Some people don’t want to have kids and I couldn’t possibly respect that more. In fact, it is not for everyone, and it shouldn’t be. To each her own. I’ve constantly said this, but you have to do what’s right for you and follow your own path. For me, getting pregnant and having a baby was a life-changing decision. It is a whole new world. Seriously. It’s not like drastically changing your hair color, switching your career, or moving across the country — and I’m happy to say I’ve done all of those things. It’s a responsibility that begins the moment you conceive your little one, and there is no turning back.
For me, I’ve loved kids since I can remember. I have also always wanted to just be around children so I even worked in a swim school office to be around children when I was a teenager. I also worked a teacher’s aide for Pre-schoolers when I was 20. Children make me happy and remind me of innocence.
But having a child is a lifetime commitment.
Having a baby is commiting to putting your child’s needs before your own. Putting your child’s welfare before your own. Your child’s everything will always be in mind…for life. I say, welcome to the world of worry for the rest of your life. The weight of that commitment and worry probably won’t hit you until your susceptible, tiny baby is literally in your arms. Not until then will you fully realize just how fragile life really is. Your heart will ache with an overflow of love that you feel you cannot possibly explain to anyone else. You feel no one will ever understand your unconditional love for your baby.
Pregnancy and babies are common and we see it everywhere though, right? But bringing life into this world isn’t just a commitment, it is a privilege that many aren’t granted. I was thrilled when I got pregnant. It is so bizarre because when its your body and your baby, you literally feel like it is a miracle – because when it finally happens for you, it is.
There’s no turning back. You dive in and learn to swim all at the same time. There are many days most of us have to be like ducks. Staying calm on the surface, but paddling like hell underneath. And that’s ok. A duck swimming in a pond seems to be moving without effort, but under the surface of the water, its kicking its feet very hard. The only way to be successful in it, is to surrender to it and embrace it fully.
You may bob in and out of water, you may think you’re about to drown. But then, somewhat miraculously, you figure it out. “You’ll figure it out” has been the best advice my mom has given me through this all. It gives me the utmost confidence and allows me to raise and shape my son the way I will need and want to. It gives me the reassurance that my mother has all the confidence in me to do so, and there has been no greater comfort for me than that. Mothers have a way of doing that – they believe in you even before you believe in yourself!
Pregnancy is amazing and labor is intense, overwhelming, and empowering. But finally having your child in your world shifts your entire perspective. Especially in the beginning, it is all about accepting the new normal. Your new normal from what you knew before is prioritizing differently, too. You accept that you will not get enough sleep. You thought all the partying all night or all the tests or exams you stayed up for before was being tired. I hate to be that person to say this, and I’m probably not the first, but I will: That doesn’t even compare. You accept there will be no meals at times because you will be too tired to cook. You accept that your laundry will pile up. You accept that mommy-brain is a real thing and you forget things that you did, or things you were supposed to do. You accept that sometimes things will always feel like a mess. You sacrifice your body because it will never be the same. You sacrifice your time. You sacrifice your options you once had— whether it be to leave the house freely, to shower when and for long you want, to watch a movie, to sleep uninterrupted for as long as you want, or to eat whenever you want. But you’re not bitter about it and with all that said, you would still do it over and over and over… and over again because you were granted this privilege.
We should honor all types of mothers daily. We shouldn’t be judging and mom-shaming. It is difficult work, and we should be thanking all those with motherly hearts, too. To everyone: those working moms, those stay-at-home-moms, those pet moms, those also that have lost mothers, those that have lost children, those single mothers, and those that are desperately trying to becoming mothers —We are in this together. It is the small things that make the big differences in this world.