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Read this slush, dare you not to have a teeny tiny tear in your eye...

(42 Posts)
endless Tue 02-Jun-09 12:31:02

We are sitting at lunch when my daughter casually mentions that she and her husband are thinking of "starting family."

"We're taking a survey," she says, half-joking. "Do you think I should have a baby?"

"It will change your life," I say, carefully keeping my tone neutral.

"I know," she says, "No more sleeping in on weekends, no more spontaneous holidays...."
But that is not what I meant at all. I look at my daughter, trying to decide what to tell her.

I want her to know what she will never learn in childbirth classes.
I want to tell her that the physical wounds of child bearing will heal, but that becoming a mother will leave her with an emotional wound so raw that she will forever be vulnerable.

I consider warning her that she will never again read a newspaper without asking "what if that had been my child?" that every plane crash, every house fire will haunt her. That when she sees pictures of starving children, she will wonder if anything could be worse than watching your child die.

I look at her carefully manicured nails and stylish suit and think that no matter how sophisticated she is, becoming a mother will reduce her to the primitive level of a bear protecting her cub. That an urgent call of "mum!" will cause her to drop a soufflé or her best crystal without a moment's hesitation.

I feel I should warn her that no matter how many years she has invested in her career, she will be professionally derailed by motherhood.
She might arrange for childcare, but one day she will be going into an important business meeting and she will think of her baby's sweet smell. She will have to use every ounce of her discipline to keep from running home, just to make sure her baby is all right.

I want my daughter to know that everyday decisions will no longer be routine. That a five year old boy's desire to go to the men's room rather than the women's at McDonald's will become a major dilemma.
That right there, in the midst of clattering trays and screaming children, issues of independence and gender identity will be weighed against the prospect that a child
molester may be lurking in that restroom.
However decisive she may be at the office, she will second-guess herself instantly as a mother.

Looking at my attractive daughter, I want to assure her that eventually she will shed the pounds of pregnancy, but she will never feel the same about herself. That her life, now so important, will be of less value to her once she has a child. That she would give it up in a moment to save her offspring, but will also begin to hope for more years-not to accomplish her own dreams, but to watch her child accomplish theirs.

I want her to know that a cesarean scar or shiny stretch marks will become badges of honour.

My daughter's relationship with her husband will change, but not in the way she thinks. I wish she could understand how much more you can love a man who is careful to powder the baby or who never hesitates to play with his child. I think she should know that she will fall in love with him again for reasons she would now find very unromantic.

I wish my daughter could sense the bond she will feel with women throughout history who have tried to stop war, prejudice and drunk driving. I hope she will understand why I can think rationally about most issues, but become temporarily insane when I discuss the threat of nuclear war to my children's future.

I want to describe to my daughter the exhilaration of seeing your child learn to ride a bike. I want to capture for her the belly laugh of a baby who is touching the soft fur of a dog or a cat for the first time. I want her to taste the joy that is so real, it actually hurts.

My daughter's quizzical look makes me realize that tears have formed in my eyes. "You'll never regret it," I finally say. Then I reach across the table squeeze my daughter's hand and offer a silent prayer for her, and for me, and for all of the mere mortal women who stumble their way into this most wonderful of callings.

puppie Tue 02-Jun-09 12:39:57

Sob! (wipes a tear away)

Castiel Tue 02-Jun-09 12:46:03

Nah, too schmaltzy. Well 'ard me.

tonysoprano Tue 02-Jun-09 12:47:02

Booing at my desk

dustbuster Tue 02-Jun-09 12:48:04

"a child molester may be lurking in that restroom" hmm

SheherazadetheGoat Tue 02-Jun-09 12:49:25

i fail to describe teh equisite pain of a tiny fingernail removing half your nostril lining and the chuckling as you howl in pain.

i fail to warn her that noone else is interested in her childs bowel movements and such talk should be reserved for toddler groups and even then the others are just feigning interest.

i fail to warn her that babies grow into children adn she might want to give that some thought.

TrillianAstra Tue 02-Jun-09 12:50:19

An example of how parenthood makes you irrational I think, dustbuster.

kormachameleon Tue 02-Jun-09 12:51:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

beanieb Tue 02-Jun-09 12:53:34

barf

but then I suppose I have all this to discover or something...

muffle Tue 02-Jun-09 12:58:02

Some of it's very true, though vom-inducingly written.

But "she will be professionally derailed by motherhood" - is outrageous. She may be, but if she is it's not her fault nor is it because of her decision. And it doesn't have to happen. This mother is doing her daughter a huge disservice if she leads her to think that's inevitable and what she should expect. Grrr.

RealityIsMyOnlyDelusion Tue 02-Jun-09 12:59:16

Message withdrawn

puppie Tue 02-Jun-09 13:00:35

But "she will be professionally derailed by motherhood"

Hmmm Muffle, Unfortunately it does happen and more often than people think even though we're meant to be 'protected' by law against discrimination. It happened to me and to two other ladies in my close circle of friends.

wastingmyeducation Tue 02-Jun-09 13:04:47

That's the point beanieb smile

<sniff>

ihavenewsockson Tue 02-Jun-09 13:08:40

<wipes eyes>

stroppyknickers Tue 02-Jun-09 13:11:23

sorry. Pass the sick bucket. You did dare us...

titchy Tue 02-Jun-09 13:11:59

Boak. Can't say I ever went into any meeting yearning for my baby's smell.... I certainly don't feel any particular bond with women in history either. And my CS scar is not a badge of honour...

stroppyknickers Tue 02-Jun-09 13:13:19

mine just reminds me to go high waisted in clothing.

endless Tue 02-Jun-09 13:40:45

grin
smile
This makes me cry so much every time i read it.
Think its by an American author, not sure who though. Someone sent it to me when ds was a baby.
I was professionally derailed when i became a mum, defo was. Not so much now, am back on track.

smallorange Tue 02-Jun-09 13:45:09

She forgot to inform her daughter that if she values her soft furnishings she should not have children.

muffle Tue 02-Jun-09 13:53:52

Yes it absolutely does happen, often - my objection is to her saying "it will happen". She should be saying "if you care about your career, fight and don't let it happen to you." Not roll over and take it lying down.

modernart Tue 02-Jun-09 13:57:40

Rofl Scherezade!

modernart Tue 02-Jun-09 13:58:41

sp. Sheherezade

LeninGrad Tue 02-Jun-09 14:01:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

theDreadPirateRoberts Tue 02-Jun-09 14:06:11

Two very dry eyes here. I thought 'American' when I read it, and turns out that piece is as good as anti-histamine for drying up hayfever eyes wink.

Oh, and while career has been completely derailed, I'd still take time to put the waterford crystal down in a safe place when the screeching plaintive crying begins grin

TheOddOne Tue 02-Jun-09 14:10:39

I have a teeny tiny bit of sick in the back of my throat - does that count?

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