My Motherhood Epiphany

*Yes, I promise that I’ll stop talking about my kids.  Hopefully soon.  But 3 months since having a baby, and 2 weeks since returning to work, kids are what’s on my mind*

I have an aquaintance who is all into childbirth.  She’s a doula.  She’s on birthing message boards.  She feels comfortable giving (sometimes unsolicited) advice to any pregnant woman who will listen.  And, to prove her devotion, she’s got a whole bunch of kids.  In the interest of this staying a LITTLE anonymous, I won’t say how many…but it’s a bunch…you’d need a special car.  And word on the street is that she’s pregnant again.  (I have no problem with people having a lot of kids.  Hell, there are people I work with who think *I* have a lot of kids.  If you can provide for them and love them, then go ahead and make babies!).  I don’t know her well, I see her MAYBE once a month, but sometimes I wonder if she’s more into the process of pregnancy and childbirth than she is actually being a parent.  It’s not a dig at her parenting, she could be a fantastic parent, but this is the image that I perceive.  Anyway, this post really isn’t about her.

I was recently browsing through a message board that I followed when I was pregnant, trying to catch up with my old board-mates, and I started reading posts by women who were just finding out they were pregnant.  In the past, I’d always had “belly-envy” right after I had a baby.  Extreme jealousy that I was finished with the journey and these women were just beginning.  It’s exciting to find out that you’re pregnant and have so many possibilities ahead of you.  But this time there was just….nothing.  I’m happy for these women, and I remember that time fondly, but I’m just sort of over it.  

At some point in the recent past, there was a shift in my psyche.  I’ve reached a place in my life where I’d rather be a mother to children on the outside of my body.  I really like being a mom to my kids.  My kids talk back and bounce off walls and try me every day with their emerging personalities….and I love it.  My job now is to guide them to become their own people.  I’m happy with my little tribe.

I liked being pregnant.  Actually, I LOVED being pregnant.  I felt good.  I had a maternity wardrobe with just enough funk.  I got a kick out of amusing people with how un-pregnant I acted.  Yes, I even enjoyed people rubbing my belly.  But, by the third time around, I didn’t need to talk about it.  My life didn’t revolve around childbirth.  Maybe that should have been my first clue that something was changing.  It would probably be different if I was a doula or a midwife of something else that involved birth.  My job has little to do with medicine or babies or reproduction (nothing, actually).  I’ve got other stuff going on in my life.  I’m just ready to move on.

I’m happy to no longer be a vessel.  From now on, I’ll be a touchstone.

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3 thoughts on “My Motherhood Epiphany

  1. I’m curious what the first paragraph about this doula you know has to do with with rest of your blog. I don’t know the doula in question so I can’t comment on her parenting, but it sure seemed like a dig. I think it’s very common for people who want a lot of children to be drawn to birth work. It fits together nicely, and doesn’t necessarily mean someone is addicted to pregnancy. What’s your epiphany, exactly? That your doula friend is a pregnancy addict? That you’re happy with your family size?

  2. I don’t see it as a dig, she is merely stating her perception of the woman. I know a few women who are exactly as she described…their kid is throwing sand in my kids face while she lectures an innocent person at the playground about why the non BPA free bottle is harming her baby not that it matters because her kid will already be screwed for life because she didn’t breastfeed, meanwhile my kid is standing in the sandbox, red faced, screaming from a brutal attack and when she finally realizes that the woman who she left in tears is a lost cause, she then tells me that her kid is gifted and just expressing herself. Anywho, really to me the birth really isn’t a huge part of being a mom, its more about the love, attention and stability you provide your children and less about your vagina being a clown car so that you can prove to a bunch of other mothers who care about the same silly things that your way is right, and they are idiots. Anyways, got a bit off topic! big fan of your blog SimplyJess, keep up the good work, love the last line!

  3. Caring about birth (or plastic, lol) doesn’t mean you don’t also love your kids; they aren’t mutually exclusively. Of course it’s not ok to let your kids throw sand at other kids, but I don’t think that has anything to do with birth or breastfeeding. Some people are high and mighty no matter what they believe. I had natural births, but I’m not judgmental about how others give birth. However, when I was planning my birth a woman I worked with found out and said, “I guess if you have something to prove…” Judgment comes from all sides. I’ve known as many rude and judgmental bottle feeding moms as breastfeeding moms. There’s no excuse for it, no matter what your beliefs.

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