For all the moms I know

FOR ALL THE MOMS I KNOW

August 2, 2000

 

We are sitting at lunch when my daughter casually mentions that she and her husband are thinking of “starting a family.” “We’re taking a survey,” she says, half-joking. “Do you think I should have a baby?”

“It will change your life,” I say, carefully keeping my tone neutral. “I know,” she says, “no more sleeping in on weekends, no more spontaneous vacations.” But that is not what I meant at all. I look at my daughter, trying to decide what to tell her.

I want her to know what she will never learn in childbirth classes. I want to tell her that the physical wounds of child bearing will heal, but that becoming a mother will leave her with an emotional wound so raw that she will forever be vulnerable.

I consider warning her that she will never again read a newspaper without asking “What if that had been MY child?” That every plane crash, every house fire will haunt her. That when she sees pictures of starving children, she will wonder if anything could be worse than watching your child die.

I look at her carefully manicured nails and stylish suit and think that no matter how sophisticated she is, becoming a mother will reduce her to the primitive level of a bear protecting her cub. That an urgent call of “Mom!” will cause her to drop a souffle or her best crystal without a moment’s hesitation. I feel I should warn her that no matter how many years she has invested in her career, she will be professionally derailed by Motherhood.

She might arrange for childcare, but one day she will be going into an important business meeting and she will think of her baby’s sweet smell. She will have to use every ounce of her discipline to keep from running home, just to make sure her baby is all right.

I want my daughter to know that everyday decisions will no longer be routine. That a five year old boy’s desire to go to the men’s room rather than the women’s at McDonald’s will become a major dilemma. That right there, in the midst of clattering trays and screaming children, issues of independence and gender identity will be weighed against the prospect that a child molester may be lurking in that restroom.

However decisive she may be at the office, she will second-guess herself constantly as a mother. Looking at my attractive daughter, I want to assure her that eventually she will shed the pounds of pregnancy, but she will never feel the same about herself. That her life, now so important, will be of less value to her once she has a child. That she would give it up in a moment to save her offspring, but will also begin to hope for more years — not to accomplish her own dreams, but to watch her child accomplish theirs.

I want her to know that a cesarean scar or shiny stretch marks will become badges of honor. My daughter’s relationship with her husband will change, but not in the way she thinks. I wish she could understand how much more you can love a man who is careful to powder the baby or who never hesitates to play with his child. I think she should know that she will fall in love with him again for reasons she would now find very unromantic.

I wish my daughter could sense the bond she will feel with women throughout history who have tried to stop war, prejudice and drunk driving. I hope she will understand why I can think rationally about most issues, but become temporarily insane when I discuss the threat of nuclear war to my children’s future.

I want to describe to my daughter the exhilaration of seeing your child learn to ride a bike. I want to capture for her the belly laugh of a baby who is touching the soft fur of a dog or a cat for the first time. I want her to taste the joy that is so real, it actually hurts.

My daughter’s quizzical look makes me realize that tears have formed in my eyes. “You’ll never regret it,” I finally say. Then I reach across the table, squeeze my daughter’s hand and offer a silent prayer for her, and for me, and for all of the mere mortal women who stumble their way into this most wonderful of callings. This blessed gift from God . . . that of being a Mother.

 

Author Unknown

4 Responses to “For all the moms I know”

  1. Christa Says:

    I loved your min with lola today about the olde man whos son lost his legs. That really hit home for me. I was wondering if you can post that one!
    Thanks
    Christa

  2. Angela Says:

    Wow Lola, that was a real wake up call to me! I have three children and am a single mother and I have to say I tend to forget how much being a mom takes. You have givin me insight into what I have overlooked, thank you!
    I just want to let you know that everyday you open my eyes to things that I am completely oblivious to. I listen to your show everyday and end up with tears running down my cheaks and a smile on my face! Thank you so much for what you do! You are a very wonderful woman!

  3. Beth Says:

    Lola, I just simply love you. You are a uniqe person, and you are so right. Not till I had my first son did I realize all that was in store for me. I have four beautiful children from 14 to 2. With each child I have experienced something new and wonderul, though they are trying at times, they are the greatist thing GOD has given to me. I never knew how much I could love someone. Its an awesome love that cannot be explained.

    THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU DO. YOU BRING A SMILE TO MY FACE EVERY DAY I LISTEN TO YOU. TODAY WAS MY FIRST MOMENT WITH LOLA AND I CRIED MY EYES OUT. (CIRCUS..GIVING BACK A DROPPED 20) THNAK YOU LOLA, FOR PUTTING SMILES ON MY FACE WHEN I JUST DONT THINK THAT THERES A REASON TO SMILE. GOD BLESS

  4. Kerri Says:

    I just love all the letters you read on the air. This one especially got to me. I have a daughter that is 23 years old and a granddaughter that is almost 2 years old. My daugher did not realize how much it would take to be a Mom. She sure has learned a lot and has grown up a lot. I love you reading these letters on the air. Please keep doing it. Thank you Kerri


FireStats icon Powered by FireStats