July 8, 2010

Seeing

Today I'm thirty-nine weeks along. One week from this baby's due date.

In a week or so, depending on when she decides to show up,  I'll be a mom. And my life will be different.

I remember very clearly walking across campus at BYU as a freshman and having a sudden vivid image of my mom at BYU also as a freshman, walking to classes, dating, preparing for dental school, recent valedictorian of her high school, a California girl, vocal soloist, cute, young, and single. Not a mom, not my mom, just herself. A whole life of her own long before I was a part of it.

When you're a kid, I think it's just really difficult to see your parents as a person with their own life separate from yours and especially before your own life.

I've thought about that moment a hundred times in the last six and a half years, and I've thought about it even more frequently since I've been pregnant.

I know how I see myself - someone who loves to read, who is good in school, who hates a messy house, who loves to cook, who likes ethnic foods, who waits for the weekly grocery mailers to come as if it's Christmas, who loves to get on airplane, who hates a real winter, who loves checking things of a to-do list, who was born in the Midwest, grew up in Las Vegas, and fell in love with Texas.

I have a masters degree, I lived in the dorms at BYU, I worked for a Fortune 500 company in Austin, I was on the speech and debate team at my high school, I played the violin for five years, I went on Study Abroad in London for eight weeks, eight months after I got married.

I have a whole lifetime of experiences before this baby ever came on the scene, and I think it will be a long time before she or my other children can or even think to look at me as someone other than their mom.

I wonder how they'll see me; I wonder how it will change the way I see myself.

29 comments:

  1. This is such a cool post. These questions are so valid and interesting and I can't wait to find out the answers right along with you.

    Also, you have officially reached the point where every time I see a post of yours pop up in my reader, I wonder if it will be a birth announcement.

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  2. Wow first comment! I love what you said and it is very true. I look at my experiences and know they will only add to my role as mother. I know yours will too.

    Good luck! The last week is exciting/nerve racking. You feel like a ticking time bomb. I hope all goes well with the delivery.

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  3. Very exciting. You're questions are good ones. I often wonder if my whole vision of self will change when I get pregnant...or if it happens once the baby is born. I'll look forward to hearing your thoughts on that front!

    Good luck!!

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  4. I love this post--I have a dificult time relating to any of it, but I love the sentiment and the questions and the fact that 18 years from now your child may have the same thought-process. What a beautiful cycle.

    xox

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  5. This is something I think about often, both with sadness and excitement. I guess we'll have to see how it all works out, eh?

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  6. I frequently look at Wes and think, "He has NO IDEA who I am. As far as he's concerned, I'm just Mom and I'm the one who is strong enough to open the fridge."

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  7. I think what surprised me most after I became a mom was how hard it was for me to adjust to the role. I didn't want to put away my "me" qualities---the things you listed, the things you realized your mom possessed---that were apart from my "mom" qualities. It took me awhile to find a balance and to realize that it was OK to hold on to my individual qualities and to bring them into my motherhood experience, if that makes sense.

    As wonderful and amazing and awesome as it is to become a mom, it is still a new normal that you have to adjust to.

    I hope you enjoy and savor your next few days before the baby is born. I also can't wait until she's here!

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  8. What a lovely post. I am betting that your children will see for the amazing woman that you are. You will bring some fantastic experiences to motherhood. I am so excited for you!

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  9. this is so lovely!

    thinking of you!

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  10. Wonderful, thoughtful post. One thing that I think about now is remembering how my grandparents and parents often reminded me that they were once young, too, and how impossible it was to process that information.

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  11. I love this post. It's ok to be "mom," and other than that, you are what you make yourself to be. I gave up a lot of things over the last seven years and became just mom. But just mom is wonderful, and during the last few years I have been claiming myself back too. It's a balance you will do well with, a lot better than some (myself included).

    P.S. Can't you go get induced today?

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  12. I think about this all the time too. My kids are so young- my sole identity to them is Mama. They probably think I sit right outside their door all night until they wake up in the morning.
    And while they are my life- I still have my own talents, ambitions, my own life! I wonder when that will occur to them.

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  13. You are insightful and wise.
    I was 27 when my first child came, and I look back and think even now... are we EVER ready for that monumental change that comes, no matter what it is or when it happens?
    As a mom, I LOVE when my kids get those glimpses into my pre-mom life and respect that I have been a full person outside of my role as a mother (which I wouldn't trade for ANYthing).

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  14. At this time in my life I couldn't ask for anything more than being a mom to my 3 little children but it is so funny when Ryan and I start talking about our life before kids and the things we have put on hold for them. I wouldn't change anything for these blessings in my life but it's fun to know that your kids just see you as "mom". :) Good luck on your labor/delivery! :)

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  15. So true. My mom passed away when I was 19--just at the age when I was realizing that my parents were actual people with interests of their own, etc. There have been so many times since her passing that I have wanted to ask her thoughts--not as a mother but as a person and friend.

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  16. If your child sees you just as "their mom" then that means you are doing a terrific job!

    Having children will change your life forever, but much like in the way being married has. While I enjoyed doing many things single, I have loved experiencing them even more with my partner.

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  17. What interesting thoughts! I think it's really important to remember those things about yourself--you are someone other than just a "mom". After days of doing the same thing over and over again--diapers, feedings, bathings, etc--I think it's good to know that you choose this life. You could be doing other things; you are interested in other things; you are good at other things; but, you choose to be a Mom. When the times get tough (as I'm sure they will at some point), a little more global perspective can always help!

    You'll be a great mom!

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  18. Just in case you have to make a dash to the hospital, I thought I'd say my good lucks to you now. You are going to be such a great mother!

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  19. So lovely...she (and the rest of your brood) will see you as someone smart, cool, fun and loving. Be sure they ALL get to see the High School Musical talent show number because that epitomizes both your & Bart's coolness. Hope you're feeling great!!

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  20. I think that's one of the reasons I've loved my 50s so much. I finally have the time and a bit more resources to be "me" again, instead of everything going towards the mom role. It's been surprisingly difficult to remember and recapture me again. And it's been fun to discover that the things I loved at 19 are still the things I love now!

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  21. This made me happy.

    jj


    PS Now when I see that you've posted I anxiously think "Is it time?!"
    Good luck buddy.

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  22. Do you keep a journal? I've got a boxful of journals, mostly from middle and high school. I wonder what I'm going to do with them, how I'll reveal them to my kids and grandkids.

    When my grandma turned 80 she typed up a few benign selections from her journals and then burned all of them in her backyard. I couldn't help but feel cheated. On the other hand, it's not a bad idea...

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  23. I am also checking every day to see when this baby comes. I can't wait! (I mostly want to know what her name will be...) Yay for baby Bradshaw!!!

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  24. And you will be a great MOM! You are such a true and wonderful young lady - your daughter(s) will always love you.... and you are right - they will only see you as a mother for many many years. Isn't that funny how that work? Where is the 39th week picture??? You and Bart are in my prayers - everything will be more wonderful that you can ever imagine! xoxo

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  25. You'll love it in five or so years when she starts asking you questions about your life before she was born and things you did as a kid. It is fun to share those things with my older boys now. They ask some pretty funny questions (and insightful).

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  26. Love this post. I am so excited for you to meet your baby girl, it is the most incredible experience EVER. I have learned so much more about myself as a person since becoming a mother. Some of it is a major reality check (hello lack-of-patience when sleep deprived!) and some of it is pleasantly surprising (learning to deal with so many things and keep my cool). This is a wonderful adventure you and Bart are embarking on. Good luck!

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  27. i think you will love the new person being a mom makes you. It gives you such a higher purpose, something you just can't be or accomplish any other way. Its hard to explain, but after a while you will understand. If you haven't, you should search some talks on lds.org about motherhood. The apostles always have an amazing way of making mothers feel special. Or the current video that is on mormon messages is amazing. Those kind of things make me so so happy I made the decision to have a baby, even if I was really young.

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  28. I love this, I'd love to be able to use this as a guest post on my motherhood blog (www.livinginthemotherhood.blogspot.com)
    Let me know if I can at livinginthemotherhood.gmail.com Thanks!

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