What It's Like: Part 1: Parenthood

You remember what I wrote last week, about all three choices women have to make when they are faced with motherhood? Well, I thought I would write about all three options in a little bit more detail than I did last week. I am not an expert. I intend to use some facts and statistics, but I mostly intend these entries to be about my own experiences.

So, I guess on that note I will talk about my kids. I have two sons and they are absolutely magical. My oldest son is 9 and my youngest is 6. When I got pregnant with the older boy, I had placed a child for adoption and I had already had an abortion. I was emotionally exhausted by making parenting choices and I knew that I was finally going to be a mom. It helped that I was in love with the father and that he was a good man.

I remember the day that they told me that I was having a boy, his dad was so excited that he couldn't get out of the parking lot at the doctor's office. I remember the whole pregnancy and every moment of my labor and delivery. I remember the moment that my son was handed to me and the sounds he made as a baby. I remember his belly laughs and his first steps. I can perfectly imitate the words that he used to say in funny ways. I knew from the first moment that I held him that his eyes were going to stay blue, and I was correct.

My second born child is no different. I remember being told I was having another boy (and admittedly feeling a little bit disappointed because I wanted a girl). I remember planning my home birth and I remember every moment of the labor and delivery. I remember being 270 lbs on the day that I gave birth and how hard it was to move because I was so big. I remember being stunned at how dark brown his eyes were after giving birth to a blue-eyed boy the last time.

When I was pregnant with the boys and when they were babies, I made every decision very carefully. My boys are not vaccinated, they are not circumcised, they were breastfed until they weaned on their own, they were cloth diapered, my boys slept with me and I wore them around the house. I did all kinds of research and reading and made decisions based on what I thought was best.

Early parenthood is exhausting. Every decision and every move you make seems like the most important move you will ever make. I don't know when that ends, but it does. At some point it begins to shift and you start to just exist as a parent. I don't always make the best decisions, but I no longer stress about them. I just make them and then do the best that I can. Now that my kids are older, I enjoy them even more.

My kids have vastly different personalities. They drive me nuts and sometimes I just want them to go away. Sometimes I wish they were still tiny and they would snuggle with me and let me hold them. There are lots of times when I am completely in awe of the people they are turning into. A lot of the time, I have this feeling where I love my kids but I really wish that I didn't have to be responsible for them.

The responsibility is huge. I have to make sure that I don't raise assholes. I want them to be ready to leave the nest when they turn 18 and I want them to be the types of men who treat women with respect. There is no end to the number of things that I envision for my children's futures and that is a heavy thing to carry with me every single day.

There is no accurate way to sum up what it's like to be a parent. It's different for everyone. There is no way for me to tell anyone how to do it or what to do because we are all just doing the best that we can. There is no set of statistics that will tell you what it's like or what to do or what choice to make. There is no way to paint a picture of the day in the life of a typical mom because there is no such thing as a typical mom.

What I know is that when I chose to have my boys, I made the right choice. My 9 year old is the smartest, most sensitive, sweetest human I have ever met. Every day, I strive to be like him and to be the type of mother he wants and needs. He and I speak the same language, all he has to do is look at me and I know that my life has meaning. My 6 year old is a wild, stubborn, and loving child. He tells me he loves me while he's pooping and he has eyelashes ten miles long. I am in awe of my children and I don't think that the feeling will ever go away.

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