Friday, April 13, 2007

On being a Mama

A while ago, Abigail wrote me a great comment in response to this post:

"I've been wondering- do you feel different on a deeper level, now being a mother? This sounds like a stupid question- I imagine you would. I just wonder about this sometimes. I'm not a parent so maybe that would explain some of my ignorance. I wonder if being a mother will feel that I have been changed somehow, or more that it's more love and dimensions added to who I already am."

I've been thinking about this a lot since Hester was born, but it's hard to put my feelings into words.

For me, so far (and bear in mind that Hester is only 3 months old!), I feel that motherhood hasn't changed the things that make me Me. It's different from that; it's more like I've been waiting for Hester--for this particular child--all of my life. Now that she's here I can finally be my whole self. I'm not a spiritual or religious person, but when Hester was placed with us I had this incredible sense of calm and understanding; I remember telling Petunia, "I feel like everything in my life has happened in order to prepare me for this." And I still feel that way, every day.

Since Hester arrived, I've felt so light. Even in the midst of baby barf, illness, sleepless nights, and nightmarish workdays, the very core of me is light. Parenthood (so far) has been a relief, not a shock, and I've found that caring for Hester is much easier than I thought it would be. Part of it is that I'm used to the hard work of child care, part of it is that Hester is an easy baby (aside from the barfing!), and part of it is that I purely love being her mama. Before she arrived, it was like I missed her all the time and didn't even know it. Now that she's here and I know her and love her, I'm relieved and overjoyed all at once.

Don't get me wrong--I struggle sometimes. I've made mistakes with Hester-- rookie mistakes, even--and I'm not always overjoyed to wake up in the middle of the night to feed my precious sweet baby. I've learned a lot about myself over the course of these 3 months, so I've changed in that way. At its heart, though, motherhood feels like a natural part of me.

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Anonymous Jenny PP said...

Also, this almost makes me cry so good thing I'm not PMS-ing or it definitely would.

Such a sweet post.

Hester, what great moms you have!

2:43 PM  
Blogger Abigail said...

I'm not PMSing and it DID make me cry ;)

Clementine thank you, really, for posting about this. It's a topic I look at a whole lot and your words feel very meaningful to me.

Over the last few years I've been really craving having our child. Sometimes I worry about my reasons, because I do feel that there is something in me that isn't satisfied and my belief is that having children would satisfy some of it.

But how could I admit to wanting my children to satisfy something in myself that I haven't satisfied on my own. How selfish.

However. Your expression of what it's meant to you feels real, honest, and lovely. Makes total sense. We have people in our lives because they touch something in us. To have everything satisfied without that lovely interplay of relationship isn't necessary, nor is it healthy.

I would imagine that finding this natural state of love and connection you've been building up towards would be real reasons for your growing resentment of having to deal with other kids.

Thank you for being real. Now I just need to look at what's real in my life. I think I'll send your post to my hubby.

8:15 AM  

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