Monday, September 3, 2012

Why Being a Mom Works for Me

Just over four and a half years ago, my life changed in a way that made me into the person I knew I was destined to be. I became a mom.

From as far back as I can remember, I always played the motherly figure. As a child, I would push dolls around in strollers in the cul-de-sac (in real baby strollers, mind you). My dolls would be carefully buckled into the car when we went out and their bodies were always neatly scrubbed. There would be no stickers or smudges on my babies!

But at some point, a girl grows out of dolls and moves on to bigger things. Babysitting. I was definitely the go-to gal when it came to childcare for nearly every family on my street and beyond. I did my job well and took it very seriously. I was, after all, responsible for REAL people now. There were games to be played and chores to be done. I enjoyed every part of being a babysitter from the cooking and cleaning to the playing and staying up very, very late.

Taking care of babies and children has always given me great joy. During high school, I took a class where I worked as a teacher for children who attended the high school's day care program. And I arranged my schedule so that I could leave school early every day to work at a real pre school. My first summer job was as a nanny for a family in my neighborhood. It just seemed that I couldn't get away from children! So naturally, I became an elementary school teacher. I used to tell everyone that I would either grow up to be a singer, a movie star, or a teacher. I guess I know where my true talents were.

When my husband and I decided to have a baby, you could imagine my excitement! I would now have my own little one to take care of, teach, play with, and love. Was having my own children everything I thought it would be? Of course not. How could I have prepared myself for the nights of no sleep, the constant worrying about them getting hurt or lost, the continuous and never-ending cleaning. Whew. And I never could have known that I would love them so much. It sounds cliche, but it's true. That feeling of pride and excitement, and that tingly feeling every time they smiled so sweetly was never there with other children. Becoming a mom has opened my eyes to a world that I never knew existed even though I was living in it for years. I've always liked kids, but now I know what it's like to love kids. I'm glad I took the route that I did to get here. I think the experiences I had growing up have allowed me to be a well rounded and fun mom. Am I the kind of mother that I 'thought I would be?' I'm not sure yet. I do know that amidst all the craziness, I am happy to be a Mom and I only hope for many more years of this wonderful life.

What is something you've experienced that has helped you become a better parent?

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