I've never thought of myself as the mothering type. I've never gravitated towards babies - if I feel compelled to "ooo" and "ahh" I do so from a distance. If you have a baby, its unlikely I'll ask if I can hold him or her.
I always equated having a child with a lot of work and responsibility rather than fun and wonderment. Hence my apprehension about having children, even just one. I knew it would be a big adjustment for me - that being a mother wouldn't come naturally to me. This was highlighted even more by Tim's natural instincts as a father. Kids gravitate to him. They must sense his superior capabilities as a care-giver and provider of needs and affection.
So when I learned I was pregnant, the "excitement" that everyone constantly asks you about - if I was asked "Are you excited?!?!" once in the past 10 months, I was asked a thousand times - was not present right away, nor was it readily available as Jack's arrival got closer.
Don't get me wrong - it's not that I wasn't looking forward to meeting Jack - the perfect sum of Tim and I. I just didn't know what to expect from myself - would I be a good mom? Would I be as good a mother as the examples set for me by other women in my life? Or would I be too self-absorbed to give my baby the best he deserved? Would I sink into a deep hole of postpartum depression? Would my marriage unravel from all the stress? What if something was wrong with Jack? What if he had down-syndrome, or some sort of birth defect? What if he was deaf, or blind, or.... (fill in the blank)? All these questions, though they stayed at bay for the most part of my pregnancy, did tend to cloud my better judgement as well as my ability to feel any sort of excitement. I spent a lot of my time praying over this little baby, begging God that he be whole and healthy and that no harm would come to him. And of course, God is good and gave us our little miracle (and he is such a miracle) in perfect time and place. I can't tell you how many times I woke up that first night after his birth with praises pouring from lips for God's goodness and mercy.
The other day I was asked, "Do you love being a mom?!?" and I really didn't have a concise answer. Truth be told, I'm still figuring out what it means to be a mom. I'm still getting comfortable in my mothering skin as well as trying to knit together this new identity with the old. I have yet to truly feel what it is to be a mother. It's as if my brain hasn't caught up with reality - as if it can not fathom how Lauren Myers is suddenly a mom. And so the label sits uncomfortably in the wings, waiting to be welcomed in. And while I know I'll never be the kind of mom that identifies herself, no matter what the context, as "Jack's Mommy" (I'm determined never to lose my sense of self in the life of my child) I'm certain that in the very near future, I will own my role as "mother" with confidence and ease. For now, I know this - I love that God gave me Jack and I love that God chose me to look after him. Jack is easy to love, that's for certain. And every day my love for him grows more and more.