Becoming Mom

One of the more incredible and mysterious things about becoming a mother is when exactly it happens. When is it official? There is no formal ceremony that initiates you into the club complete with a donning of cap and gown. There are ceremonies to be had, sure, and most of our births will include some sort of sheer, drafty hospital gown, but I don’t think the becoming of a mother happens with a turn of the tassel. It seems to me that it’s a process that starts with peeing on a stick, or perhaps getting the call that stops your heart with so much joy that it takes a beat to catch up, “you’re getting a baby. You’ve been chosen”. I think that the second we know that a chosen soul is to be ours that miraculous shift takes place. Any woman with a child in Heaven knows that motherhood doesn’t only start with birth- it happens before that. It happens with hesitancy and doubt at first. Am I truly pregnant? Am I really getting a baby? For some it is a shock. For others, years prayed for. Tears will be shed, both in fear and in joy. And slowly that realization starts to settle over our forever changed hearts. I am going to be a mother. I am a mother.

That is when the ceremonies begin. The baby showers, the purchasing of baby furniture and car seats. We start reading everything we can get our hands on (at least I did!) about pregnancy, birth, raising an infant, breastfeeding, attachment with adoption, making your own baby food, and how to get a baby to sleep. We form opinions about diapering, feeding, parenting, sleep, how long to rear-face in the car seat, pacifiers, day care, and babywearing. And somewhere in this process we fall head-over-heels in love with the precious baby that is ours, whether we are carrying that baby in our bellies or in the womb of another. The mom jeans have been donned as bellies grow and the anticipated day draws nearer.

And yet…and yet I think most of us will also argue that something indeed does change the second that chosen soul is earthside. Birth is twofold, in that when a baby is born, so is a mother. The entrance of a baby into the world is the culmination of what was begun 40-some weeks prior, but I think the distinction is that for the first time the two people of baby and mother are truly separate. Forever joined, but still separate. And THIS, this separateness is what I think is the most defining and challenging things about becoming a mother. Birth is a gain and a loss. It is the birth of a unique individual, crafted by the hands of an awesome Creator to fulfill a beautiful purpose in life. The gain is that as mothers we get to witness that life and steward it with gracious, patient love. The loss is that we don’t get to control it. There is so much that we get to decide for our children. All that research we do about purees verses solids and cloth diapers verses disposables is important, but it cajoles us into a sense of control that we relinquish with birth. The sudden realization is jolting. We don’t have ultimate control. We never did. The precious life that we carried in our bodies and hearts for 9, some of us 10 months is not just ours to carry any longer. It is achingly beautiful to touch our infant’s gorgeous little nose and kiss that bow mouth in the way that we have dreamed of for so long. And at the same time we acknowledge that the courtship and the anticipation have ended. It’s risky to love something so fiercely.

What we do with that tension defines how we mother. It is the knowledge of that give and take that fuels our patience and our stamina when the days and nights seem unbearable. It is the powerful understanding that our baby is a gift that at one time we did not have that becomes our center in the midst of tantrums and night terrors. And when we push the feathery hair off the foreheads of children that have lost that baby softness to sinewy muscles and long legs, it is the quiet recollection to a day long ago that anchors us. I chose motherhood. I chose this child and this child chose me.

I didn’t become a mother at 5:34am when I saw the faintest red “+” on a plastic stick. I didn’t become a mother when the last pull of the surgeon’s hand wrenched her pink roundness from my belly and announced, “it’s a girl”. I became a mother the first time I said yes. Yes to sacrifice and love and the greatest vulnerability I have ever known. Yes to fear and joy and to living with my soul forever changed because it has been uniquely tied to two others in a way that nothing could ever compare to. Today, tomorrow, and every day that I get the privilege of being called “Mom”. Yes.

132,938 thoughts on “Becoming Mom”

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  2. rfyork It is difficult not to sneer at this load of you-know-what. Between “Magic Negro” and the garbage the Browns write, it is clear that the jerks who have been running this country (into the ground) the last eight years are not going to stop their vitriol.One could laugh at it except for the fact that there are enough ignorant people out there who will believe it. Of course, they probably believe that Adam and Eve road dinosaurs too.

  3. Students from top schools are far more able to pay the debt load (although they must take a certain type of job to do so). Obviously, if a student doesn’t incur debt, the whole discussion is irrelevant. You underestimate, however, the debt for students at other schools — as is clear in the NYTimes article.

  4. Scientific progress has the effect of diminishing what may have once been significant progress to mere footnotes. As you say, Merian stands out simply because of the artistic worth but I think there was some feedback effect on science too. Displaying specimens in a natural setting (-vs- the usual contemporary stylised artifice) most likely influenced scientific artists because of the artistic merit and success of the work, as it were.

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  12. That is great news about Andrew returning to his home. And yay for you being able to see more family and friends! Love the quote and the way you expressed your self about it. That touched me. Have a restful weekend!

  13. Liebe Roswitha,ich finde Deine Stoffauswahl toll. Schön harmonisch. Ich freue mich auf Deine Kollektion besonders,weil Deine Farbpalette mit meiner fast identisch ist. Dein Quilt ist der Wahnsinn. So bunt und farbenfroh. Ich habe sehr viele Quilt-Stoffe gekauft aber noch nie angefangen. Ich scheue mich vor der Arbeit. :)VG,Rong

  14. The Absent Game…Amongst me and my husband we’ve owned a lot more MP3 gamers over the years than I can count, which include Sansas, iRivers, iPods (common & touch), the Ibiza Rhapsody, etc. But, the last few decades I’ve settled down to one line of gamers….

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  18. Liverpool are a massive club and will be for a long while. However it is reasonably clear that Spurs are on the up and growing, while Liverpool have already peaked and seem to be on a gradual decline. The go-ahead on Spurs' new stadium is imminent and this will open up new larger revenue streams to them. I would imagine that Sigurdsson was also told of Spurs' transfer plans for this Summer and was impressed by those. The fact that Liverpool couldn't compete with Spurs in terms of wages would be an indication that Liverpool also wouldn't be able to compete with Spurs in general for players this Summer.

  19. Czechmade,I never expected anyone to enter this forum that would make Afonso look cool-headed, balanced and disciplined. But indeed it has happened.As for your rather far developed complex, where you are both fiercely anti-German, and at the same imagine that you are a better German the Germans themselves, is something for a Freudian to look at. I think you are seriously mad.In your confused writings you are unable to uphold the distinction German ethnicity and German state, which makes virtually everything you write nonsense.

  20. I just had a mucus cyst exactly like that drained yesterday.  The ENT numbed my throat with the same spray, then pricked it every so lightly with a needle.  Within a few moments it was completely drained and i was done.  I was also worried about it coming back and the doctor said it shouldn’t, but to call if it does.  I’m surprised the ENT you went to didn’t drain it.  I was ready for that thing to be gone.

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  23. Cara Eliana, come va la tua fase 3? Trovi difficoltà?Personalmente, ho fatto 8 giorni in cui il peso si era fermato. Adesso per fortuna ho ripreso lentamente a scendere….. tu con che ritmo calavi? Ti chiedo questo perchè sento di persone che calano anche 7 o 8 kg. al mese ma io sono molto lontana da queste cifre…… Però non mi sembra nemmeno di essere a dieta…Adesso per esempio, di pomeriggio, mi sono fatta un bicchiere di lattementa con il latte scremato e la enta zero della fabbri chi, vedendimi direbbe che sono a dieta? ciao

  24. Yes i was thinking of our ‘intent’ after I posted this blog. Our good intentions can go wrong perhaps properly translated the saying means that the road to our ruination can be paved by our good intentions.

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  26. Leanne, I never woulda thought! Yeah, that ‘but I’m a vegetarian’ logic is a good one. I know plenty of unhealthy (and plenty of healthy!) vegetarians, and since I’ve been vegetarian for nearly 20 years now, I went though all the various stages eating veggie. I’ll admit vanity definitely kickstarted the change for me, and it pops up every once in a while, but health is what feels so good.

  27. Of course everyones theories are ideas, but they’re not all rules/laws.If you think about it, a lot of traditions are just theories that kinda became rules. How many traditions become dull over time? How many are followed closely just because they make one feel part of the group? Break the law!Rant over. 🙂

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