This post was created as a submission to Sakura Bloom’s “Sling Diaries, Volume VII” series
-a way of regarding, understanding or interpreting something; a mental impression
My Parenthood Interpretation:
I never wanted to be a mother. It just didn’t appeal to me, at all. I liked my life child-free. I enjoyed doing what I wanted, going where I wanted and not having another person dictate my time and my experiences. I also travel pretty frequently for work, with stays lasting a week or two at a time. How do you fit raising a child into that lifestyle? Then there was the identity dilemma. Many moms I interacted with seemed to lose themselves after their children were born. Every waking moment was spent catering to the needs of their babies, and they rarely had any time to do the things that they once had so much joy in. They seemed lost to sea of diapers, snotty noses and goldfish snacks. That wasn’t the life I wanted for me.
This was my perception of parenthood.
The funny thing about perception is it’s just that…perception. It is our interpretation on something. Often times, this interpretation is completely false, founded in no personal experiences whatsoever. How could I, and also who was I, to pass this judgement…this perception…onto those mothers I knew? I cannot even begin to imagine their day to day life without going through it myself. I projected my ignorance on to them unfairly. I let the fear of losing myself and my identity shape the way I felt about being a mother.
-the ability to see, hear or or become aware of something through the senses
My Parenthood Enlightenment:
Having a surprise baby (full post here) can throw you for a loop, to say the least. I went from having no desire to ever be a parent, to finding out that I was nine months pregnant and going to be a mother in a matter of hours in the span of one day. I won’t repeat all the wonderful details (see my linked post above for those), but now here I was, a mother of this beautiful, perfect tiny human. Those ill-conceived perceptions I had of parenthood suddenly melted away. It was exhausting in those first few weeks, of course. But, I didn’t feel like I was losing a part of myself. If anything, I felt like I became more of the person I was meant to be. Being a mom to Elizabeth didn’t become my whole identity; it became a part of my identity. Partner, daughter, sister, hard worker, art lover. Those all shape who I am as a person. Becoming a mother seamlessly fit right in to become a piece of me, a piece of my life. My perception of parenthood is now defined by my ability to live through this experience I was once so fearful of. And I’m not afraid.
Looking back, I’m still not sure being a mother seemed like the right fit for me. But, now, I can’t really imagine life without that sweet, little face smiling up at me everyday. Those tiny hands holding my fingers. Even the snotty nose that I wanted nothing to do with. I cant’ wait to see where this journey takes our little family. I can’t wait to experience the world through Elizabeth’s eyes. Her perceptions.