Ever since I was a little girl I wanted to be a mom. I remember my sister and I would spend hours using our imaginations playing “house”, and we would argue about who would play the mom and who would play the child. Being the younger sibling I would typically lose that argument and play the child, but when she let me play the mom I was overjoyed.
As a teenager I envisioned being married by 23 and having my first child soon after. For some reason, this number was always in my head. But after going to college and setting my sights on grad school, marriage seemed like the last thing on my mind when I actually became that age.
It was around that time though that I ventured into a long term relationship. I thought he was going to be the one but when we ended things many years later, I found myself single in my very late 20’s.
I wasn’t sure when the reality of being married and becoming a mother was actually going to happen.
When I found myself still single in my early 30’s, I set my sights on working in the corporate world and getting my doctorate instead of focusing on a relationship. At the time, motherhood was still something I desperately wanted and even considered freezing my eggs so I had some while I was still young. I was so scared of my biological clock and the fear of me never finding my husband and having children.
I never ended up freezing my eggs in hopes that I would find “the one” while getting my doctorate. It was at this time in my life a friend of mine suggested that I start praying for my future husband. I knew God had a plan and had a husband for me, I just wasn’t sure if I had met him yet, but I prayed for him nonetheless.
I often joked with my friends that I was destined to meet my husband in grad school, and that I did. And it turns out that I had met him before I started praying for him, but we were just friends at the time. Things seemed like they were finally on the right track to motherhood. However, shortly after we were married, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and I was instructed by my doctors to wait on trying to get pregnant.
I underwent two lumpectomies and then had to wait six months after my surgeries to get a clear mammogram before I was given the green light on trying for a baby. I knew it was vital I took care of my health, but it broke my heart to wait even longer to be a mother, especially now that I was married and had matured much more than when I was at 23. Thankfully, I was blessed with a clear mammogram all of those months later and we immediately started trying for a baby the following month.
I’m not sure what I expected, but we ended up getting pregnant immediately. It seemed so easy. I am convinced God gave me the pregnancy as a gift so quickly after everything I had been through the previous year. I ended up having a very easy pregnancy and loved every second of it. It felt like I had finally found myself as a human and a woman.
Motherhood was my calling.
It began the second I heard her first cry. It was so surreal. And as soon as my little girl was in my arms for the first time, my entire life as I once knew it had changed. I had never loved anyone as much as I loved her. Suddenly, all of my priorities changed.
My perspectives changed. My faith changed. I had a new sense of maturity and a new outlook on the world. And even though my marriage changed, my body changed, my friendships changed, and my life changed as I once knew it, it was better and richer somehow. I felt happier and more fulfilled. And I felt like I was welcomed to a special new club with a badge of honor. I was now an exclusive member of an exclusive club of women. If you are a mother you understand. If you aren’t quite yet, you’ll understand when you have a child.
Motherhood is about shared experiences, support, and a society I call the ‘sisterhood of motherhood’. It is a group I’m blessed to be a part of.
To a certain extent, I think I took my first pregnancy for granted because it was so easy to get pregnant. My husband and I wanted more children and needed to do so quickly because of my age, so we started trying as soon as our daughter turned one. And we kept trying. And trying. We went through an agonizing year and a half of every test you can think of as well as emotional, financial, physical and mental heartache and distress.
We had what doctors called secondary infertility and unexplained infertility. Having a title to our pain and deep desire to have another child didn’t make our efforts any easier. I prayed and prayed and prayed. I honestly got to a point where I was certain it wasn’t going to happen and for the first time in my entire life on this earth, I questioned my faith. My husband held strong and kept my faith and hope alive. Then during the month I deemed “the giving up month” where the odds were surely against us, we got pregnant.
Motherhood is a miracle.
Once our son was born I knew there was a reason we waited.
God created a perfect human for us. Our son is healthy and strong. And I am so in love with him. I am grateful we eventually got pregnant after what felt like an eternity but it was really just shy of a year and a half. I am fortunate because I had just a glimpse of knowing what it must feel like for some women that may never experience two positive lines or the way a baby kicks inside, or what it feels like to hold a baby made up of their own genetics in their arms. And my heart aches for those women who have the desire to get pregnant and can’t. I had a taste of that feeling and I wish more than anything that no women would ever feel what I felt.
Motherhood is a privilege.
Motherhood is sacrifice. Motherhood is patience. Motherhood is forgiveness. Motherhood is learning. Motherhood is overcoming. Motherhood is selflessness.
Motherhood is crying yourself to sleep on the hard days and waking up the next morning to try again. Motherhood can be raw. Motherhood is also pure happiness.
Motherhood is also crying about all the beautiful moments and memories you make with your children and how you wish time would go in slow motion or even stand still once in a while. Motherhood is the biggest blessing that God has ever given me, and I am eternally grateful, not just once but twice.
It is not easy to become a mother. It is not easy being a mother. Motherhood is by far the most challenging role I’ve ever had in my life, but also the most rewarding and precious gift I have ever been given.
Motherhood is an honor. Motherhood has given me a purpose in life beyond my wildest dreams.
Motherhood is my pure joy.
And even though I had a baby just over 3 months ago, strangers and friends alike keep asking me if I am having more children. And if it weren’t for my age I would have more babies. I have a happy, beautiful, healthy, smart little girl, and a happy, handsome, healthy, smart little boy. I can’t ask for much more.
We are most likely done, but as a woman and a mom it is the most painful thing for me to admit and say I am finished having babies.
So instead I will say “we will wait and see”, as I reflect on all the wonderful things motherhood means to me.
Dr. Kim is a wife as well as a mom of a toddler and a new baby. After years of experience in television and radio, Dr. Kim became the owner/founder of her own brand and blog called The Parentologist. The Parentologist w/ Dr. Kim is a resource for moms and moms-to-be about everything parenting with a therapeutic twist. Dr. Kim is a doctorate in psychology, a licensed marriage and family therapist, a registered play therapist specializing in children 0-7 years old, a university professor, a public speaker, and an influencer. Dr. Kim speaks at various conferences and events, facilitates weekly prenatal/postpartum mom support groups, conducts monthly parenting workshops, and offers parenting consultations nationwide. Dr. Kim is in the process of opening a private practice with her husband and hopes to soon author books and have her own parenting talk show! Please visit her at http://theparentologist.com and on social media @theparentologist on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter! To collaborate or to schedule a parenting consultation, please email her at email@example.com.