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on becoming a mother…

September 16, 2011

i must admit that i never imagined myself as a mother. every time i pictured changing diapers or carrying a child through the grocery store or being held accountable, in general, for the well-being of another human life… well, i simply tried to erase those thoughts from my mind. i thought i wasn’t one for motherhood. i thought, quite frankly, i wouldn’t be any good at it… i wouldn’t know what to do, what to say; how to be a “mom.” honestly, i was always so self-involved and so irresponsible, in my own eyes, that i felt i wouldn’t be able to take care of another human being. i felt as though i wasn’t capable of raising a child the right way (i know there is no “right way,” but it is still a daunting task to think about caring for a child when you aren’t sure most days how to even take care of yourself).

last summer, when i learned i was pregnant, my heart beat quickened; the air was knocked out of me; i was stunned, surprised… scared.   i felt so unraveled at the thoughts of becoming a mother.  i preferred to drink beer and hang out with my roommates until the first orange edges of the sun graced the horizon.  i preferred to make plans on a whim and i Loved the freedom i had to spontaneously travel or to simply do nothing at all.  i preferred for my life to not change.  i preferred for there to be no bother; no baby.  but that was not the case– and a mother i would be.  it started to occur to me that motherhood would surely be upheaval of my entire existence.  it occurred to me that nothing in my life would ever look quite the same.

and somewhere between the day i learned that i was pregnant, and today, i have learned that motherhood is some kind of special, delicate balance.  i am not no longer myself– i am me in a new and unexpected way; i am eternally evolving.  i balance those early mornings with quiet and coffee and i watch the sun come up with my beautiful daughter.  i find much less time to hang out with friends and drink beer on their porches, but the time that i do find to do so is much more special.  i find a million ways to savor all the ways i am myself and all the ways that being a mother has changed and also enhanced my individuality.

i believe every woman must go through this when she learns she will be a mother.  i think every woman must spend the rest of her life balancing “mama” and “me.”  it isn’t easy.  but it isn’t as awful as i imagined it would be.  my baby is no burden, rather, a blessing.  my daughter came into my life to make me whole.  i thought becoming a mother would take away from me all the little idiosyncrasies that comprise who i am.  instead, becoming a mother has fleshed me out.  becoming a mother has made me more of who i am than i ever knew possible.  and for that, i am forever indebted to her; my beautiful little girl.

–lydia stewart

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Elizabeth permalink
    September 16, 2011 8:18 pm


  2. Jenica permalink
    September 17, 2011 2:24 am

    It is an honor to know you and call you friend 🙂

  3. Ashley Becker permalink
    September 18, 2011 4:15 pm

    What a great post! I have thought similar things about childless myself before. It is truly inspiring to see how much you love motherhood, and I will remember this if/when my time comes. Thank you so much! And, hello Talia, I remember you from I.U.!

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