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The Things We Do for Love

Looking for The Lactivist? She's retired. But you CAN still find Jen blogging. These days, she's runs A Flexible Life. Join her for life, recipes, projects and the occasional rant.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

It's time for the boobie brigade to go into blog carnival mode again. This month's topic is "baby love." I'll link you up to the other entries below, but first, here's my own take...

Before you have children you hear stories about this magical mama bear instinct that takes over once your child is born. You hear about moms lifting cars off of their trapped children (and you wonder, are these Yugos or Hummers?), you hear about moms donating kidneys, you hear about moms working three jobs. You hear about all those amazing moms that sacrifice everything for their kids.

Now I've never had to lift a car (thank GOD! My chiropractor would be rolling in dough...) and I've never had to donate a kidney (though you bet I'd do it!) and while I work two jobs...that's not quite three. ;) But I do stand amazed sometimes at the things that my children inspire me to do.

Before I had children I was a pretty mainstream person. The only thing I felt really strongly about was wanting to be home to raise them. From the time I was in high school, I've worked toward a career that would allow me the flexibility to work at home. (Thankfully, it worked...I've spent 7 of the eleven years since I graduated high school working from home.) I had no strong opinions on childbirth, breastfeeding, child-rearing and so on.

In the three years since I got pregnant with her, I've gone from planning on an epidural to having a home birth. I've gone from "I'll try to nurse for the first 12 weeks" to exclusively pumping for 13 months. I've gone from "if they're old enough to ask for it, they're too old to nurse" to planning on at least 18 months of nursing for the second. I've gone from "it's no big deal to travel" to scaring up friends to act as nannies so that I can take Emmitt with me when I travel for business. I've gone from never having heard of milk banking to becoming a donor, evangelist and fundraiser. I've gone from thinking circumcision was just something you did to preparing to punch the lights of out anyone that suggested my son wasn't absolutely perfect the way he was born. I've gone from "children belong in cribs" to having a four month old that's never even seen the inside of his own nursery. I've gone from Chef Boyardee "rocks" to seeking out the most affordable organics. I've gone from "home schoolers are doomed to be social outcasts" to "wow, what a great idea!"

In other words, my children have turned me into a hippie.

I've given a presentation to a room of 1000 people wearing a shirt that says "milk jugs" on it.

I've allowed a South Korean film crew to film me using a breast pump for a documentary.

I've taken on the National Pork Board. ;)

I've pumped in airplanes, in cars, at amusement parks, on rifle ranges and in tour buses. I've nursed anywhere and everywhere you can think of.

I've been puked on, sneezed on, coughed on, peed on, pooped on, drooled on...I've both worn and cleaned up body fluids from every orifice you can think of.

I've had to turn the TV off when the news tells a story of an abused child because I cannot physically watch it.

I've had to give up Law and Order SVU if it's a child abuse case.

I've done a million things that I never thought I would do and I've done them all because of those two little beings that are my inspiration.

It's part of being a mom. We're sucked into this world that suddenly revolves around other people. We look at those helpless little babes that rely completely on us for everything and we find ourselves thinking "I must protect this at all costs." It's nothing amazing, it's nothing astonishing, it's nothing that every other mother out there doesn't do. It's simply love and the actions that are inspired by it.

As Valentine's Day approaches and love fills the air, I continue to be amazed at the depth of love that the human soul is capable of. While my husband is my best friend and my lover, my children are part of my soul. It's fascinating to me to realize that love can run so deep in such different ways. My love for my God, my husband and my children is all equally powerful, yet astonishingly different.

I'm thankful for it every day. Truth be told, I can't wait to find what the next few years and even decades have in store.

Want to read what everyone else's take on the topic of "baby love" is?

Andi at Mama Knows Breast writes a review of the book "Baby proofing Your Marriage."

Motherwear's Tanya writes about her struggle to reconcile her love for her baby with the post partum depression that many moms suffer from.

Angela at Breastfeeding 1-2-3 offers up an entry on helping your current children prepare to welcome a new baby into the family.

Sinead at BreastfeedingMums takes us on a journey from a high school romance to a family of five.

We're also joined this month by three guest bloggers. Karen at Cairo Mama writes about meeting her son after her cesarean. Colleen at My Baby and More writes about wanting to experience baby love with a new addition. Melissa at Booby Juice joins in with a post about falling in love with her own babies.

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  1. Blogger Heather | 9:51 AM |  

    I'm glad I'm not the only one who can't watch child abuse anythings on TV. It just makes me cry. I never cried watching Extreme Makeover Home Edition (except on the ones where a dad died), but now, any time little kids get all sobby and happy I weep like an infant.

    I've snatched my daughter out of my drunken mother in law's grasp. Never thought I'd stand up to that woman.

  2. Anonymous Csara | 1:14 PM |  

    What a beautiful, beautiful post! It is truly amazing what the love of our children does to us. Very interesting to read how much your children changed you - I love your line "my children turned me into a hippie". That's so cute!

  3. Blogger Elizabeth F. | 6:44 PM |  

    I love the hippie line too! I have turned into one as well. LOL!

  4. Blogger plain(s)feminist | 9:36 PM |  

    Yup, Yup, Yup! It's all familiar!

    I love your blog, by the way!

  5. Blogger Hanmee | 8:18 AM |  

    What a great post. Although my experience has not been IDENTICAL, it has been similar in that I've changed my perspective on a lot of things. Stances on things I onced considered "hippy-esque" (and are still considered by many others to be that way) are where I find myself.

    It's also a good reminder that not only do we do a lot for our kids, but they do a lot for us, in making us better people :).

  6. Anonymous Alena | 12:21 PM |  

    Beautiful post. It's like reading about myself, only I couldn't have written it so eloquently.

    I'm a totally different parent than I thought I would be. Never thought I'd be breastfeeding a talking toddler. Never thought that the idea of taking him to daycare would make me physically ill. The list can go on and on.

    The most amazing part is the sheer love that goes both ways. I expected to love my child, but I never expected to be loved so much in return.

  7. Blogger beth | 7:48 AM |  

    Your paragraph of "I went from"s mirrored my own life! It's so wierd to find strangers online that can describe myself better than I can.

  8. Anonymous Pauline | 1:40 PM |  

    That was great! - you made me laugh! Still feeding my 16 month old and encouraged to keep going...

  9. Anonymous Melanie | 11:09 PM |  

    What a great post! You had me nodding, chuckling while I had tears welling up in my eyes...

    It's all sooooo true!

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