Thursday, April 30, 2009

Want to have a good cry?

I found this and it made me bawl my eyes out.

Motherhood... It Will Change Your Life
By Dale Hanson Bourke

from Everyday Miracles and Chicken Soup for the Woman's Soul

Time is running out for my friend.

We are sitting at lunch when she casually mentions that she and her husband are thinking
of "starting a family." What she means is that her biological clock
has begun its countdown and she is considering the prospect of motherhood.

"We're taking a survey," she says, half jokingly. "Do you think I should have
a baby?"

"It will change your life," I say carefully.

"I know," she says. "No more sleeping in on Saturdays, no more spontaneous

But that is not what I mean at all.

I look at my friend, trying to decide what to tell her. I want her to know what
she will never learn in childbirth classes. I want to tell her that the physical
wounds of childbirth heal, but that becoming a mother will leave her with an emotional
wound so raw that she will be forever vulnerable.

I consider warning her that she will never read a newspaper again without asking
"What if that had been my child?" That every plane crash, every fire
will haunt her. That when she sees pictures of starving children, she will look
at the mothers and wonder if anything could be worse than watching your child

I look at her carefully manicured nails and stylish suit and think she should know
that no matter how sophisticated she is, becoming a mother will immediately reduce
her to the primitive level. That a slightly urgent call of "Mom!" will
cause her to drop her best crystal without a moment's hesitation.

I feel I should warn her that no matter how many years she has invested in her career,
she will be professionally derailed by motherhood. She might successfully arrange
for child care, but one day she will be waiting to go into an important business
meeting, and she will think about her baby's sweet smell. She will have to use
every ounce of discipline to keep from running home, just to make sure he is all

I want my friend to know that everyday routine decisions will no longer be routine.
That a visit to Mc Donald's and a five year old boy's desire to go to the men's
room rather than the women's room will become a major dilemma. That right there,
in the midst of clattering trays and screaming children, issues of independence
and gender identity will be weighed against the prospect that danger may be lurking
in the rest room.

I want her to know that however decisive she may be at the office, she will second-guess
herself constantly as a mother. Looking at my attractive friend, I want to assure
her that eventually she will shed the pounds of pregnancy, but will never feel
the same about herself. That her life, now so important, will be of less value
to her once she has a child. That she would give it up in a moment to save her
offspring, but will also begin to hope for more years, not so much to accomplish
her own dreams, but to watch her child accomplish his.

I want her to know that a cesarean scar or stretch marks will become badges of honor.

My friend's relationship with her husband will change, but not in the ways she thinks.
I wish she could understand how much more you can love a man who is always careful
to powder the baby or who never hesitates to play with his son. I think she should
know that she will fall in love with her husband again for reasons she would never
have imagined.

I wish my modern friend could sense the bond she will feel with other women throughout
history who have tried desperately to stop war and prejudice and drunk driving.

I want to describe to my friend the exhilaration of seeing your son learn to hit
a baseball. I want to capture for her the laugh of a baby who is touching the
soft fur of a dog for the first time. I want her to taste the joy that is so real
that it hurts.

My friend's quizzical look makes me realize that tears have formed in my eyes.

"You'll never regret it," I say finally.

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