Mother (in my mind).
January 11, 2011 § 1 Comment
Sigh. Being a mom. Probably the best feeling I’ve ever had in my whole life. Wait. It IS the best feeling I’ve ever had in my whole life. It’s legendary. It fills me up inside and overflows me. I see Audrey’s joy and love of life and *sigh* melt.
My Aunt Marie once (or twice) told me that she and my Uncle Dave agree, the best days they ever had were the days that they had their two beautiful children. I didn’t get that before I was married. And after I experienced my wedding day I thought, “How could anything be more beautiful than this? It must be pretty awesome for them to say that. Because I was at their wedding. It was amazing. And they seemed really happy (from my eight-year-old perspective)!” So here I am happily married, enjoying life with the man of my dreams and bam! We think we’re pregnant. I wasn’t. We watched Benjamin Button the night we found out and cried together (note to self, Benjamin Button is a sad sad movie when you want to be pregnant). For the next month, we “tried” as they say. And a bean was created.
I had no idea what that meant. What that entailed. All I new was that Trever needed to find out by the purchase of a small pair of shoes and socks. When I told him that evening, he got teary eyed. All pink in the face. And adorable. I love that face. Together we embarked on a journey of uncertainty without any regards to where we were going; where it would lead us would make us better, fuller human beings.
Mind you the day I caught on to this treasure inside of me, I was only nine days and counting. It started as an inkling and that’s all I needed. That inkling was right. It was a very long ten months to say the least. I had so much time to prepare. So much time to read books. Watch DVDs on childbirth. Talk to other moms, dads, midwives, doctors (ND’s), friends and family. Everyone and their mother. Really really.
I created this idea in my mind of what it was going to be like. What it was going to feel like to be a mom. How I would act. How I would speak to my little one. How I would respond to difficult situations. How I would discipline. The ways in which I would love. I knew that all the prepping, creating, and planning wouldn’t be what it would really be and feel like in real life, but I knew I had to start somewhere. I had to begin to see myself as a mother, loving another being as I love myself and infinitely more.
It was a few years ago (6! Eek!) that I chose a journey that would lead me the furthest place from myself. I surrounded myself with what I was not like and found out what I did not like about myself. About others. About the world. This enabled me to slim down my likes and dislikes, albeit the latter was a much longer list.
When I began dating Trever in the summer of 2007, he sweetly and simply pointed it out: You sure do know what you do like, but you really know what you don’t like. Well put. And too true. He had me, in that moment in time, figured out down to a t. It took me a year or two to start collecting and recording the likes until it over-through the dislikes. Yet I notice I still use my process-of-elimination technique in many deductive cases. Parenting has been no different.
I knew what I didn’t like from what I had learned before Audrey arrived.
• I didn’t like hospitals. They were too cold. The doctors and nurses were too annoying. I didn’t want to wear a blue gown like I was sick. I didn’t want to be told what to do. I didn’t want to be attached to anything sticking in my arm or stuck to my stomach. It was important that I was completely, 100% present. Present for my baby. Present to push. Present when she arrived. I knew I didn’t want to get in a car during labor. I knew I wanted to be at home, in my warm, toasty room with people that I knew and has chosen, hand-picked to be there. And I knew no matter how great the pain was that I would not one intsy bit want to get into a car. I knew I would not want Audrey to be taken away from me when she came out. I knew therefore that I wanted to have her at home.
• I knew that when she arrived I would have instinctual, automatic feelings if I really listened. I had this idea that being maternal/paternal is engrained in each of one of us. That somehow we know what is best for our child and can find our way even in the wilderness. I knew that I didn’t want other people telling me what to do once she got her (namely doctors). So I did not (and still haven’t) taken her to the doctors for monthly check ups and vaccinations. I knew that I hated the whole average percentage comparing your child to someone else’s thing, so a pediatrician wasn’t for me. I knew the idea of putting any substance in my baby (especially before the six week mark of brain fusion to the skull and separation to the spinal chord at six weeks) by a needle prick was unnecessary and not required.
• I knew that I have never believed in point-blank listening to someone because they read some study about allergies, feeding, sleeping habits, etc. I knew I had a real live human on my hands that could think for themselves and even communicate to me what they wanted from the get go.
I knew what I didn’t want. Didn’t believe from before Audrey arrived.
When Audrey arrived, I understood my aunt and uncle immediately. Best day ever. Period.
I was able to see her come into the world with my own two eyes. Completely naturally. Beautifully. Happily. And at home in my own bed. In an instant I felt the intensity of love for someone like never before. Enough to kill for her.
Since that fateful day, I have journeyed with her to weed out all of the “I know I don’t likes” and turn them into loves. It’s been amazing to learn how to love and accept myself in this process. Being a mother has caused me to love and accept myself more than I ever thought possible. Enough to want to write this to you and encourage you to be the innate you that is aching to get out. Or maybe you have let it out, allow it to flourish and grow. Being a mother has given me a desire to enjoy what I have and where I’m at. To record even though it’s not perfect. To mother even though I sometimes I have no idea what I’m doing (or I do and yet I get a lot of flack for it and keep doing it anyway).
I live a life that some disagree with. I parent in a way that some may not like. Although they may be concerned, you may be concerned, I have deliberately and willfully chosen the path I am on. If that scares you or intimidates you, I apologize. I do not think it is anything to be afraid of. Call it what you like. Boat rocker and the like. I am only doing what I know how to do: Be me. I may have a strong opinion for what I do in my life. It is for me and me alone. I do not judge or think differently of you if you have chosen a different path (Did you choose it? Or are you just on it because the world told you to be on it and you abided? Perhaps it is your past that keeps you continuously recreating the reality in which you live?). Have you began the life in which you dee yourself living? Or are you distracted by me and others that _________ you?
And that is my hope for you here. That you listen to yourself. You use your technique to figure out what YOU want because only you can be you. I know it sounds simple, but too often we allow other people who think or even tell us they know more/know better dictate what we do. Doctors, lovers, friends, neighbors, even the small voice of our mothers in our heads. They are not you. They will never be you. The only voice, the only mother/father, that really matters is the one inside of you. It knows best.
Thank you, Aunt Marie and Uncle Dave for being an encouragement to me. Your love for your children and your desire to be good parents impresses on my heart to do the same. I’ll never forget January 2, 2010.