the proudest profession

Motherhood: from the moment you see those two little pink lines, you know it’s going to change your life forever. You just have no idea how much it will change. Because at that moment in time, you cannot imagine the pain of crying with your baby when she’s so sick she’s kept both of you up all night. You can’t imagine the joy of those first steps, that first word, the first day of school. One minute you’ve had a tiny bundle of screams placed into your arms, the next minute there is a little person. A person that you’ve been in charge of. You’ve been the center of their world. You helped form them. What a privilege and honor. What a terrifying job.

I hope I’m not the only one among us who felt like she was playing dress up for a long time. Becoming a mother is like starting a new job. Except you’re starting a new job for which you have zero experience and no skill set. And it’s an important job. And you’re the President. And CEO.

With that playing-house feeling comes the inevitable inferiority complex. I’m incredibly blessed to be know so many mothers that I feel honored to be in the same room with, much less call friend. These women blow my mind. They are so patient and loving. Their children are so well behaved! I want to be just like them. When I grow up.

But, as one of my friends put it, it’s a mutual admiration society. Every mom is doing the same thing – checking all the other mothers out and feeling in awe of what someone else can do. We all have our own skills. Comparisons are futile. No child is alike, so why should all mamas be alike? We all have our talents and gifts, and we all use them to our best advantage to do our best for our children.

When my baby boy was born almost a year ago he was my first baby who stopped crying simply because he heard the sound of my voice. That made me feel like Mother, the center of the universe, the one person who can heal all the hurts. At some age we can’t heal all the hurts anymore, but for a long time we can. For a long time, a kiss, a warm lap, a gentle word, some special treat, and all is well. And it is Mommy who created that. What a rush.

And all of the sudden, you know when you are a Grown Up and you are now The Mom. Because you think of your own mother, and all of the sudden you realize: for all the times she told you when you were wrong, there were a hundred times she knew better but bit her tongue. Many times when you needed a spanking, you weren’t the only one who was crying. All of the times you told her, “it’s not fair!” she was thinking, life ain’t fair, kid. A lot of life lessons are painful to learn. You’ve got to be cruel to be kind. And it sure isn’t easy. You want to do the hard part for your kids, you want them to know better than you did, and not repeat your mistakes.

That’s what makes up motherhood; more hard work and more love than you can ever imagine. In your wildest dreams you couldn’t begin to form your expectations. And it keeps changing, and getting better all the time.

What was the moment YOU felt like you really “became” a mother? E-mail your essay to abbyslane@gmail.com and you can win a $10 voucher! Happy Mother’s Day.

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May 3, 2010. Motherhood.

6 Comments

  1. Candice replied:

    The moment I really felt like a mother was the day I saw the ultrasound and my son looked like an actually ‘baby’. I obviously knew I was pregnant but at that moment I saw him I knew I’d do anything to protect him and that I’d love him forever. The moment I realized what being a mother meant was when my husband left for a year deployment overseas (USMC) when our son was 2 1/2 weeks old…. i had to push my sadness aside and take care of our little boy and make sure he had everything he needed and put my his needs above mine.

  2. amanda replied:

    hmmm. the moment i ‘felt’ like a mom was honestly when we took our first daughter home from the hospital. it was like…oh man…she’s staying with us…forever! i had the blessing of working in an infant room of a daycare for four years before having her, so i felt ‘ready’ for that. what i didn’t know i’d be not ready for is the amount of love i have/had for her. and now pregnant with baby number five…i can’t wait to see how much more love i’m given. 🙂

  3. amanda replied:

    and then i realize i didn’t do the comment right. geesh. should i email it to you to? sorry. i’m telling you i’ve lost almost all brain cells with this pregnancy!

  4. Rose replied:

    Yes please ladies! E-mail your blog post to abbyslane@gmail.com …. thanks! 😀

  5. Lindsey Way replied:

    I still find myself saying “I’m a mom, I can’t believe it. Who lost their head?”

  6. Kristy replied:

    The day I came home from the hospital with my daughter. Oh my, I had no clue what to do with her, but realized her whole little life was in my hands. That feeling of love and responsibility is the trademark of all mothers.

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