Saturday, October 8, 2011

Grateful for the Challenge of Parenting as appearing in The Baby Dilemma


It's Thanksgiving weekend here and I'm feeling awfully grateful for everything and everyone in my life. I wanted to share this piece of "thanksgiving" which I contributed for a new e-book just released entitled The Baby Dilemma by Ann Meredith.

Grateful for the Challenge of Parenting

I can no longer imagine a life where I'm not a mother to my 4-year-old son Lucas. But there was a time, a long time, when I couldn't imagine making room for children. I put off motherhood for many years focussing instead on my career and marriage. My husband and I waited 12 years to be “ready” to have our first child. But even so, I was blindsided by the shock of becoming a mother. And yet today, I can appreciate this opportunity I've been given to rise to the challenge of parenting.

From the moment my body started taking over during pregnancy, I was stripped of whatever illusions I held of being in control of my life. Having a child has pulled me time and time again out of my comfort zones, forcing me to act without a plan. I remember first weeks with a newborn trying to chart his routine, to schedule feedings and sleep, and eventually laughing at the ridiculousness of it all and allowing his rhythm to emerge. In doing so, I began to listen to my gut, to trust my instincts, to allow life to unfold and trust that I would have what I needed to cope. And I did.

Parenting has taught me what I can bear and I found out that it's much more than I actually expected of myself. I've worked a lot harder and slept a lot less but accomplished more than ever since becoming a mom because I've learned to make every minute count. It's demanded that I step up, that I take on the ultimate responsibility of protecting life, knowing that I face the potential of failure on a daily basis. It's  It's humbled my burgeoning ego and forced me to shift my perspectives to allow for a world much bigger and more important than my own.

And it's connected me to that bigger world too. If I die today, I have left my legacy through my son. When I look into his face, I see myself reflected, for better or worse. I realize that he will carry my genes, my lips, and whatever I have taught him (good or bad), with him throughout his life. Becoming a parent has connected me to other parents, facing their own mountains and demons as they raise their children. It's connected me to my own parents, my husband's parents, my brother - seeing them now as parents too. I appreciate the quote by Elizabeth Stone: “Making the decision to have a child -it's momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” Now I see them everywhere, these parents like me, their hearts outside them.

Once you’re a parent, the way you live your life can never ever be the same. It's being distracted all the time by that pull of your child, conscious or not. It's life where laziness and carelessness are no longer options. You feel held to a higher standard every moment, by society, family, other parents, and mostly, by yourself. In a life where every action and word is mimicked and adopted by your child, you are inspired to be a role model every second. Ambitions for career, money or whatever was important before are replaced by the desire to be a better mother, a better person.

I am a better person because I've been given the gift of Lucas, the privilege of calling myself his mother. I never knew love like this existed, this love that is an invisible cord between us, powerful and ever present. He honours me with his love - so pure, his devotion - so centered on me, and his trust - so complete. And I am humbled to be his parent, wondering sometimes who is really guiding whom.


The Baby Dilemma  by Ann Meredith is available in Kindle format on amazon.com

4 comments:

Michael Johnsons said...
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Michael Johnsons said...

Parenting has also taught me a lot of things. It taught me what I can bear and I found out that it's much more than I actually expected of myself. It made me realize I'm a stronger person that I thought I was.

mompreneur

liesl said...

Thanks Mompreneur. I totally agree with you - motherhood challenges you in ways you might not have wanted but you sure see how strong you actually are! Thanks for your comment.

Majid Ali said...
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