is careful to powder the baby or who never hesitates to play
with his child. I think she should know that she will fall in love
with him again for reasons she would now find very unromantic.
I wish my daughter could sense the bond she will feel with
women throughout history who have tried to stop war, prejudice and
drunk driving.
I want to describe to my daughter the exhilaration of seeing
your child learn to ride a bike. I want to capture for her the
belly laugh of a baby who is touching the soft fur
of a dog or cat for the first time. I want her to taste the
joy that is so real it actually hurts.
My daughter’s quizzical look makes me realize that tears have
formed in my eyes. “You’ll never regret it,” I finally say. Then I
reached across the table, squeezed my
daughter’s hand and offered a silent prayer for her, and for
me, and for all the mere mortal women who stumble their way into
this most wonderful of callings.

Love it!


Amy said...

tears in my eyes!
(I'm procrastinating, too. Except I'm avoiding doing the laundry...)

The Bergs said...

I'm writing this one handed while I feed my boy and I say Amen! Ditto from Dad's perspective. Thanks for re-posting this.

I usually am just a lurker here, but this brought tears to my eyes too.

Oh, and I'm lucky enough to be able to say my laundry's done...


Anonymous said...

That gave me chills and brought tears to my eyes. I don't when I have read something that so accurately expressess what I feel about being a mom. Definately passing this on to some other moms.


shelby said...

yup...tears here too. I'm going to repost this for my friends to cry over too!