Pregnancy Tracker: 36 weeks
Size of the Baby: Over 6 pounds!
Biggest Obstacle: The baby likes to wedge its foot next to my ribs... ouch!
With my own impending motherhood just around the corner, I've been thinking a lot lately about what it takes to be a good mother. Also, today is my mom's birthday (Happy Birthday Mom!), so it feels like an appropriate time to reflect on motherhood.
My mom was, and is, a great nurturer. She loves me, my brother and sister with everything she has, as all great mothers do. When I was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 13 my mom spent not one, not two, but five nights sleeping on a miserable cot in the hospital with me. She ached for me when I had to give myself insulin injections and lay up at night listening and waiting while I treated a low blood sugar. Since I was fiercely independent, Mom allowed me to control my disease on my own terms, while providing the support and encouragement I needed to be successful.
My mom and I have always been close. Over the last few years we've transitioned our relationship into a friendship, which I cherish. When I look back on my childhood, I realize that, perhaps because I was so secure in my mom's love for me, I've tended to take it for granted a bit. Sometimes, when she'd suggest a certain course of action for me, I'd resist. Or, when she gave me sound advice, I'd often reply "I know," with that adolescent air of superiority.
As I matured, thankfully, these annoying behaviors lessened. However, I continued to feel the need to assert myself as my own woman whenever my mom tried to mother me.
Throughout my pregnancy, I've begun to look at mom in a new way. Feeling the love for and connection to our baby has put motherhood into perspective. I realize that I am, and always will be, my mom's baby. When my children are 28 years old, I'm going to want to protect and nurture them! Now, instead of resisting my mom's advice, suggestions, or acts of nurture, I welcome them as words of wisdom from someone who loves me.
In early September, my mom moved from our small northern California coastal town to San Diego! Having her so nearby has been a great relief for me and Dennis. Not only do we have a lot of fun spending time with her, but her presence is very comforting when we imagine being at home with our brand new baby! She's also offered to watch our little one for several months when I return to work. Our lucky little baby is going to spend many hours with a loving grandma. Also, she's got a beautiful singing voice, so her lullabies are the best!
Through my pregnancy I've also benefitted greatly from my mom's insights and encouragement. She's helped Dennis and I pick out our registry items when we were completely overwhelmed. Also, my mom has been a great cheerleader for me as I've navigated through a diabetic pregnancy. She constantly commends me for taking good care of myself, asks questions to better understand my condition, and tells me how proud she is of my efforts.
Furthermore, after our little one arrives, I will be blessed to have a mentor as I learn to breastfeed. Back in the early 1980s, my mom bucked the trend by choosing to breastfeed her children, which is now widely embraced as the healthiest choice for babies.
Mostly, when I think about my mom, I know that I've been given a wonderful example of motherhood. My goal as a parent is to instill confidence, self-esteem, compassion, and discipline in my children, as my mom did for us. It seems to me that children thrive when they know wholeheartedly that they are loved unconditionally by their parents. That conviction has been a blessing to me throughout my life and is the most important thing we'll teach our children.
Published On: December 14, 2007