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You are here : home > Pregnancy > Related Articles for Pregnancy > Mother to Daughter

Mother to Daughter

Mother to Daughter

We are sitting at lunch when my daughter casually mentions that she 
and her  husband are thinking of "starting a family". We're taking a survey," she says, half-joking. "Do you think I should have a baby?" "It will change your life," I say, carefully keeping my tone neutral.   
"I know," she says, "no more sleeping in on weekends, no more spontaneous vacations.." But that is not what I meant at all. I look at my daughter, trying to decide what to tell her.  

I want her to know what she will never learn in childbirth classes.  I want to tell her that the physical wounds of child bearing will heal, but that becoming a mother will leave her with an emotional wound so raw that she will forever be vulnerable. 

I consider warning her that she will never again read a newspaper without asking, "What if that had been MY child?"; that every plane crash, every house fire will haunt her; that when she sees pictures of starving children, she will wonder if anything could be worse than watching your child die. 

I look at her carefully manicured nails and stylish suit and think that no matter how sophisticated she is, becoming a mother will reduce her to the primitive level of a bear protecting her cub. That an urgent call of "Mom!" will cause her to drop a souffle or her best crystal without a moment's hesitation. I feel I should warn her that no 
matter how many years she has invested in  her career, she will be professionally derailed by motherhood. 

She might arrange for childcare, but one day she will be going into an important business meeting and she will think of her baby's sweet smell. She will have to use every ounce of her discipline to keep from running home, just to make sure her baby is alright. I want my daughter to know that everyday decisions will no longer be routine. That a five year old boy's desire to go to the men's room rather than the women's at McDonald's will become a major dilemma.  That right there, in the midst of clattering trays and screaming children, issues of independence and gender identity will be weighed against the prospect that a child molester may be lurking in that restroom. However, decisive she may be at the office, she will second-guess herself constantly as a mother. 

Looking at my attractive daughter, I want to assure her that eventually she will shed the pounds of pregnancy, but she will never feel the same about herself. That her life, now so important, will be of less value to her once she has a child.  That she would give it up in a moment to save her offspring, but will also begin to hope for more years - not to accomplish her own dreams, but to watch her children accomplish their dreams. I want her to know that a cesarean scar or shiny stretch marks will become badges of honor.  My daughter's relationship with her husband will change, but not in the way she thinks. I wish she could understand how much more you can love a man who is careful to powder the baby or who never hesitates to play with his child.  I think she should know that she will fall in love with him again for reasons she would now find very unromantic.

I wish my daughter could sense the bond she will feel with women throughout history who have tried to stop war, prejudice and drunk driving. I hope she will understand why I can think rationally about most issues, but become temporarily insane when I discuss the threat of 
nuclear war to my children's future. 

I want to describe to my daughter the exhilaration of seeing your child learn to ride a bike.  I want to capture for her the belly laugh of a baby who is touching the soft fur of a dog or a cat for the first time.  I want her to taste the joy that is so real it actually hurts. 

My daughter's quizzical look makes me realize that tears have formed in my eyes.  "You'll never regret it," I finally say. Then I reach across the table, squeeze my daughter's hand and offer a silent prayer for her, and for me, and for all of the mere mortal women who stumble their way into this most wonderful of callings. This blessed gift from God - that of being a Mother.

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Tina.4 years ago
I can't get through this article without crying. So, so awesome.
Mother.9 years ago
motherhood is a blessing.
Shai.9 years ago
this was the most beautiful article i have read in a long time. i couldn't stop my tears as i was reading it. definitely very true and correct! i was thinking of my 2 year old daughter, my unborn daughter, and my mother all at the same time as i was reading it. it really touched my heart. a wonderful article and very well written!!
Shailly.9 years ago
this is absolutely true..!!!!!!!!
Sheilaja.9 years ago
that was so sweet ! at 4 months of pregnancy it was so wonderful to read this ... could not stop tears !
Jia.9 years ago
wonderfully woven sentiments that took me on a roller coaster ride as i remembered breaking the news of my pregnancy to my mother, and the 2 wonderful years that i have now shared with my daughter.....every bit of it is just the way this mother is telling her daughter ... i hope to save this article to pass it on to my child somewhere down the road
Smitha.9 years ago
the treasure and joy of motherhood is being portrayed very nicely.narration is excellent and it is so touching as well as true to the core.i tried hard to hold back my tears.
Mother.9 years ago
its truely said, because god could not reach everywhere he created mother. thanks mom!! you are the greatest gift ever to every child.
lina.9 years ago
wondefully expressed !!! just couldn't hold back tears at 6 months of pregnancy......
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