I wasn’t one of those people who always knew I’d be a parent. I loved baby dolls growing up (playing house, etc.), and babysat a ton during high school and college, but didn’t know for sure that I’d be a mom. I liked kids, but I didn’t feel intrinsically wired to be a parent, as some other girls I knew did. Once I hit my 20s, I was kind of on the fence as to whether kids would be in the cards for me.
When I met Kevin, though, I realized I did want to be a parent — because I wanted to parent with him. It wasn’t that I just wanted to be a mother, but that I specifically wanted to be the mother of his children. It was an interesting shift and realization, and one I was excited to uncover.
Kevin and I intentionally waited a while before introducing the kid piece to the equation. We were mindfully selfish with our time and attention during the first few years of our marriage, knowing that at some point we’d probably be entering a very different chapter as parents. I think being so aware of this child-free time was so helpful for us in feeling ready to transition into parenthood. Rather than feeling resentful about the changes, we felt ready.
The whole time I was pregnant with Maggie, I felt excited to be a mother. I kept trying to imagine what that might actually feel like, to be connected to someone in that way. I felt pretty sure it was a role I’d love — one I was ready for.
And then Maggie was born. And I got to know her a bit. And I had this realization that I wasn’t just fortunate to be a mother — I was lucky enough to be this SPECIFIC person’s mother. It was an obvious realization, but one I hadn’t considered before she was born. I’m not just a mama — I’m Maggie’s mama. And there’s no other title I want more.
Similarly, I knew I’d fall in love with Kevin even more seeing him as a father. I was confident he’d be amazing in this new role — nurturing and patient and kind. And he is, but it’s so much MORE incredible watching him be Maggie’s father than I’d pictured. Seeing him connect with this little girl — and watching her stare at him with such love and trust — makes my heart swell with adoration for this man. (Maggie-girl, you got yourself a really great daddy. You’re a lucky girl!)
When I’m not with Maggie, I have this overwhelming urge for people to know I’m a mother. I want to stop fellow Trader Joe’s shoppers and show them a picture of my baby and talk to them about how wonderful she is. (Don’t worry — I don’t actually do that!) It makes me feel slightly obsessed and crazy, but I’m okay with it. I just love this baby girl so much — and I love my new role as her mom.
As someone just over four weeks into this whole parenthood thing, I by no means have it all figured out. There are still so many unknowns out there, and I know we’ll run into situations that will be challenging and scary and joyful and surprising (sometimes separately and sometimes all at once). In the meantime, I’m trying to be as present as possible. Time is already going by faster than I’d like (as I’d been warned by every parent I’ve talked to over the last few weeks and months), and Maggie seems to change and grow every day.
I’m so lucky. My life is full of love in a way I’ve never experienced before. Thank you, Maggie, for letting me be your mama!