Thursday, January 05, 2006

The shock of motherhood

After many years of being the perfect mother, dispensing well-thought out advice and caring for all the nieces, nephews, and little friends I could round up, I was inducted into the world of real motherhood. I was in for the shock of my life.

It wasn't like anything I had ever imagined. I quickly realized something that it would take me years to admit: I wasn't the mother I thought I'd always be. Don't get me wrong, now — I dearly loved that beautiful baby, and am still madly in love nearly seven years later — but being a mother wasn't an easy job, to put it quite mildly.

Before I gave birth to my own child, I had known everything about children and about what it took to be a good parent. I had known what to say to make kids laugh, to make them happy, to make them feel at peace with the world. How could I have not, what with helping raise the younger set of my parents' large brood and then being a good aunt, the best, even?

That all changed when I became a mother. There's a big difference in loving children and being a mother, I was horrified to realize. I still loved children, in particular my own beautiful little girl, but to my chagrin I found that I did not love motherhood.

Six years and another child down the line, it is more often than not a lot harder than my children to love.

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1 comment:

Marianne McLaughlin said...

I'm one of those moms who had 'easy' babies...but now that they are toddlers and pre-schoolers I am not sure what to do. I am an infinitely patient person, but sometimes I wonder if I'd had more challenges with them when they were younger if things would seem easier now! I sometimes rue the day they learned the words "No!" and "Why?"

Lets just hope we're among the lucky moms who have 'easy' teenagers!