Why Did I Want to Be a Mommy? Saturday, February 1st, 2014
Last week, I sat down at my computer and wrote a few thoughts about my life after having children. I shared my heart based on our own experiences as a family. I didn’t know the number of people those words would reach or the impact that they would have on the hearts of women and men across the
I received hundreds of personal emails over the last week. Most, wrote that somehow my short article illuminated some of the most tender places in the lives of a young family. Others wondered why anyone would want to have children after reading about the struggles that come with beginning a family.
I have considered these messages and comments over the last few days. I have wondered how to find the words to respond to each. But most specifically, how do I put into words why anyone would want to have children? How do I explain that the struggles that come with parenthood don’t even come close to the joy that comes with being a mom or dad? How do I possibly explain that the beauty of parenthood is buried under mountains of life, but that each uncovered gem is worth the climb?
Why did I want to become a momma?
Last night, I sat up with my son. He was sick with a fever and a cough. We had already been to the emergency room for a breathing treatment, and I hadn’t gotten much rest the night before either. To be perfectly honest, I was exhausted. He struggled to get comfortable while I did my best to help him. When I finally felt him settle and his tense frame give under the weight of welcomed sleep, relief washed over me. It didn’t matter that my head was up against the hard headboard of his bed or that I couldn’t reach a pillow to support it without disturbing him. I wasn’t going to move.
A million ways I will try to make that child know that he is loved. A million times I will put his needs over my own. Holding him and letting him sleep on this night will not be the most uncomfortable thing that I do for him.
But as I lay there completely uncomfortable and completely exhausted, I looked down at my son.
Why did I want to be your momma?
Well, sweet love, it wasn’t for the hours of sleep I would lose, or the weight I would gain. It wasn’t so I could spend more time thinking and worrying and praying for you than I have ever spent considering myself. It wasn’t so that I could go to bed tired and wake up tired and live completely exhausted for the next 5 – 10 – 18 years. It wasn’t so I could lose the time that I would otherwise spend with friends, or my husband or myself… But all of that came with it.
It was because when I became a mommy, I got you.
The moment I knew that you were inside of me, I loved you. The moment they put you in my arms, I was yours. The moment you called my name, I would that I would never hear sweeter words. Every milestone you achieved, every step you took, every word, every recognized letter, every accomplishment… I was proud… Because you are the best part of me.
And even on the days that I question my sanity, the days that I pray bedtime comes a few minutes early, I adore you. I love you, and the five minutes extra that I get to spend alone are never worth the guilt I feel for wanting to be by myself for a minute.
The day you were born, you became mine… but I became yours too.
You have shown me how much I am capable of loving. You have opened my heart to the purest form of joy. Because of you, I am able to understand more deeply my Heavenly Father’s love for me.
And in this life, for me, there has been no greater blessing.
So, to my children, may you never question my love. May you never doubt my heart. May you always know that I cherish every moment that we get to spend together, and that you are worth every sacrifice… because you, my little loves, are exactly why I wanted to be a mommy.