“The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is absolutely something new.” – Rajneesh
Metamorphosis. A transformation, as by magic or sorcery. A marked change in appearance, character, condition, or function. YES! Exactly. Pre-baby, “plans” were different. January 31st, 2009, “plans” changed and I was then planning to run, full-tilt, into mommyhood and I planned to embrace every second. As any person who knew me pre-Noah, metamorphosis is the absolute best way to describe the transformation. I have! I really, really have.
Exactly a week from today, my baby boy is turning FOUR. I am sitting at Chocolatea this evening having my weekly “tea time” and simply reflecting on the past four years. On January 31st, 2009, Noah came into the world and when he was placed in my arms, at that very moment, I made a choice. I decided that I would be the primary influence in his life from this day forward. I had so many other options, but being home with Noah has been single-handedly the best choice I have ever made. I don’t wear new and expensive clothes and I try to live a frugal lifestyle because material things are not important to me and I thank God everyday that I was raised that way. There have been sacrifices made the past four years and I would make each of them all over again. The sacrifice pales in comparison to the value being home with our Noah has brought him and us.
I remember the anxiety I used to get leading up to Noah’s birth simply entertaining the unknown. I never pictured my self first birthing our son, taking my maternity leave and then rushing off like a gazelle to my 8-5. In my mind, that was never going to happen. That would have been more similar to a turtle, heavy from the profound weight on my heart for doing exactly the opposite my calling. Granted, I would have done whatever necessary to make sure our family had what we needed; as long as it meant I could be home with our son. And I did. Children are only young once and then it is GONE! They will be grown. I have the rest of my life to work and 8-5’s are always sure to be there. Now, please know that I have significant respect for my friends and family that have chosen to work full-time after having children. The world needs all of us and those women, too, are strong and amazing at their own jobs and talents. I am good at what I do everyday and I enjoy it to tears every single day. I truly cherish and will always remember every moment I have with Noah – as every parent does with their child. Some prefer not to have “motherhood” be their identity. For me, it is spelled all over me and particularly – my heart. I am okay with answering the question, “What do you do?” with “I’m a mom.” Followed by a smile.
As the author of this particular story, Amy Mercer, described of the day she quit her job, “Within moments it was over. The anxiety gone. Walking out of the building I felt like a butterfly emerging from a cocoon. The sun was warm on my face and I pushed a strand of hair out of my eyes. I smiled down at my boy and said, “We’re free!” For some, it is simply not an option and perhaps it is because all women are so much different. It is where we are meant to be. As with any day-to-day job, there are good and bad days. For me, I even embrace the bad. My son is sick? Well, I am thankful that I can be the one to care for him. Truly, it is freedom at its finest. I don’t need to ask anybody if I can leave to take my child to the doctor, I can sew/craft/cook/SIT in my underwear (while Noah is resting/napping, of course), I can take a nap while Noah naps, we can go where we want when we want and I am the one to decide when that happens during the day for Noah; I am my own boss and I have never felt more freedom, joy and gratitude than I have the past four years as a result of that! Freedom to some, I know, is walking out the door every morning and having a professional career; having adult interaction. As I said, we all are different.
I’m good. We are great. A week from today, my baby will be 4 years old. I look forward to metamorphosing (again) after I am done raising my child. We will have to see and, to me, it is worth the wait….