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So, are you ready to be a parent?

on June 15, 2012

Lately I’ve been thinking about what little I knew a couple of years ago when I was considering trying to conceive and wondering what it would be like to be a parent. If I could write a letter to my 29 year-old self, this is what I would say…

Lucas and I

You will understand just how closely related love and grief are. You will look at your child as you hold him close on the first night you bring him home from the hospital and you will cry. You will cry because you love him so much and your heart is filled with such gratitude. And you will cry because you know that you can’t protect him from every hurt, and that one  day soon enough, he will not be in your arms anymore.

You will also cry whenever you see or hear about terrible things done to children or when you meet a mother who has lost a child. You will feel the hurt a little deeper, and it will be more difficult to distance yourself from the pain.

You will smile and laugh more. That’s because while you used to go about your business immersed in your thoughts much of the time, now you have a little companion who demands your attention… and boy is he cute. Your face will light up and you will think everything he does is hilarious… luckily he thinks the same about you.

You will be mad. On days when you are extremely sleep deprived and are running late for work, and he is screaming and running from you and just being difficult. And you will be madly in love. Just as quickly as you get mad you will also lean over and kiss him even though he continues to scream and throw a tantrum.

There will come a time when you desperately need a break from being a mommy and you wonder how anyone can do this all of the time. You will miss those days when you could decide on a moment’s notice to drive over an hour to a Bikram yoga class, when you could jump at the chance to register for an overnight relay race without a second thought, or when you could sleep in on Saturdays.

And you will miss him. You will miss him while you are at work, or when you see another mother with a young child somewhere. You will surprise yourself by wanting to cut down on your work hours and to spend more time at home, even though you have always vowed to be a professional working woman all of your life.

There will be nights, like last night, when he sweetly and quietly curls up in your lap at bedtime and lets his fingers run through your hair as you sing him to sleep. And there are other nights, like tonight, when he screams and fights to get out of your arms and you feel like a bad mommy. But you will know that he is just very tired, and so you will hold him a little tighter until he collapses from exhaustion and you place him gently on the crib.

You will marvel at what a wonderful father your husband is and will find another good reason to love him. You will love your child and your new family. You will hurt. You will find bliss. You will change, and you will also be the same.

So… are you ready to be a parent?

PS… if you could only see him, you would say yes!

Lucas and
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One response to “So, are you ready to be a parent?

  1. J. Fabulous says:

    This is so true.

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