Saturday, November 12, 2005

Personal Reflections on the Joy of Motherhood

I wasn't one of those "aimless" college students that drift through four or five years on campus without a real idea of what they want to do with their lives. Ever since freshman year of high school, I knew what I wanted to study and I had a plan of action. In all those years of high school and college, I never considered children to be a part of my future. Even when I started having serious relationships, the thought of children never once entered my mind. In fact, if anything, I always felt that I wouldn't have kids.

After school, I embarked on my chosen career. Up to that point, most of the details in my "life plan" were unfolding more or less according to schedule. I eventually got married, and other things continued to progress, but still no children.

Then, after three years of marriage, it happened. We weren't really planning on it, so when I found out that I was going to have a baby, I was a bit taken aback at first. I wasn't overjoyed by the news; I was much too shocked for that. I didn't take too well to my pregnancy, either. I experienced a lot of discomfort the whole way through, and was of course forced to give up a job that I loved.

I also wondered if I would be able to handle motherhood. Unlike a lot of my friends, I never had a babysitting job when I was a teenager and I didn't know the first thing about changing diapers, feeding, or bathing a newborn. What's more, I was in such bad shape during my pregnancy that I didn't even have the energy to read any parenting books. I really didn't know what to expect, and doubted that I would be up to the task.

But when my son was born, all of those doubts and uncertainties instantly melted away. The moment that I held my baby in my arms and looked at his precious face, I knew that everything would be ok.

I grew up so much during the first few months of motherhood. I discovered that being a mother really is all that it's cracked up to be -- and much more. I could hardly believe that I was nurturing a brand new human life, that with my love, care, and attention, this tiny being would hopefully grow up to be a wonderful person. It was a lot to take in at the time, but these were definitely joyous thoughts.

The last two and a half years haven't always been easy. I've had my fair share of sleepless nights, baby illnesses, and more recently, toddler tantrums. But through it all, my son remains the true pride and joy of my life.

So for those of you who might be going through your own period of doubt, believe me: I totally understand. But in all likelihood things will work out just fine for you, and you'll soon experience the unparalleled joys of motherhood for yourself.

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