**I came across this article while I was bored browsing at Mother-Daughter articles at work. This made me ‘almost’ cry. I say ‘almost’ as I have not experienced this phase yet. I want to say that I can’t wait for this moment to come but not now. For this moment, I will just say, “Take your time baby. Mama and Papa will be here for you all the way.”
We are sitting at lunch when my daughter casually mentions that she and her husband
are thinking of starting a family.
“It will change your life” I say, carefully keeping my tone neutral.
“I know,” she says, “no more sleeping in on weekends, no more spontaneous holidays….”
But that is not what I meant at all..
I look at my daughter, trying to decide what to tell her?
I want her to know what she will never learn in childbirth classes.
I want to tell her that the physical wounds of child bearing will heal,
but that becoming a mother will leave her with an emotional wound so raw,
that she will forever be vulnerable..
I consider warning her that she will never again read a newspaper without asking,
“What if that had been MY child?” That every plane crash, every house fire, will haunt her.
That when she sees pictures of starving children,
she will wonder if anything could be worse than watching your child die?
I look at her carefully manicured nails and stylish suit and think that no matter how sophisticated she is,
becoming a mother will reduce her to the primitive level of a bear protecting her cub.
That an urgent call of “Mummy!” will cause her to drop her best crystal without a moment’s hesitation!
I feel I should warn her that no matter how many years she has invested in her career,
she will be professionally derailed by motherhood.
She might arrange for childcare and go out for the evening,
and she will think of her baby’s sweet smell..
She will have to use every ounce of her discipline to keep from running home,
just to make sure her baby is all right.
I want my daughter to know that everyday decisions will no longer be routine.
That a five year old boy’s desire to go to the men’s restroom
rather than the women’s will become a major dilemma.
That right there, issues of independence and gender identity will be weighed
against the prospect that a child molester may be lurking in there.
However decisive she may have been at the office,
she will second-guess herself constantly as a mother.
Looking at my young daughter, I want to assure her
that eventually she will shed the pounds of pregnancy,
but she will never feel the same about herself.
I want her to know that a cesarean scar or silver stretch marks, will become badges of honour.
That her life, now so important, will be of less value to her once she has a child.
That she would give it up in a moment to save her offspring,
but will also begin to hope for more years – not to accomplish her own dreams,
but to watch her child accomplish theirs..
My daughter’s relationship with her husband will change, but not in the way she thinks..
I wish she could understand how much more you can love a man
who never hesitates to play with his child.
I think she should know that she will fall in love with him again,
for reasons she would now find very unromantic.
I wish my daughter could sense the bond she will feel with women throughout history,
who have tried to stop war, prejudice and drunk driving.
I hope she will understand why I can think rationally about most issues,
but become temporarily insane when I discuss world threats that may affect my children’s future.
I want to describe to my daughter, the exhilaration of seeing your child learn to ride a bike.
I want to capture for her, the belly laugh of a baby
who is touching the soft fur of a dog or a cat for the first time.
I want her to taste the joy that is so real, it actually hurts…
My daughter’s quizzical look makes me realize that tears have formed in my eyes.
“You’ll never regret it,” I finally say.
Then I reach across the table, squeeze my daughter’s hand and offer a silent prayer for her,
and for me,
and for all of the mere mortal women who stumble their way into this most wonderful of callings.
This blessed gift from God . . . that of being a Mother.