Friday, October 24, 2008

On Motherhood

It's amazing how many different flavors the word motherhood contains. I guess I am somewhat of a traditionalist. When my first daughter was born, I was on active duty in the Navy and because I had taken a re-enlistment bonus, I was committed to complete my contract with an additional year of service after her birth. Before she was born, I thought it would be no big deal. Moms take their kids to daycare daily all around our county and the kids somehow grow up okay.

Then the day came, I even went in that Saturday for some planned maintenance but had to leave due to the pains escalating. My daughter was born. I was changed. After getting home with her, I found out the waterbed didn't work well with my c-section repair, so my husband was sent of to the exchange to get a Lazy Boy. I spent many hours in that chair with a pillow on my lap. I would spend hours with no tv on, no music, no people - just the quiet and this precious child, and I'd just stare at her in amazement and wonder.

My maternity leave ended way too soon. We had chosen the wife of one of my husband's friends for our baby sitter - she was a lovely Christian woman with several children of her own in school. Each morning, I'd drive my darling to the sitter, drop her off, then go out to my car and weep in grief at leaving her. Initially, I'd go to the sitter's house on my lunch break to nurse, but it was too hard for me to leave, so eventually, I'd go to my own quiet house for a pump session and then accomplish some house chores so I'd be free to focus on her in the evenings when I was done at work.

Like most moms, it became a bit easier in time to leave her as I became convinced that she'd probably be fine when I got there for her after work and the anxiety decreased, but for me, I knew motherhood with babies would not be a part time job. Once my enlistment ended, we bought a house in Virginia and I left the Navy.

I ended up having 3 daughters, each abour four years apart and spent a good 10 years out of the work force nurturing my girls. Now, my baby is 13 and the oldest soon to be 21 and once again, I'm dealing with separation anxiety as my oldest is moving out and the middle daughter is in her senior year and planning her college and future life.

Life changes, the love we have for our children endures.

1 comment:

SuZ said...

Oh, this brings back so many memories for me. :) Thanks for sharing.