A friend of mine is carefully trying to decide whether the risks of in vitro with a sperm donor is all worth it. So she asked me exactly what I thought about being a parent and my response was this …
“Having a child involves taking on a lot of responsibilities that you will actually want to be in charge of. It’s not just because you have to, but because you will be blessed with instincts of parenthood that will help YOU understand what’s best for your own child.”
She looks at me and continues to ask, “how do you mean?”
“We all joke about how kids can disrupt our lives and the crazy things they do, but the reality is, having them can be the most amazing thing that could ever happen in your life. The feelings of true love will be understood, because there is nothing else like it.”
I went on to ask her to imagine the best and deepest relationship she’s ever had with anyone. “Didn’t you feel like you wanted to do anything for that person?” I asked.
“Yes,” she replied.
“All you wanted to do is to make his world perfect. You would have done anything for him, because you loved him. Am I right?” I asked.
She nodded in agreement.
“Now try to imagine those feelings and multiply the way you felt by love so unconditional and so rich that your heart doesn’t just feel overwhelmed, but overflowing with the scariest kind of emotions you could ever imagine.”
I could have gone on talking about my love of motherhood, but I thought perhaps it was more of a discussion I could save for the times she’s already there and we could bond over it. Sometimes I could get carried away talking about my son and all the ways he’s changed my life (for the best), but again, it’s all the stuff I wouldn’t want to bore her with.
You see, a couple of years ago, I watched a commercial where a little girl was walking around laughing and playing. Her parents were sitting on the floor laughing their heads off like she was doing something spectacular. From an outsider’s standpoint, she really wasn’t. As a parent, I could truly relate, because I’m the same way with my son. Everything he says and does is so exciting to me, but I know that I was once single without a child and when I saw stuff like that, I never actually felt as fascinated as most people let on.
I was also really respectful and did what I could to show interest in other people’s kids, but I honestly wasn’t warm and cozy like I noticed other people were. It wasn’t that I’m callous or didn’t have a heart, but I just couldn’t understand the fascination when little babies did things. I had no real clue or emotions over their developmental processes. Sometimes I pretended, but other times I felt as if my fake smiles really showed.
Now that I’m a mother, I can’t even imagine my life without my son. I feel like I live and breathe through him. He’s everything to me. When he’s hurt, I try to bravely tell him it’s going to be ok, but deep down, I always worry. I worry about everything. In fact, my fears are always about him getting hurt.
Before I became a mother, I used to drive really fast in my tiny sports car. Of course things would happen and I would temporarily get scared for my life. Then I’d get over it and drive fast again. Now, my only fear is to know that if I wasn’t around, he would have to grow up without a mother and without my guidance. That alone scares me. It’s the only reason I would ever fear dying. I fear death not for myself, but more for him.
Motherhood has changed my lifestyle significantly. I do things, not just for myself as I used to, but for someone I feel is even more special than me – my son. He’s opened my eyes to so much love and so much beauty. And now that most of my life revolves around him, I’ve learned to appreciate everything I once took for granted, including all the moments of silence and sleep.