Do I make it sound as if becoming a mother makes a woman grow fangs? Pardon me. Although that's figuratively true, too. Like one could be capable of brandishing sharp claws to protect her young ones from all the harm in this world. But so different is a mother because one moment, one can be a symbol of bravado and be unyielding. Yet squishy, mushy soft, the next. (And I'm definitely like this all the time)
But when I say different, I am not implying that we are unkind, uncaring persons before the Delivery-Room moment. Maybe we were good. Now, better. And different. Certainly different.
Somewhat dogmatic me, for instance, likes a quiet bedtime and orderly bed. But when you have a toddler at home, who cares about “quiet and order”? I tell you, the peals of laughter from the tot will all be your source of comfort and joy. And then you just have to put “order” in the garbage bin and forget about it. Because you just cannot throw a fit when you find yourself sharing the bed with more than just your kid, but the whole troop of soft, hard and metallic toys!
In the past, I used to squirm when I see women nursing their babies in public places. I didn't imagine I'll be able to do that too. No, not when there are people who might gawk. Not in my wildest dream. I never really expected myself to be capable of that. I didn't know that one kid later, I would be in for a surprise.
I have changed. Maybe not too drastically. But that makes me feel different.
Sometimes, I think I must be too sensitive already. A month ago, we saw a seventy-something man who works abroad as a garbage collector or something. He was featured on TV and he said he hasn't seen his family, his kids for a very long time because he doesn't earn that much to be able to afford the expenses of coming home. That moved me and made me shed some tears (not copious but tears all the same) because I felt his pain, his deep longing as a parent to see his kids.
I cry over the life story of seventy-something, but how much more for the little ones?
And that brings me to the answering why I’m writing what I’m writing. Because THAT is exactly why I’m writing what I’m writing now.
I feel different, and most especially when the subject is the children. When I hear of a nine-month old to undergo an open-heart surgery, to correct a congenital disease. When I see a grubbily-clad toddler lying on the sidewalk or bare-footed youngsters rummaging through a pile of garbage. When I read about Annie’s daughter. Or read about the plight of exploited and abused kids, I feel different.
I look at them with mother’s eyes, listen with mother's ears and feel for them with mother’s heart. And pray for them like they are my own.
How did motherhood change you?