child drawing a family

Magnificently Scary

I often come across articles glorifying the role of mother. I am a mother myself, and I can say firsthand it’s a magnificent role to play. It is also difficult and challenging, as it takes a whole lot of responsibility to have a child. On the other hand, it’s a great joy and the biggest gift, which somehow overshadows all those difficult and terrifying things a mom is faced with. I am the kind of person that rarely wears rose-colored glasses, and let me make this very clear - sometimes it is both difficult and scary, but as I said, few smiles can wipe all the fears away. 

I would like all those women who - at one point in their lives - wanted to become mothers, to have their dream come true. But I’m aware that unfortunately, it will remain nothing more than a dream for some of them. Maybe I shouldn’t be saying it here, and maybe it will be completely out of context - but not having a child doesn’t make them less women, less persons, less important… No matter how wonderful it is to be a mom.

One Mom from my life has longed to become a mother for a long time, but all of her attempts failed one after the other. Until one day she decided (with her partner) that she would become a mother without actually giving birth to her child. A stack of paperwork, countless appointments with clerks and a number of inspections, months of waiting… We have talked about it, and I have witnessed everything. I remember her fear: “I will not give birth to her, will you love her?” I remember my response too: “Giving birth is the easiest thing to do…” Even though it sounded like a total nonsense, as she cannot bear a child, it’s completely true. I didn’t even tell her about love, everything became clear later…

It’s beautiful to see a plus sign on the pregnancy test and feel the life growing inside of you for nine months, tickling you at first, then caressing you - until the day it hits you so hard that it brings tears to your eyes. Both of my childbirths were easy ones, as I endured the pain almost perfectly. And the very act of giving birth is truly miraculous. But I’d say that all of this was nothing compared to what was yet to come, to what is still ongoing… Upbringing. Growing up. Because the real job starts after you give birth, that’s when the movie really begins. That is why I’ve told her that giving birth was the easiest part, because what comes later is what really matters - parenthood, care, love, joy… That is what one needs to know, want, endure and enjoy. She looked at me with understanding…

I knew from my own experience that a woman who did not give birth to you can love you, raise you and take care of you like a mother would do. That she can be your mother. I’ve said many times and I truly believe that if my birth mother needed to die, then God had a perfect plan - so he has sent my K to replace her. Yes, to take my mother’s place, much to the dismay of those with holier-than-thou attitude. I was bred and raised by a woman who did not give birth to me. Bred and raised, in the fullest sense of the phrase. Never, absolutely never will I have the grasp of the strength she had and the love she gave me, unburdened by the environment and free from all complexes. She must have been infinitely afraid - albeit she has never talked about it - but she has never let it distract her, discourage her, or push her in the wrong direction. A book should be written about her, and I owe her so much - and I sincerely hope that I’ve been giving back at least a part of the attention and love she is selflessly giving me and my children even today. She is more of a grandmother to my children than some women are to their ‘very own’ grandchildren. These few lines are nothing compared to how much I would like to say about her - and to her as well…  

I’ve said this to the Mom from the beginning of this story. I don’t want to disclose much, she knew this even without me telling her.

Did I help her, did it mean anything to her? I believe it did… Maybe sometimes she remembers our conversation, while putting her baby girl to sleep, a daughter she didn’t give birth to, but has been carrying in her heart for all of her life… and that’s where she got her from.

So, what’s my point? That giving birth is truly the easiest thing to do; that one does not become a mother by giving birth to a child, but by providing child with love and attention, with responsibility and care for that child, by having to live with fear, and joy that comes in later. There are so many sacrifices parents can make for their child, so many smiles they have to give even when they are scared to death, just to be the mainstay for their child…

Yes, it is magnificent and terrifying at the same time. And it is certainly not scarier or more magnificent than being a dad. No matter whether I have given birth, or not.

Author: Tea Memic

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