Today we’re going to start out with some truths about me that you may or may not know:

  1. I’m a completely selfish person (ok…you probably know that already)
  2. I don’t really like kids
  3. I didn’t plan my pregnancy
  4. I was scared shitless when I found out I was pregnant
  5. I thought I would make the worst parent in the world (the jury is still out on this one)
  6. When someone has a new baby, I rarely ask “Oh- can I hold it?’
  7. I don’t smell new babies and get a sense of longing.
  8. I have never once regretted my decision to only have one child

But, as you all know, I have a child. I have a child who I love fiercely and would do anything for.

Pregnancy changed just about my whole game.

Pre pregnancy I had a time consuming, soul sucking job where I spent many hours at the office.  And I spent many hours reading about things work related (not at work FYI) 430 am I was on the exercise bike in my bedroom, watching news to see what could affect the markets. I spent many evening talking to clients at hockey games and restaurants. I had a limited personal life, and when I did have a personal life it was indulgent (or my level of indulgent- no one is really calling me a hedonist). The thought of taking care of a child was not even in my sightline.

Boom. 36. Pregnant.

Obviously I had the baby…

But I made a conscious decision to really work at parenting. To work as hard at parenting as I had done at my job, because like it or not, parenting is a job. If you don’t believe me, ask yourself: “If I’m not around do I ever pay someone to watch my child?” And if you say “Oh- but that’s not parenting” to which I add- does that person feed them, discipline them, tell them to do their homework, tell them to go to bed? Cause guess what all those things are?

Overnight I had to go from self indulgent to outer indulging. I had to realize that I was taking on creating and raising another life form.

I remember the list of things I was not supposed to do while pregnant. I once ate brie and beat myself up for days….I decided my child was going to have issues because I craved creamy unpasteurized cheese. (FYI- this is what pregnancy books do to you- you consider getting a feeding tube so you can only ingest healthy things, and then wrap yourself in bubble wrap) Did I mention that I was 7 months pregnant on 9/11/01? Living in NYC? Yeah…good times…

And now? While clearly not even in the running for Mother of the year (Kelly and Ryan will not be surprising me at my door with a bouquet and spa day) I am reasonably proud of my parenting journey. I only mildly screwed up my daughter last night when she asked a question and I told her not to be ridiculous and stop overthinking (I know- I told someone else not to over think- really…who am I?)

I also know that Parenthood is not a rite but a privilege. A privilege. It is a privilege to be able to take care of a child, whether it is biological, adoptive or whatever way a child lands in your care. It is a privilege to be able to watch a child grow to maturity, to share their success as well as their failures, to laugh with them, to cry with them. It is a privilege to love someone more than you ever thought possible. Do not ever underestimate parenthood, or the power of being a parent.

Parenthood changes you. And you will never be the same again.

56 thoughts on “A Bit of Truth

  1. I, too, walked on the wild side and had a hint of brie when I was carting le bun en le oven, and of course, I, too, felt terribly guilty about it. Stunner. I know.

    As for being surprised by the pregnancies, that occurred in my world more as a shock that God was on board with sending small souls to a roller coaster person like me. You, on the other hand, remain to be an unquestionably solid choice to become a mama. You are amazing and your daughter is so blessed to have you. I love reading your stories about her. They are filled with love and laughter, and they always make my heart smile. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you! I needed that because I really did flounder with advice over the past few days, because the only thing that comes about them getting older is that the questions about life get harder….yeah…shock would be a good one….and Brie….how can something that good be bad for you…..

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      1. I feel this was about cheesecake! And you are a stellar mother. I’m not doing the say something nice / “Buck up little camper!” routine. I am genuinely inspired by your parenting posts (among others of course). You encourage your daughter to think like an adult by guiding her to make better choices. You don’t force-feed your brand of right and wrong nor do you demand that she follow your ways or else… Don’t beat yourself for having a minor tough love moment or even a big fat one. We all need those sometimes, and I believe that women need them more than ever. We cannot afford to walk around this world in a snowflake shell. Reality isn’t always soft and we all need to be able to take it and get back up when it clobbers you.

        Planned or not, you’re a badass and she’s a badass. Mission accepted and accomplished baby. ❤️

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you! Need the parenting love this morning! My daughter asked me last night how we can fix the Boko Haram type problems and how to stop arranged marriages in India. I mean,we all know I can solve anything, but really 9pm on a Monday probably wasn’t my sharpest clarity in solving the world and it’s issues…..💗💗

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      3. Did you tell her that the stats on arranged marriages in the U.S. are actually pretty impressive? It’s something I can’t imagine, but it’s pretty interesting stuff. I love that she thinks about that kind of stuff. You have a wise one girl. She’s going to light up the world just like her mama! ❤️😘

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      4. Yeah…sometimes she gets into that over complicated world and I want to say “ of just watch some reality show and call it a day”

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  2. Preach it, sister! Parenting is a way of life that you never move away from. Thank you for sharing your story! ❤
    I'm the opposite, I wanted to have babies ever since I can remember. I wanted to be a mommy more than anything in the whole world! Once I was I was in my own concept of heaven.
    Until I wasn't.
    I lost myself in being a mommy. I did this purposefully and with loving intent, but I didn't know what it would feel like until I was already so lost, I didn't know how to differentiate between them and me.
    Here's what I know. Committing to your children is paramount. They need to feel safe and loved so they can do all the things they're meant to do. However, I also know it's a parent's duty to be a whole human in addition to being a parent. Kids need to see how to be a (relatively) well-rounded adult, and they look to their primary care givers for that example.
    I hope I've been a good example to my girls, an example of how to be a devoted and loving mom and still a woman in my own right.
    Kids need to see that.
    Parents need to be that.
    Showing your kids you love and respect them is easier that it seems. Showing your kids you love and respect yourself is a little bit harder. ❤

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    1. Totally agree. Taking time for yourself….SO easy to forget and get caught up in the whole mommy trap. But yeah…you have to nurture your kids. As always….balance….

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  3. Amen to that! I royally screwed it up the first time around…I will have to live with that for the rest of my life, not to mention what my poor daughter deals with having lived through it with me. But I am SO much better at it with daughter number 2. And you know…we are all so close. Messy or not, we have so much love for each other, all of us. Do I wish I could go back and change a million things? Of course. Yet somehow, we wound up pretty great. I will never cease to wonder at, or be grateful for that. I think the mid-thirties are a great time to have a kid, though. I know some people think it’s too old, but it has worked out pretty well for me. 🙂

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  4. Babies have never been my thing (your # 6,7). I couldn’t wait for my kids to get to be around 3 or 5 so that they could talk. I had 2 kids and stopped there. I was never one who wanted more than that. My whole life changed when I had kids but I didn’t want them when I married until about a year into the marriage. Then I was ready and poof pregnant. You’re a great Mom and I love your honesty. Keep up the inspiring work!

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  5. i don’t think you are a bad mom, at least from the posts you write. I don’t know that I was so anxious to have children because I had been the one who babysat the niece and nephews so I was pretty much burned out with taking care of kids. Even with my first husband we never talked about having children. When I met my current husband he had a two year plan for us…two years dating, two years married and then we’d start the family. Seemed reasonable to me at the time so that’s what we did. We had 3 altogether with a 23 month gap between the first and the second and an 8 year gap between the second and third. There are many things I do differently with the last one but I think that is just as much because of the changes in the world around us as it is with changing in our parenting skills. I’ve apologized to them all (now that they are adults) for things I feel I should have done differently.

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  6. I grew up never wanting kids. Then almost 5 years in my marriage we thought, why not?! But only one!
    3 1/2 years after that…whoops! Here’s baby #2!
    My kids have taught me about resilience, hope, laughter, and love. One survived childhood cancer and now we are surviving losing my husband and their father in a flash. I don’t now what I would do without them, even though the youngest one is a handful!

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  7. Shining through your writing I’ve sensed you gifted your daughter all the tools and life skills to make a happy and fulfilled life for herself……………. as an aside the older I become the more I feel parenthood wasn’t for me (I think that’s ok, not everyone is cut out for it?), I have a feeling I’d make a hash of it :/ but I’m cool with that decision.

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    1. I have a few friends who have chosen not to have children, and I applaud them , because it’s not easy, it’s not for everyone, and not everyone needs to be a parent

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  8. Love this post. I can relate to so much (except the part about not wanting kids. I would have 3 more and I love sniffing heads. Is there a 12 step for that?)

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  9. I don’t have children. I enjoyed my 20’s and 30’s and didn’t meet the man I thought about having a child with until I was 38 and he already had children; hence I became a step mom and then a grandmother at the early age of 42. Whew. If I could do it over again, would I change my course? No, I enjoyed my youth and I got to see a few of the kicks my step children gave my husband. Whew. I support and love them mostly 100 percent but man children are tough. The world continues on its course getting more challenging daily. I will enjoy my grandchildren but the truth is we don’t see them that often as their lives are very busy. I am ok with that. Sometimes people have children to solidify relationships and one thing I admit as an adult that if I had had children to solidify any of my past relationships, it would have been a disaster. I am grateful for understanding and seeing parenthood through my husband’s first marriage which ended abruptly. It is important to be with the right person.

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      1. I think the choice was made for me! That is nice of you to say this but it wasn’t planned. I thought by 25, I would have it all in Manhattan: the job, the husband, and possibly the child. Life is never linear. I do have good instincts and I made some good choices even when faced with some interesting yet very bad choices. Thanks for listening.

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  10. That was fun to read about your parenting. I think you are doing a great job. We had three children, and I’m so glad those hands-on days are over. The children are much more fun as adults. The grandsons are pure pleasure.

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  11. yeh, I’m not partial to babies and prefer someone else take care of the little poop machines. I prefer them to be a tad bit older so I can chase them, listen to them jabber on and play hard with them.

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  12. Oh yes, it’s a job! Lol. One I’m putting in over time for this week! All three home for 6 days straight no school in sight. Haha.
    But you are right, it’s a privilege too and one I wouldn’t give up although there are some days….. 😉

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  13. Wow! Brave admissions/confessions.

    First of all, women should never judge other women when it comes to the choice of motherhood. I know women in general never feel their choices, either way, are valued or taken seriously. That’s because motherhood and family values in this country has come from a fantasy male perspective that was forced upon our foremothers. So modern women often feel guilty if they want children, don’t want kids, want to work, or prefer to stay home. Nobody wins.
    Anyway you slice the deck, being a parent is difficult and life changing. And the fact that you took on that responsibility and have done your best is to be commended.

    Since I’m older than you, I was expected to get married shortly after college. It was expected that I’d have a child soon after. I waited 4 years after marrying young and was criticized for waiting too long. I was only 24 when I had my first child and I didn’t feel ready. I still felt like a kid. However, I never regretted becoming a mother. Pregnancy was miserable, but motherhood was and remains my greatest joy. I didnt regret becoming pregnant at 39 in my second marriage, or having my 2nd child just shy of 40. I love kids. But being a stay at home mom… not so much. I adore babies. But the toddler stage was a perfect time for me to go back to work. Lol. There’s no right or wrong way to be a mother if you love your child and are a responsible parent. We all need to let go of our guilt. And we women should stop judging others. We’re all trying our best, because parenting is really, really hard!

    Thanks for sharing your secrets.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The judging and expectations are the worst! Opinions about parenting and how we choose to raise them is individual. Everyone knows what they personally need, and you can’t place a value judgement or what’s wrong or right! Everyone has the right to choose their own adventure

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  14. Perhaps you were selfish before you became a mother, but you certainly aren’t now. Parenting does force us to focus on someone other than ourselves, doesn’t it? As you say, it changes everything, but in a mostly good way. (The over-worrying and over-thinking stuff sort of comes with the package, sadly.)

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  15. Amen to that! I was just telling my boyfriend’s co-worked the other day how parenthood really changes you as a person…. I then went into explicit detail about how satisfying it is to help your baby poop when he’s trying to push out a bowel movement. Oh the joys of parenting!

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