Tuesday, January 6, 2009

On Being A Mom

I was realizing something as I was commenting on LL's recent post titled Baby Cravings.

As I was putting words to the screen about why I can't wait to have another baby (and another and another and another) despite all practical reasons why I probably shouldn't, I realized that creating and raising a human will probably be the most rewarding challenge/accomplishment that I ever do. Yes, I plan on having a career, but after having Jacob, the thought of landing even the most prestigious and highly paid legal position out there will ever live up to what I do every day as a mom.

Of course, I cannot prove this for certain unless I ever land that amazing job, but really, I used to feel like the tasks I did everyday were all in preparation for the day my real life would start- aka: the day I became a full time, salaried careerist. But starting the day I met Jacob, it's like my "real life" suddenly jump started. I no longer look at the future as a list of milestones to achieve career wise or a list of "real people" tasks to accomplish (such as purchasing a newer home, acquiring nice paintings for that home, starting a retirement fund etc.).

Rather, I feel like everything else that used to be important to me has all of a sudden become part of the periphery. Jacob and my husband are the center and as long as I get to spend every day for the rest of my life getting to know them better, I will be happy. I would like to put my future JD to good use, considering how much it is costing me and how much I enjoy doing legal work. But if I never do, I think I would be ok with that.

I have always been about conquering challenges, setting and meeting goals, and accomplishing the next thing. I have always been ambitious when it came to my career. I wanted to be someone important and do important things. I had no idea how much being a mom would change all that. On September 2, 2008, I met the world. I saw my greater purpose. I found my greatest joy.

Hopefully by this time next year I will be settling in to take the bar and gearing up to start a new job as a first year associate. I will be excited to tackle new things and eager to work at setting a higher standard within my firm. But nothing will ever bring me as much satisfaction, sense of accomplishment or happiness as just being my children's mom for the rest of my life. In a way it is a little depressing that the most important thing I will do (create a life) is done. That is one reason why I want to look forward to having more children. Of course, I guess I have all that "child raising" left to do as well and I guess it will be just as rewarding to watch Jacob grow up. So them, being a mom is a constant and constantly-rewarding job.


CM said...

This is so interesting because it's how so many people told me I should feel after having a child. (But I don't.)

Giving birth is a miracle, but raising the child is the part that really puts you to the test! I think that's really the most important thing -- not simply creating the kid, but having them grow up to be secure, kind, loving people.

LEO said...

I think it's good to value your family the most because everything else might just be transitory in your life. You'll always have the people.

A career can still be really important and satisfying, even if it's second in line to your family. It seems like a good deal to have a full, rich life with kids, a spouse and a rewarding career if you can.

FSD said...

This is a beautiful post, Cee. I'd say that you have your priorities in line and that's always a good thing. Sadly, I think it's easy to get out of balance in our pursuit of "having it all." I have faith that you won't fall into that trap. Jacob is lucky to have you as a mommy. Keep enjoying the journey.

gudnuff said...

CM's line about "...simply creating the kid..." echoes something my father said. I was proud that I'd procreated and I said something to that effect to my dad. His response: "Well, that's great. Anybody can do that." Of course, he's roughly wrong and he's roughly right. Didn't change how I felt, though. Also didn't hurt to remind me that there IS more to one's personal path, if one chooses, than chidbirth. But my daughter is still my greatest pride, my greatest accomplishment and spending time with my husband and daughter is my greatest joy. The world could crumble, but it'd be fine as long as I could spend my days with them.