Being a mother is BIG! I mean, it just doesn’t get any more amazing than birthing a baby! One minute you’re just you – a wife maybe, a daughter, a lover, a friend…and the next second, BAM! you’re a mother. Seriously, you go from agony to awe in a nanosecond. You learn an entirely new kind of love the moment you hold the tiny life that developed and grew and lived inside of you. You never again think or plan or do anything without first considering its effect on your baby. It’s like your life takes a back seat to the life that you’ve created. And that's okay.
A few years later you’ve birthed all your babies and fallen completely in love with each of them in that magical, unimaginable, crazy-to-understand kind of way. You know how they each think, how they feel, how they react, what they like, what they’ll do…. You know them completely. You talk to them and teach them and cook for them and do their laundry and drive them around and meet their friends and go to their events and tuck them into bed and answer their questions and kiss them always. You talk about boys and beer and bras; moods and manners and money; parties and picnics and play practice. You teach them to shave. They need you. You need them.
You worry – even if you’re not a worrier, you worry about your kids. You worry they’ll hang with the wrong crowd, make poor decisions, eat the wrong foods or hurt someone’s feelings. You worry they won’t make a team; or that they will. You worry about illness, injury, nutrition, and germs. You worry they’ll get hurt, get angry, or get bullied. And all this time you’re thinking and worrying and caring for your kids, you’re not doing things for yourself.
You put off getting new glasses so you can use that money on MAYB tournament fees. You put off your mammogram (just for a few months) because you just can’t find time in your schedule to go. You put off your much needed vacation or the pricy theater tickets or dinner out. You buy new clothes, but not for yourself. You add days to your work schedule...
And, if you had it to do all over again, you wouldn’t change anything, except that you’d cherish it more and enjoy it more and value it more. You’d feel a little pang when you remember how upset you were when your fresh baby cried and cried at night when all you wanted was a little bit of sleep. You’d feel a bit of guilt as you recall throwing back the covers and stomping to the nursery to find the most adorable baby wanting you. You’d happily redo those moments and revere the warmth of your baby’s breath on your neck or the smell of their freshly bathed skin. You’d sit up later watching movies with your tween or playing videogames into the wee hours of the night, just to take part in what your child loves. Heck, you might even go paintballing.
Yes, if I had it to do all over again, I’d do it all over again, with a little more gusto.