Today I am 34 weeks pregnant with our second, and most likely last, baby daughter. I thought I’d feel compelled to chronicle this pregnancy while also taking care of a budding tot full time. Believe me, there has been humor, frustration, and love galore throughout this transition into becoming a new mom again. All the workings of fun blog posts. Alas, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little disappointed in myself for not having written at least a few times in the last several months, if for nothing else but to at least have something to vividly remember this strange and miraculous boot camp for which I’ve once again signed up. I could beat myself up for it, or, I could move on and say, hey, I’m here now; I’m writing about it. I’ll do the latter. Lest you feel sorry for me, it’s not as though I have NO time to myself; I am still the nap-nazi, so I have that time; I have a supportive husband who loves spending time with his son, supportive parents, and a few incredible babysitters. I am not alone, and believe me, for that I am eternally grateful. Nonetheless (you knew that was coming, right?) I am still gigantically pregnant and exhuastified. And I get that the exhaustion is just part of it. And, being a second-time first-time mom again, I know that matters of exhaustion are bound to get worse for a while before they get better. Gulp.
After listening to a respected cohort of mine discuss his reasons behind remaining childless in life, in conjunction with this pregnancy, and mostly having experienced almost 2 years of mothering Z, I’ve been thinking about the ways in which motherhood has transformed me to my very core.
And although I respect the decision to remain childless, and am grateful that some folks have the insight and wherewithal NOT to have children, for myself, when I look back, I just can’t imagine not having experienced raising my children. I am forever ruined.
Now I know why all parents think their children are so damn special. To us, THEY ARE. Of course, I’ll try to keep this in perspective, but sometimes I wonder, do I love my child so much because he’s just the sweetest little person who’s ever lived? And then he gives me a mischievous little toothy grin and deliberately throws food at a restaurant and I remember that I love him because he’s my child and I was born to love him. That is not to take away anything that is special and unique about him as a person; he’s pretty cool; It’s just to state that I think, mostly, except in extreme pathological cases, I love my child as parents love their children- from the tips of my fingernails to the soles of my feet and beyond. I can’t imagine not knowing this kind of love, or this kind of misery. I will forever be a slave to the overwhelming connection I have to my kids.
There is definitely danger in it. I can see how parents sometimes lose themselves to the chaos and stress and love that is parenting. I can see how 18+ years of active parenting can leave some drained and resentful.
I’m hoping that if I let it, if I surrender, motherhood will keep revealing truths to me about myself and the world around me, that it will continue to help me grow as a human being, that my capacity to love will keep expanding without breaking me, that I will keep coming back to a place where I am whole.