Being a mom is something you can’t prepare for.
What I thought about Motherhood throughout my years:
Elementary school: I thought I would have about 4 children and anything my mom said I couldn’t do I would let them do. That was about as far as my thinking went, letting my kids get away with “stuff”.
Middle School: After taking “Sex Ed” I thought perhaps I would adopt. My little sister was 9 years younger than me and by the time I was in middle school she was in kindergarten and I saw that kids needed a lot of attention. I downsized my 4 kids to having only 2 or 3.
High School: After seeing many girls I had gone to school with in middle school actually get pregnant in highschool, it made me realize that babies were no joke and I swore I wouldn’t have any kids until I was at least 25 years old.
20 Years old: When I first got married, I was 20 years old. I was very independent, headstrong and financially stable. My husband is about 8 years older than me and I saw more and more the differences between men and women as far as the maturing process. I have always considered myself to be about the same age, if not older in some instances, than my husband. Not even a year into our marriage, he was offered a job in Kansas and we moved from the San Francisco Bay Area to Kansas. Only then, in a moment of weakness, did I bring up us having kids. The thought clearly terrified my new husband because the subject quickly shifted to animals and the fact that I had been raised with cats and should try a dog. A few days later we bought my first dog, a small male Maltese and I never brought up the idea of kids to my husband the rest of the time we lived in Kansas. Having that puppy, and never having had a puppy, gave me my first insight of parenthood. The puppy whined and whimpered, pooped and peed throughout the apartment and didn’t listen to my commands. He did, however, always give me the comfort and affection I sometimes needed being in a new place not knowing anyone.
25-27 Years old: When I was about 23-24 years old and we had been married for over 3-4 years, my husband took a promotion in Atlanta, Ga. I went reluctantly and ended up enrolling in a private art school. This school offered BA’s in 3 years time with one catch- you had little to no breaks in between quarters. As soon as one 10 week quarter ended you had 1-2 weeks of a break before you had to start back up again. Being in school again at this stage in my life made me almost completely forget kids. I would meet women in some of my classes that were moms and they seemed bizarre to me. Not in a negative way, but more so in a mesmerizing way. How was it possible that they could juggle being a mom, wife and also a full-time design student?
My last year at school was a struggle on many levels. One reason was that the course work got heavier but also because my heart was starting to fall some place else. I was ready. My clock was ticking. I didn’t obsess over babies. I didn’t mention much to my husband, but I listened and watched his reactions to other people’s children and I saw that he too, was softening up to the idea. I mentioned it to him a few times and his response was very rational, ” Yes, I would love us to have a baby, but we should wait a few years until after you’ve been out of school and have worked in your field. We should also wait until we’ve paid off your student loans and are living back in California.” I agreed with him to save face, but my heart was somewhere else.
When I mentioned the thought of kids to my friends, most of them were excited about the prospect of me getting fat from pregnancy. Funny ladies… they were supportive. I remember having long talks about how we would be as mothers. I felt my clock ticking very loudly…
27 years old: I finished my B.A. in 2008 a month before turning 27 and I thought I would bring up the idea of kids to my husband once more. We were already in the process of moving back to California and had a lot of money saved that we could use to help pay off my student loans, so I thought it would be the right time.
A month after turning 27, I had a positive pregnancy test. The fantisizing of motherhood had begun! I thought about how precious my baby would be and how I would be the perfectly calm and rational mother. I would have a boy first and then a girl. I would work semi-full time and have a nanny or daycare for my baby because the thought of being a stay-at-home-mom made my insides hurt. I just couldn’t imagine myself domesticated and happy. I rarely cooked for my husband and he and I split all of the household chores. I was a bit spoiled and didn’t quite fit into the stereotypical “wife” role.
The following year, I became a mother and my views drastically changed.
27/28 years old: I had my first child, a boy, and my life instantly changed forever. I have never been so happy, scared, worried, tired in my entire life and you know what? I wouldn’t trade my current life with my old life even on my worst day! I cannot even remember my life before having my son, and not in a sad way, but in a way that I never truly knew true happiness and bliss before being blessed with him.
The first major change was my attitude on being a stay-at-home mother. I couldn’t imagine the thought of someone else “raising” my child and since we had just moved for my husband’s job promotion, I decided to stay at home with my son. It was an easy decision but a hard reality. I took care of my son from morning to night with no help from family or friends since I now lived in a new city 6 hours away from loved ones. I had the need to do it all myself and refused to ask for help from my husband. This all changed around the 6th month my ideas shifted and my husband took care of my son 100% from 10pm until morning, allowing me to get 8 hours of sleep and more if I needed it.
We couldn’t imagine having another child for fear that the new child would somehow take Gabriel’s place and make him feel less special. This all changed when my son was about 18 months and we realized he was starting to play alone and was a people person. We just got that “feeling” when you know you’re ready for a big change.
29 years old: I am now 29 years old and pregnant with our second child, a baby girl this time. I have changed my views again on the whole stay at home mom thing. First of all, as long as we are financially able to, I will be with my children at home until they are in pre-school. However, the major change is that I have a job now working from home and see that I can have my cake and eat it to. It’s the best of both worlds and I couldn’t be happier. To each his own, is my motto, and I do not judge one person’s decisions against my own because we are all different people, as are our families.
What I am faced with now, is that I have no idea how to handle two children at once, but know that it will all come to me somehow, almost instinctively, as it did with my son. We do not plan on having any more children, but I never set things in stone since I am an ever evolving person.