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Article: The Thing About Becoming a Mother


The Thing About Becoming a Mother

Today is a day unlike any other in recent years. For one, it’s slightly rainy outside (rare in Los Angeles). Second, I’m typing this on my phone while I’m riding on the subway, something I haven’t done in a long time; something I now realize, I’ve sorely missed. Third, I’m going on a day trip today that is all about what I want to do. rb_metrorb_metro1 See, the thing about becoming a mother (arguably more than a father) that I’m only really beginning to admit to now, more than two years into this role, is that I have given up a lot of things and pretended/forgotten that they mattered. I hear this from other mothers, too. Maybe because you’re so damned happy to have a baby or you’re too damned busy and overwhelmed to remember. And some of those things may have been really important to you and/or integral to who you are. And, actually, it begins before the kid is even born: if you’re carrying the child, the sacrifices (and anxiety) begin the minute you know you’re pregnant.

Maybe not all mothers see them as “sacrifices” per se, but there’s certainly an extended period of “giving up . . ”


For me, in total, I’ve really been looking at 4 ½ years of giving up various things, as I’ve been pregnant off and on since late 2010.
  • I gave up pretty much all vices as soon as I found out I was pregnant each time (and, to be honest, picked them back up in between each).
  • I gave up taking the Metro when I finally got to my third trimester partly for fear of getting sick, but also the klutz that I am was scared of falling down the ridiculously steep stairs/escalators at my two regular stations.
  • I gave up taking trips because of budget restraints and I simply was too preggers to even enjoy walking at times.
  • I continued to give up the Metro when my daughter was finally born because her daycares weren’t very accessible by public transportation and, admittedly, for fear of her or me getting sick.
  • When she reached toddler age, I gave up a couple of my freelance jobs and some personal projects because I simply couldn’t find quality time to spend with her, and give my all to the work.
  • I gave up any nights alone. (I honestly haven’t spent one night apart from my kid since she was born. Not that I’m complaining about this.)
  • In some ways, I stopped dreaming big dreams and the dreams that took their place were dreams of simply having a clean house and the opportunity to take a long shower.

You get it, parents, I don’t need to tell you this — we stop prioritizing ourselves. But is that a good thing for our kids? Which brings me back to my adventure today: I am currently heading to a vigil in downtown for victims of recent terrorist attacks in France. My husband questioned why it mattered so much to me to go. It’s not like I’ve been politically active in recent years (save two community meetings: one regarding homelessness and another on crime and safety). And I was incredibly defensive to the point I was driven to tears, unexpectedly. “Why now?” he asked.


  • Because I'm a writer.
  • Because I work with artists.
  • Because I’m scared.
  • Because I’m angry.
  • Because I want to be with other people who are feeling the way I do instead of living in this self-imposed bubble I have been living in.
  • Because I want to be part of something bigger than me.
  • Because I have had three miscarriages and if there were a gathering for people who were sad about them, I'd go to that, too.
  • Because I’m terribly upset about cancer and injustice and healthy food being too expensive and want to find time to do something about those things, too.
  • Because I don't want to feel alone.
Motherhood does feel that way sometimes. Lonely. For as much love as I get from my daughter and joy from caring for her, I often get confused about who I am along the way, and that’s where the loneliness comes from. I miss me. Now that my daughter is older, I want us both to realize that I'm more than just the one who gets her to brush her teeth, kisses her owies when she’s sad and applauds her when she learns something new. I'm the one who mourns with others, who likes to sometimes act like a child instead of an adult, who wants to fight for things that help more than just our family — a woman we both could be proud of. A woman who still dreams.   Interested in more parenting posts? Click HERE. Or check out the posts below!


The Twitter Account That Will Make Your Day


Are Superheroes Good or Bad for Kids?


Choosing Pets over Babies

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