Becoming a mother is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. It’s a wild ride, for sure, with lots of unexpected twists and turns, but despite the challenges of being a mom, I wouldn’t change a thing. These are just a few of the things I love about it:
1. Watching them grow. Watching your kids probably sounds pretty boring to non-parents, and yes, the way we ooh and aah over every little thing they do must be annoying, but we can’t help it. The simple act of watching our kids grow and learn and just go about their daily lives fills us with so much pleasure and pride. Any parent will relate to the intense pleasure that can be derived from simply watching two siblings play, without them realizing they’re being watched.
2. Experiencing childhood all over again. This actually has a negative side too, because as you watch your child experience life, you will get to experience things you’ve stopped noticing a long time ago (pretty flowers, clouds in the sky) – but you will also experience again the pain, rejection and hard life lessons that are an inevitable part of growing. I still cherish the opportunity to re-experience things that would have otherwise been buried in my distant past.
3. Love as you never knew it before. When I’m in a cynical mood, I say that our selfless love to our kids is really quite selfish – after all, they are the ones who carry our genes, they are our future, so loving them and protecting them is like guarding an important investment – like loving ourselves. Still, I often revel in how deep my love to my children is. The way I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that I will protect their safety and their life at any cost – including the cost of my own life. The way I’d much rather feel pain myself than having them experience pain. It’s an incredible love – the deepest I have ever experienced. And in many ways, it IS selfless.
4. Laughing and being silly. It’s not that grownups don’t laugh – of course we do – but we laugh far less than kids do. Being a mom gives me an opportunity to be silly in ways I don’t think I would feel comfortable with if I wasn’t a parent.
5. Thinking and rethinking. Kids ask question, and those questions are often surprisingly deep (surprisingly, because – after all – their brains are still not fully developed). Questions such as, “Do you believe in god?” or “Do we have a moral obligation to help the homeless” (In their words, “Should we give this homeless person some money?” Which opens up the discussion on what our obligation is, and what is the best way to help him). I love the way my kids make me think, and often re-think my positions.
Even though part of me worries and frets about the kids growing and detaching, a different part knows that every stage of their life is going to be a unique, intense experience. As I said, being a mother is a wild ride.