Thursday, August 17, 2006
Taking the plunge
It's really about sharing the joy - honest it is!
Why do MWCs try to talk MWOCs into having children? Is it some club that is just trying to enlarge its membership? A friend of mine asked me recently why it was that MWCs all touted the wonders of parenthood and then acted as if they had won the lottery as soon as they could foist the kids off onto someone else. My reply at the time was simply “Time away from the kids doesn’t happen very often so when it does, its feels as if you’ve won the lottery.”
But it’s more than that. I think it really has to do with remembering who you were before you had children. That carefree, ”I don’t have to worry about anyone but myself” person that you used to be. With children comes responsibility, there’s no getting around it. You now have a person or persons that are dependent on your for their most basic needs not to mention their physical, mental and emotional wellness. As a parent you have the daunting task of feeding, clothing, teaching and hopefully loving (although sometimes this is difficult at 3 AM with no sleep) this little person who may not want you to do any of those things. So when you have a chance to return to some semblance of that person, you grab for it with both hands.
Now back to why parents want everyone to share in the joys of parenthood. I’ve realized that parenting comes in three flavors – mindless tedium, frantic worrying and those wonderful Eureka moments. “Mindless tedium?” you say. Think of that old commercial where the guy continually opens the door to the refrigerator repeating “Mom can I have a cookie?” over and over and you’ll get my meaning. Sometimes you just want to scream until something different happens…and then it does. Enter frantic worrying. My friend Beth put it best when she said “It’s like you took half your heart and half your mind and put them in someone else’s body and they are out there walking around, completely oblivious.” Is it any wonder that Mom’s are notoriously scattered? Now, interspersed in between these are the Eureka moments. These are the moments that make the rest all worthwhile. Like when, out of the blue you child says “I love you Mommy”, or the feel of those little arms giving you a big hug, or the lump of pride you get in your throat when your child accomplishes something that they’ve really worked hard at. If you are a parent, you already know what I mean and if you aren’t, you won’t have the slightest inkling of the depth of emotion that I am describing.
So it’s these Eureka moments that drive MWCs to tout the joys of parenthood. Honestly, these moments are like ambrosia to a starving person. They are the heady, yell for joy type of moments and the small, quiet moments that happen every day. At times they are so poignant that you find yourself smiling days, weeks or even years later when something brings back the memory. Does that answer the question?