I believe in the powerful maternal instinct. I found out I was pregnant five years ago after never wanting to have children. I was not happy when I saw the positive sign on the pregnancy test. Did this make me feel guilty? Yes. I mean how many people do you hear about who are desperately trying to get pregnant – paying thousands of dollars, enveloping their lives with tests, pills, and shots? But, being a mother was just not for me. I had my own life to live. There was no room in it for children. Besides, there are way too many people on this earth already. I was not about to contribute to that. Well, I was wrong. No matter how cliché it sounds, it is the best thing that ever happened to me. Mothers had said those very words to me before about their children. I thought it couldn’t possibly be true. I felt they were in some strange club I never wanted to be in. Even women my age that I had known for years had completely different lives that I could not relate to. I felt sorry for them. They always looked tired. Their whole lives revolved around their children with the diapers, schedules, homework and the million other issues that come with a child. And, even though I felt that is how it should be when you are raising a child – I mean it’s a huge responsibility raising another human being – how could that be the best thing that every happened to someone? I know the answer now. It is pure, raw love and emotion. It is animalistic. I feel like I’m doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing. Biologically speaking, I am doing exactly that. I don’t think that every woman should go out and get pregnant to be happy or feel complete. I’m sure I could have lived a happy life without ever having a child. Many women do. I just could’ve never dreamed how motherhood would affect me, and how fulfilling it would be. I have given up many things in my life for my son and tried to stay in touch with “me”. I think that’s important. But, there is NOTHING more important than he is. Every decision in my life is made with him in mind. Every single day is about him. And I love it. It makes me a better person. There is no room for selfishness and laziness in motherhood. I’m sure any mother who would read this would say, “Of course – that‘s just being a mother”. But, just that it comes that naturally to these women amazes me. I am constantly amazed at other mothers as I watch them or talk with them about their lives and their children – what they have given up and how their lives have changed. As much as I believe that my son is a miracle, I also believe that the changes in me have been miraculous. Thank you, Mother Nature for my maternal instinct!
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.