Monday, 12 May 2014

Moms Are Selfish

They say that mothers are the most selfless human beings on the planet.

I say being a mom is one of the most wonderfully selfish things anyone can do.

Being a mom means making sacrifices you can't even begin to imagine or understand before you become a mom; but it also means more love and happiness than you could ever hope to experience and so overwhelming that nothing else matters.

Becoming a mom means distorting and destroying your once-perfect body beyond recognition, months of sickness and stretching and bloating and discomfort during pregnancy, the endless, impossible agony of labour and inhuman ripping pain of childbirth itself, and still more months of leaky breasts and saggy skin and stretch marks. It means strangers and near-strangers poking and prodding at parts of your body normally reserved for the privacy of your bedroom. It means an emotional journey from excitement to anxiety to terror and back - over and over and over again every single day.

Being a mom means giving up all control over your own life for a time - the most basic things, like when you sleep, when you eat, when you shower and use the bathroom. It means your body is no longer yours, for a time. It means your relationship with your husband changes completely - no longer a couple, you are suddenly parents, a family - alone time, date nights and sex become laughably rare, for a time, and lower on the priority list that you would ever have thought possible. You will rarely, if ever, get to see the friends you once thought of as practically family. You will go without sleep, you will be pooed on and peed on and vomited on, you will weep uncontrollably, you will feel like everything you're doing is wrong. You will be an emotional wreck with a body you don't recognize, unshowered in spit-up stained sweats, snipping and snapping at the man you promised to love for the rest of your life.

Being a mom means making choices for your child that will completely change your own career path and future and goals. It means working round-the-clock as a cook, cleaner, chauffeur, coach, event coordinator and childcare professional - none of which you've ever shown any aptitude for or interest in - on a full-time and volunteer basis. It means you will no longer have the luxury of independence you've come to take for granted as an adult and there are days you break down in tears because you just want five minutes to yourself. It means feeling guilty all the time. It means being tired most of the time. It means feeling frustrated, angry and impatient a lot more often than you'd like. It means wrapping your heart and soul and identity entirely up in another human being's but letting them go to learn and live on their own. Being a mom means your heart will break in one way or another every day for the rest of your life.

But.

Being a mom means a love so overwhelming it makes your heart ache and leaves you breathless and none of the rest matters in the slightest.

Your body is amazing - your body made another person. Your belly is soft because it once sheltered your child, your skin is stretched because that child grew strong and healthy inside you. Your hips are round because your child pushed his way into the world from between them in nature's most primal and violent and natural and beautiful act. Your breasts are saggy because your child fed from them, was nourished from them, for months or years. Your eyes are tired from sleepless nights spent comforting someone who loves you, needs you, and trusts you more wholly and unconditionally than you would ever have believed possible. Your face is lined from laughter. Every crease around your eyes and mouth are a memory of a smile. You are a woman, and a mother, and you are beautiful.

Being a mom changes you in ways you can't begin to imagine. Your world changes, your life changes, your priorities change, everything turns upside down as this new little person becomes the centre and the focus and the meaning of your life. You will be completely overwhelmed by love for your little one and become both stronger and weaker than you ever thought possible.

You will fall even more in love with your husband. The bond of love you'll share in the miracle you've made together will deepen and strengthen your connection. You will get your joy together from the life and family you're building together. You will watch him with your baby and weep with the overflow of love for these people who are your whole world.

Being a mom means the world becomes new again as you see and learn all over again through the eyes of your child. It means a new sense of wonder and pleasure in small things as you explore and discover with your little one. Being a mom means your days are filled with laughter and joy, your heart filled with love, your soul filled with memories to cherish for the rest of your life.

Your child will make you laugh until you cry, will fascinate you with his stories and questions and imagination and wonder, will break your heart when he slips his tiny trusting hand in yours or wraps his chubby arms around around your neck and gives you a squishy wet kiss or tells you he loves you. You will love this little human being a million times more than you ever thought possible, and you would and will give up everything for this precious angel you've been blessed with.

Being a mom is the most wonderful thing in the world.


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8 comments:

  1. Tears. No words. This is so beautiful and so true.

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  2. All of what you just described is one being selfless not selfish. Especially for a first time mom who doesn't realize completely how their life will change once they have children. You give up your old self (selfless) to become the mother of your children. Being selfish would be expecting to do everything you used to be able do and not wanting your life to be changed by the children you gave life too
    You give up so much when you become a mom. you don't realize how much your life changes and keeps changing until you have children. You willing change for your children because you love them so deeply again being selfless not selfish

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    1. Lol - I think you missed the point completely! She's saying that being a mom IS selfless, but because it's so wonderful & fulfilling it's also selfish.

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    2. Not a very nice thing to do laughing at the poor woman who wrote the first comment. The first time I tried to read this post was a skim through while my son and daughter were hanging off me and I would totally agree with the woman in saying that this post was all about the selflessness of being a mom and what on earth do you mean we are selfish. Not everyone is going to pick up on the "deeper meaning" of this post. So it is hardly polite to embarrass the poor woman and laugh at her for an opinion that for some totally makes sense. While this post is beautifully describes motherhood not everyone.will see "the point"

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    3. Really? I laughed because she DID miss the point completely. There's nothing to "get" & there's no "deeper meaning", the article states clearly that motherhood IS selfless & all about sacrifice, it's just that it's also the most wonderful thing in the world to be a mom. I'm sorry but I really doubt anyone else would possibly misunderstand this article unless they literally only read the title because it's quite clear. And I'm hardly embarrassing someone who posts anonymously.

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  3. You are an amazing mom and one of the strongest, most giving and most loving women I know. Your boys are very lucky to have you for their mom.

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  4. wow! to the person who writes this blog, I am truly sorry. I'm new to the whole blog thing. This was the first time I ever commented on one before. hell I google you every time I want to see new posts. I didn't think that I would generate an argument with some of your followers. This was a beautifully written piece but I just disagree that motherhood is so beautiful we should be considered selfish. hands down we are selfless. I wasn't trying to challenge you but obviously I didn't get that across very clearly.
    to this Tina person, yes I posted anonymously but that doesn't mean that I wasn't embarrassed and actually a little hurt from you (a) laughing at me and (b) basically calling me stupid in a follow-up comment. definitely a blow to an already low self esteem. it made me feel like being in high school all over again. Definitely reconsidering getting involved in any sort of blogging related anything anymore after reading these comments.

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    1. I don't generally reply to comments unless there's a question, but I feel like this is getting to be a bit much.
      For the record, yes, "moms are selfish" was meant tongue-in-cheek (and sometimes titles are written primarily to generate traffic).
      However, also for the record, it doesn't bother me one way or another what any reader takes from any of my pieces - agree or disagree, like or hate, understand my point or not. I don't know why it would bother anyone else. I just appreciate anyone taking the time to read what I write, and even more, caring enough to bother commenting. It means a lot to me.
      I don't think there's any need for arguments in the comments, though. Please. Everyone's entitled to their own opinion.

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