Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Becoming a Mother

I always thought that the day I found out I was pregnant, I became a mother.

Then I got pregnant.

When I was pregnant, I was positive that the first time I saw my baby moving on the ultrasound monitor, I would become a mother.

Then I saw the ultrasound.

When I was pregnant, watching those wonderful ultrasounds, I knew that I'd have to experience something different to become a mother. I couldn't be more certain that the moment I saw my first child for the first time, I would become a mother.

Then I saw him. There wasn't any magical moment. I didn't cry because I was so happy. I was terrified, I was tired, and I didn't FEEL anything. I definitely didn't feel like I'd become a mother.

In the months that followed, I didn't feel like much had changed about me except for the fact that I slept less, I complained more, and I was generally not very pleasant to be around. I was unsteady and unsure of myself, and I felt very lonely in the world. Not like a mother at all.

Today, as I watch my little boy cruise around the furniture, turn the pages in his books, hug and kiss his teddy bears, drive his cars, and touch things while saying, "This! This!" I feel love. I feel peace. I feel gratitude. And most of all, I feel like a mother.
So all that is to say, becoming a mother isn't an event. It's not like getting baptized and becoming a member of a church. It's not turning thirteen and becoming a teenager. It's a process, or at least for me it has been. I never once felt the switch flip and knew for sure that in one moment I became a mother, but I do know that over the last year I have.

For that, I'm eternally grateful. For the opportunity to be a mom. For the wonderful blessing of staying home with my little guy. For the knowledge that the Lord won't ask us to do anything without preparing a way for us to accomplish it. Including...becoming a mother.


The Sprouls said...

I had the same experience. I expected this huge moment after Kaylee came out that I would feel overwhelmed with joy. Though I loved her from the beginning of my pregnancy, I don't think the feeling of being a mother came until later. (For me it was after my baby blues subsided.) Our babies are amazing!

Lessa said...

I agree! When Ella was born, I didn't have that instant bonding that many talk about. I remember thinking... who is this strange creature and why does she want to be around me so much :) I remember the first time I felt like a mother, after the postpartum hormones died down and the shock and recovery from delivery passed. I remember looking into her little eyes and knowing that I KNEW her. I'm now convinced that we were best friends before we came here.

Lauren said...

Agreed Adrienne. I remember when they laid Michaelle on me and I figured I'd cry like I did every time I watched a Baby Story or anything like it. Nope. I thought, "this is weird, did she seriously just come out of me?!?!". But you made me realize that I feel the same way. I guess you don't really feel like a Mother until one day you step back and realize you've been one for awhile. You realize that your life has become so comfortable as it is revolving around taking care of the little one(s) that you forget that you ever felt differently. Its wonderful, huh? :)

Katrina said...

That gives me the chills. Thanks for sharing, Adrienne!

Mama D said...

"Becoming" is a process, not an event. You are continuing to become a terrific wife, mother, friend, woman. Thanks for sharing your insight, Adrienne.

I did have those instantaneous bonds when my kids were born - but even though they are now between the ages of 23-9, I still sometimes look around and think, "How did I become this wonderful mom they say they have?!"