Motherhood: A Transformation

Motherhood: A Transformation

From Chicken Soup for Every Mom's Soul

Motherhood: A Transformation

Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing.

Phyllis Diller

Once upon a time I was a nurse, a writer and a wife. Then one day, I had a child. I became a mother.

Added to the list of things I previously was, I became: a chauffeur, a cook, a dresser, a wiper of dirty faces, a cleaner of soiled diapers, a retriever of thrown socks, a finder of lost shoes, a doer of homework, an insomniac. I was a referee in toy wars, a slayer of nighttime dragons, a soother of nervous school jitters. I was a room mother, a den mother, a leader of Girl Scouts, and one day, mother of the bride. I calmed tantrums and bolstered fragile egos.

With each passing day my talents grew: I became a baker of cookies, a sewer of Halloween costumes extraor-dinaire. I could braid hair in the time most people wash their faces. And I could smile even when I didn’t want to.

Where once my body had been my own to do with as I pleased, it now belonged to someone else. It became: a breast to nourish at, a shoulder to cry on, a lap to sit and cuddle upon. My lips became the kissers of boo-boos, my hips the transporters of small, squirmy bundles. My feet were now used to walk the floor at all hours of the night, my arms became a cradle. I grew eyes in the back of my head, and my hearing became supersonic.

Once upon a time my name was Peggy. Then I became a mother and had as many aliases as a con man. I became— at various times—Mm, Ma-ma, Ma, Mommie, Mom, Mother, MOTHER! And for a brief period of mental vexation, “Peg.”

My mind, which used to flourish with egocentric thoughts, now became filled with irrational ideations: What if she falls out of the crib? What if he chokes on his food? What if I do or say the wrong thing? How will I know I’m a good parent? How will I know I’m a bad one?

My house, once so orderly and tidy became a disorderly jumble of toys and stuffed animals, dried peas and empty, strewn formula bottles; a carpet of clutter and chaos; a dwelling of disarray.

My heart, once only given to another, was now taken from me and filled to the brim, bursting with devotion and love.

I was a Mother. I was an icon. I’d done something no man had ever done, accomplished a feat so death defying and magical that many wouldn’t even attempt it. I became a Mother. And in so doing, I became all that I was, all that I ever wished to be.

Peggy Jaeger

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