Great Expectations

First PhotoI've been doing a bit of soul searching lately. It was bound to happen. You see my son turns one in a couple of days so it's the perfectly cliché time to think about the past year. . .

. . . And giving birth. I suppose I was one of those silly girls who dreamt about getting married and becoming a mother from the moment I first laid eyes on an unsuspecting dolly. I was taught that becoming a mother was one of the greatest things I could do with my life. I know to many that seems rather old fashioned or even a anti-feminist, but I believe with all my heart I am meant to be a mother.

I just didn't realize that a lot of motherhood wouldn't live up to my great expectations. You see, I figured I'd become a mother with a lot of contractions, a lot of pushing, and probably a few too many primitive screams, but none of that would matter because I would be staring into the beautiful blue eyes of my tiny baby. I never really expected to become a mother without feeling an ounce of physical pain (I know, don't hate me! Trust me, it's not as blissful as it seems.) You see, I had a C-Section. Little did we know, when I went into the hospital on a jittery, euphoric high after my water broke, that my daughter was surprisingly breech. I never thought for a moment that my excitement of becoming a mother would be so overshadowed by tears and fear as I was all too abruptly whisked into the OR.

And it's bothered me for a while that my great moment of becoming a mother became so lost in my fear and anxiety of having surgery. It's really bothered me. My husband would probably say that I just can't get over it.

Now, thinking back on my son's less than euphoric birth (I attempted a Vaginal Birth After Cesarean , but he just wasn't having it, so I had C-Section number 2), I realized that it's not their method of coming into the world that bothers me, it's the rather unimportant emphasis I put on my great moment of becoming a mother. I forgot to look past that singular hospital stay toward those events in their lives that would truly define me as a mother.

I hate to say it, but many women can give birth to babies without becoming a mother. A mother is something far more than a woman who is able to push a child into the world. A mother spends nights walking the floors with her baby, or days wiping applesauce from the walls, or entire weeks feeding her 2 year old as if she were a puppy. A mother is far more than that one moment I placed too much emphasis on.

I get now that my little girl dreams of dressing a baby in frilly clothes and pushing her around in a lace covered pram didn't quite capture the true spirit of motherhood. I didn't realize that being a mother might involve an endlessly messy house, grocery store tantrums, and far more hot dogs than I ever wanted to see.

But on the other hand, I never could have realized the overwhelming joy I could feel staring into the faces of two earthly angels.

So, moms, lets get past some of our unimportant expectations and enjoy what truly defines us. I know I need to, for me and for my kids.

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