It’s a crazy thing to be on the cusp of, motherhood. When I was engaged and planning my wedding, Jord and I read a book on questions to ask and answer as a couple on the cusp of marriage. We also took part in a premarital counseling session with our pastor, my Uncle Rick. Both were so helpful to Jord and I, both individually and as a couple, that I knew that I wanted to take the time to think intelligently and critically throughout my pregnancy about what kind of mother I wanted to be.
One of the activities that Jord and I have done since we were married is on every New Year’s Eve, we recap the previous year, and we plan and dream for the year ahead. It’s one of my most favorite things to do every holiday season, and I think that both Jord and I are surprised at how far we’ve come each year in achieving our personal and shared goals. This year was no different – we were so excited and blessed to be expecting a child, and we were on the cusp of one of the most important roles of our lives: parents. During our year-end discussion around New Year’s 2011, Jord and I discussed not only what we want to achieve personally in 2012, but also what we want our family to look like, and how we see ourselves developing as parents.
When thinking about what kind of parents we want to be, we discussed how we want to be wholly supportive of our children’s aspirations, which, to us, means that we want to encourage them to dream and to take part in activities that interest them. We discussed how important it is for our family that I am able to be at home with our child (and with any future children, should we be blessed with such an opportunity) as long as it is financially feasible to do so. We discussed our educational priorities for our children, especially in terms of the Montessori philosophy that we want to introduce to our child from birth on. We also want to do our best to educate our children on what is often considered to be the “dangerous” parts of life (i.e. drugs, alcohol) by having frank and honest discussions with them regarding the importance of their choices and the lasting impact of the decisions that they make as young adults.
I have a BabyCenter pregnancy app on my phone, and what I love about this app is that it not only lets me know what is going on with my baby boy in my belly, but it also asks me critical questions to help me think about what it will mean to be a Mama after our little man arrives. All I know now about motherhood (apart from a few basic care-taking practices) is that I want my little boy to know that I am in love with him already (that I’ve been in love with him before we even conceived him), and the way in which I’ve been able to show that and channel that feeling throughout my entire pregnancy (and even before we conceived our child!) is by writing letters to my son. It’s a secret project that I’ve been working on (I’ve only shared my letters with Jord and with my Mom), and I’m so excited to continue writing to our little man throughout the rest of my pregnancy and throughout his life. I can’t wait to give these letters to my son someday.
While it can be impossible to predict what motherhood will be like for me, I know that it’s been worth my time to think intelligently about what kind of mother I want to be. I know that I have a Type-A personality, and while my personality type helps to explain my hyper-active planning tendencies regarding our efforts to get ready for the baby in terms of clothing and baby gear, I hope that with motherhood, I am able to follow the lead of my baby boy and model my role as a mother around his needs.