The Love that Changed my Mind
“Who would want to be a parent?”
Although it’s embarrassing to admit it now, that was my frame of mind before actually becoming one. I figured that all the hype about parenthood “enriching your life” and being a mother “is its own reward” was just what parents said to make themselves feel better about the fact that their lives were no longer their own, to console themselves during sleepless nights and through endless dirty diapers. I admired parents yes, as well as their resolve that “it is worth it;” but actually becoming one was another story.
Then the inevitable happened. I got married and soon afterward was expecting. As I got closer to “D-day,” and my tummy got rounder, friends would often ask me, “Won’t you be so glad when it’s finally out? You must be so tired of being pregnant!”
“No.” I would reply. “It’s perfectly safe inside.” It’s not that I didn’t want to have a smaller tummy again, but I just was not sure how I would do at actually being a mommy. Would I be able to cope with the sleepless nights that all new parents talk about? Would I get used to changing a baby I-don’t-know-how-many times a day? Would I have enough love for the new baby to deal with the loss of my freedom and “my life?”
I didn’t have to wait long before I discovered the answer. Our baby girl was born and although I might sound corny, it was “love at first sight.” That first night that she was born, I just lay awake, looking at her. Every feature was so perfect, from her tiny rosebud lips, to her ears that were shaped just like her daddy’s. She was lovely, and I was hooked.
Yes, there were some of those nights where I did not get to sleep before two or three in the morning. There were times that I wondered if I would ever be able to go out again “just for fun.” But there were also times that filled my heart with joy and wonder that I had never experienced. Like the time that she first “talked” with her little baby gurgles, smiling at me as if I was the greatest person in the world. As she grew, I beheld a new wonder as I saw the world through her eyes, as if experiencing simple joys again for the first time. I felt the pride that only a parent could feel when she read her first book “all by herself.” And just this evening, as we went for a drive, she slipped her little hand in mine and said “You’re my friend, mommy? I love you!”
I will gladly admit, with capital letters, I was wrong about parenting. For the record, becoming a mother is the best thing that has ever happened to me. The treasure of a child’s pure love is the greatest reward of parenthood, and yes, it is more than worth it. The feeling in my heart is living proof.