Sunday, March 30, 2008

The truth about motherhood? To thine own self be true, but to those small selves be truer

The Parent Bloggers Network and Discovery Health put forth the following:

“What is it about pregnancy, parenting, and motherhood in general that only a girlfriend will tell you? Tell us what you wished you knew before becoming a mom.”

Writing on “the truth about motherhood” seems similar to tackling the meaning of life, but I thought I would participate by sharing two motherhood truths that I have learned. They are true for me, perhaps for no one else!

My son is 2.5 years old and if I had to do the baby years over again, I would try much harder to trust my own instincts and gut feelings over medical/expert advice, familial advice, books, etc. I am more conscious of this now with my son and hope to “trust myself” much more when it comes to next bundle about to enter our lives.

My second truth is one of those “Boy, I wish someone had told me that ___________.” I would fill in the blank with: EVERYTHING in your life will play second fiddle to your children, especially your work and career. And from my experience and that of the moms I know, this is true no matter how fabulous your career is, no matter how hard you have worked towards it, and no matter how seriously you take your professional life. For those of us that continue to work and that were possibly “superstars” at work before kids, we find ourselves taking sick/vacation days for our kids, rescheduling meetings that we never would have and attending work in a mentally and physically compromised fashion that was hitherto unimaginable! I think those of us that were superstars “before children” are shocked to find that work really and truly does come second to child! And I assume all this is nothing compared to the feelings of the moms I know that found themselves choosing to become stay at home moms, especially those moms who enjoyed their careers and felt strongly about their work lives, but decided to parent full-time instead. The whole “everything else is second fiddle” concept can be hard to explain to those about to embark on parenthood; the work part is just one aspect of it, but one that surprised me and resonated with me a great deal.

If you are interested in reading the “motherhood truths” of mommy bloggers much more clever than me, visit this PBN link for a listing. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll remember to use birth control.


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