"A mother's love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity,
it dares all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path."
~ Agatha Christie

Alex, Cole and Braden - At 2 years, 2 months

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Motherhood is a funny thing...

I suppose all parenting is the same, but it sneaks up on you. With Mike going back to work last week, I was pushed into the ring full time (with lots of help!)and I guess I can say that "the gene" kicked in. Phew! Thank God, because I have to say, I was a little worried there for a while. This is the one I've been waiting for, holding my breath to see if it became real, like a young girl hoping she develops in kind along with the rest of her friends. It feels like a transformation...There aren't any words to describe the feeling that steals over you and how much stronger you feel as a person.

There are no limits to what the human body can accomplish - it's kind of spooky what it's designed to do, almost like we are automatically programmed with primitive responses to life. I saw it when I was pregnant, how the body adapts and prepares for a little life and the challenges of birth...for example, increasing the amount of blood volume in your body to compensate for the loss of so much during the birth...it blew my mind to realize just how automatic and instinctual the whole process is...so many little things going on and falling into place without you even knowing it...mother nature/God/physiology takes over and you are left feeling the awe of creation.

I guess that's what I think happens in motherhood too...a set of built in responses takes over to help you overcome the obstacles and challenges for each phase and still leaves you feeling some peace to how much your life has changed. I'm not going to lie...there was some part of me when I was pregnant that felt a resentment and a deep sadness for how much our lives were going to change...I imagine having one baby feels the same in a way...and I worried that the selflessness and boundless energy of being a parent (a triplet parent even!) would never come to rest over me. But then one day, like getting a superpower, it just does. There are still parts that are not fun, and you are definitely tired, but you know you need to get through them...and the key is that you don't have to be absolutely miserable for the duration...it's a choice and a mindset...I keep thinking of the quote I once heard about how it's not what happens to you in life, it's how you deal with what happens that matters (and it makes all the difference!). If you are going through a situation and you can find a laugh in it somewhere, however small...it makes it a little easier to bear!

You just keep going, you know you have to...you have to dig in and find out what you are really made of... this beginning part feels a little like what boot camp might be like...but you surprise yourself with your new stamina...and hope you can keep it up! Living on iced cappuccinos, frappuccinos, anything-uccinos... iced tea... red bull....hate coffee and pop! What's a tired mom to do? Can I invent a way to caffeinate water? I would be a millionaire! ;)

In this evolution, you start to forget everything you ever wanted for your own life - your ambitions, your goals, your expectations for your own self - it all falls away, leaving a clarity of purpose...and instead you become intensely focused on making sure your children have everything they need to fulfill their dreams. Your own needs seem unimportant and you start to love living for them, feeling a peace that no one can ever explain to you...This new life with three forces you to live in the moment...realize that it is a blessing in disguise, so many parts about three are...it forces you to respect the meaning and purpose of your existence every minute of every day. Maybe it is stronger with three, I don't know...there is the realization that there is no turning back, you have to go all in...and you might as well enjoy the ride.

These are the most conflicted moments of my life. Before the kids, when facing a tough or undesirable situation I would just trudge through it, nose to the grindstone and just get through this...I want to face this now the same way, but I am realizing that I may never have this experience again...all three are going through this baby phase NOW (any phase will be the same way), at the same time...just like the pregnancy - no more feelings of them inside me, that special experience, that bond, I'll never have that again..I need to cherish moments while they last, enjoy the times, they happen so fast and then are gone... all of them have changed so much already... and I want to enjoy these cuddly times, these expressions and noises they make, these peaceful, sleepy quiet nights - the cozy and sweet moments with each one, just staring at their cute little faces, eyes shut, yawning, rubbing their eyes, nuzzling into your neck. Those sweet moments that you can't get back. The times when you use all your "free time" to just stare at them, seeing them all making funny little movements with their mouths, breathing so heavy, sighing sweetly, dreaming of all the day's big events and visitors...these are the moments you never want to be without...so enjoy them all and realize that even if this is tough, you are already getting such a big reward and it will be gone so soon.

So, to all of you moms and dads out there....you're doing a great job.

Motherhood certainly changes you...you'll never, ever be the person you used to be...but I wouldn't have it any other way; I like the "new" me. :)

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