Thursday, January 31, 2013

I didn't want to be a mother

I have an amazing husband. I always knew he would be an amazing husband for some lucky lady out there. I'm glad it's me.

Want to know why he's amazing? Well, I will share just a few out of the hundreds of reasons why. 

Almost daily I hear some variation of what a great mother I am. Sometimes it's, "You're such a good mom." Sometimes it's, "You are so nurturing." Sometimes it's, "You are so maternal." And it's usually followed by, "I always knew you would be." This still surprises me.

You see, we started dating when I was 16 and he was 17. Yes. We are high school sweethearts. Throughout the years we would talk about having a family. He really looked forward to being a daddy and a provider and he really wanted me to be the stay at home kind of mommy to our babies. I loathed that thought. I dreaded it. I was just so sure that having babies would ruin my life. There's a popular phrase in my church regarding motherhood and that's "the joy of motherhood." You always hear about the "joy of motherhood." Inside I would scoff every time I heard that phrase. "Yeah right," I thought. I was just so sure my life would be over once I started having babies. I would never be able to pursue my dreams and wishes anymore. I would just be stuck at home all the time wiping little behinds and noses. What a drag. 

And I even went so far as to secretly hope I wouldn't be able to have children. I didn't think that thought too hard because I think a part of me didn't ACTUALLY want that to happen. But the thought was there every now and then in a surfacy kind of level and I would quickly shoo it away. 

I remember reading an article in the Ensign magazine, a magazine published by my church, about a woman who didn't want to be a mother. I thought, "Finally! Someone like me!" Usually the motherhood articles are all about the "joy of motherhood." Well, even that article turned out to be a disappointment because she eventually came around. By the end of the article she loved being a mother. "Well, that won't happen to me. I don't want to be a mother and that's that."

I'm not sure what I thought would happen. See, I knew I would have kids one day, but I guess I thought I would just be resentful about it all the time. I'm well known for my superbly rational thinking. In case you can't tell, that's sarcasm right there.

So years passed and both Robbie and I went about fulfilling our dreams. When I was 25 and he was 26 we finally got married. One Sunday, not long after we got married, we were hanging out at his parents' house. Like we liked to do, his mom and I were looking at pictures and she was telling me about them. I loved doing that for two reasons. First, I loved spending that time with her learning their family history and second, it would drive Robbie nuts that we wouldn't limit our talking and laughing to the commercial breaks. So that particular Sunday, and I really think she did this on purpose, she showed me one of Robbie's baby pictures. Like one of those squishy, three month old, toothless smile, baby pictures. Like, oh my goodness I have to have one NOW, baby pictures. He was so cute! My ovaries were like, "Helloooooow!"

I had no idea that the term "baby fever" even existed, but from that point on, I had it. Bad. 

Now that I have, not one, but two gorgeous baby girls, I can't imagine my life without them. I am learning what this mysterious "joy of motherhood" is all about. It's not all sunshine and daisies all the time, but I am just so in love with my babies. Maybe it's how I am designed with all those wonderful hormones flowing (mmmmm oxytocin) that make me love my babies. Whatever it is, I am thankful for it. 

I am also thankful for my fertility. I am enjoying the heck out of my childbearing years. I cherish this time. Birth. Babies. Breastfeeding. It's all so marvelous! I am in awe. In love. With all of it! 

Who would have thought that I would have gone from, "I don't want to be a mother," to Kristi the birth junkie? I'm a total junkie! What a transformation. Birth will do that to you. 

And this is why my husband is so awesome. He saw through all of my negative thoughts about motherhood and saw my potential. He had faith in me long before I did. I am thankful to have him as my partner in this parenting journey. It wouldn't be nearly as amazing and cool beans without him. 

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