Do you remember that question everybody asked you before you had kids? “Sooo…when are you going to have kids?” I am going to be honest. (Don’t judge me…yet). I never knew how to answer that. I didn’t want to say, “Um, actually I don’t want kids” or, “Not any time soon because I definitely don’t feel ready to give up my freedom.” I mean, I didn’t want to sound selfish and I didn’t want to let go of my childless life with my husband alone. Being able to go to different places, anywhere we wanted at anytime, such as: going to the movies on a Friday night without thinking about a little being at home that wants her mama, sleeping in or lounging around the house with my husband all day on a Saturday watching Gossip Girl and eating junk food, getting all dressed up and going to a nice restaurant with a quiet ambiance. I could go on and on about why I wasn’t ready to become a Mother. If was unable to have children, ok then, so be it. I’m serious…I did not mind. Little did I know what I would be missing out on.
My way of thinking changed when I became a mother. When my daughter was placed into my arms for the first time, all that selfishness I felt before disappeared. I loved her more than I thought possible. More than I loved myself or anyone. My husband and I were no longer the center of our own universe. That position was handed over to our baby. The tiny, pink, baby with eyes wide open staring at me became my everything. I wanted to protect her and never let her go.
I was introduced to a whole new world when I became a mother! A world full of mommies of all ages, children, playdates, crazy baby items that I had no knowledge of, Little Tykes, Baby Einstein, new friends, super cute baby clothing, breast-feeding, home-made babyfoods, sleep-deprivation, and much more. I never knew how much I would love this new mommy world, my now life! (Minus the sleep-deprivation. That part really sucks). I don’t live for myself and husband alone but revolve everything I do around our baby. She depends on me completely. I no longer spend time thinking about which nail polish I should wear today, or which series to start watching on NetFlix. Instead, I’m like, “I wonder if I can take a quick 5 minute shower while the baby is taking a nap” and “Where are the clean bottles?”
When I became a mother, I realized that babies don’t have to be at home all day long just because they are infants. Before becoming a mom, I always thought that babies needed to stay at home to prevent from getting sick. I envisioned the moms sitting in a rocking chair cradling their babies all day, hehe. I was wrong! I mean, i can understand at certain times not taking your baby out for particular reasons, like maybe he/she is sick. I learned about programs like The Little Gym, Aqua Tots, Kindermusik, MOPS, Meetup, and activities held at the McAllen Library for babies/toddlers. These are the only ones I know of so far. At 9 months, I enrolled my baby in Aqua Tots (swimming) and The Little Gym as well. Also, although she couldn’t play yet, I was taking her to playdates at 3 months. I loved hanging out with other mommies and my baby enjoyed being outdoors and observing everything.
It wasn’t until I became a mother that I had a newfound respect for my own mother. I mean, I always respected her, but now I understood her. I understood why she was protective of me and why she chose to not work and stay at home to raise my brother and me; to be involved in our lives growing up. I respected her for always waking up before us and being the last one to go to bed because she was busy doing everything for my family throughout the day. She was our chef, our housekeeper, our chauffeur, our laundry machine operator, and all because she was our mom and loved us. I’ve come to realize that the work of a mother is never really finished, yet it is one of the most under-appreciated jobs out there. But I know that the rewards will outweigh the day-to-day struggles and that everything my child experiences, so will I and I will share in her joy, triumphs, accomplishments, and even struggles. I cannot imagine my life without my baby girl and am so grateful for this blessing of being called mama.