Read an Excerpt
Motherhood: A Transformation
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 extraordinaire.
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.
(Chicken Soup for Every Mom's Soul)