There comes a point in a parent’s life when you realize rather quickly that you’re no longer number one. You’re not the most important person in your spouse’s world and your needs are certainly not more important than that of your child. I don’t remember there being any sort of epiphany for me after Annabelle was born – it just happened. One day I was doing me and the next day “me” didn’t matter because there was an infant who needed to be fed, regardless of the level of my exhaustion. Annabelle looked me in the eyes as I held her after she was born and her gaze went straight to the center of my being. She took my breath away in the most amazing way and I knew… I knew I was the luckiest person on the planet because she chose me to be her Mommy.
There were days during the first two and a half years of motherhood that I doubted my ability to be selfless. While my daughter threw a fit because she couldn’t slide down the stairs on her stomach, I wanted to stomp my feet and scream, “I don’t get to do half of what I want to do and you don’t see me throwing a tantrum!” On more than one occasion, I was tired, cranky, and sometimes miserable. But I reminded myself that the little girl who took priority was the center of my world in a good way. She was my everything and I would toss myself in front of a bus for her.
She is the only one who has heard my heart beat from the inside after all.
I knew when we added another little one to our family that my needs would be buried even more. I tried to mentally prepare myself for the change, but how do you prepare for the unknown? It’s hard to imagine a screaming baby and needy toddler sitting in separate rooms and losing their minds at the same exact time. Now there would be even more moments when I couldn’t fulfill my most basic needs until the needs of my children were met. Would I get mad about this? Sure. It’s only natural to get angry if you haven’t had anything to eat in hours except the sip of coffee you made six hours ago and while you’re trying to open a granola bar, your oldest poops on the carpet. But it happened – just like it did with Annabelle. In the blink of an eye (or rather after 9 hours of labor), I became third on the totem pole.
Ailey grabbed my finger the second she was placed in my arms and I knew… I knew I was the luckiest person on the planet. She chose me to be her Mommy and my tears of gratitude flowed openly.
I feel honored Annabelle and Ailey have chosen me to be their Mommy. There are days when I feel like I’m drowning, and I just want to pee in peace, but those tough times are forgotten more quickly than you could ever imagine. I love my daughters with every ounce of my being and wouldn’t trade the insanity for more me time.
We are chosen.
Parenthood is both a privilege and a gift that comes with a price. Giving up your life seems extreme, but in hindsight, the cost is minuscule compared to the countless moments your heart will feel like it is exploding with love. Being a parent is not about what you’ve given up to have a child, it’s about what you’ve gained. Parenthood is selfless – it’s a job you should never take if you think you belong at the center of everyone’s universe. Your children will always be your main focus and priority in life since being a parent means loving your children more than you ever loved yourself.