by Jaclyn Levy
I have a confession to make.
I never wanted to be a mom. I didn’t play house growing up. I played Mario Kart on Nintendo 64. I didn’t ask Santa for dolls, I asked for a skateboard. As a girl I didn’t dream about my future wedding; I dreamed about what my life would look like when I turned 27 on my Golden Birthday, April 27th. My younger self would have been proud to know I spent my 27th birthday at Machu Picchu in Peru.
Funny how God laughs when you tell him your plans and what you think you want in life. Looking back on my “I don’t want to be a mom days,” I’m sure God was actually ROLFing.
I fell madly in love with my high school sweetheart and him with me. We were married weeks after my college graduation. When I married him, I knew his lifelong dream was to be a father. Ever since he was 3 years old, he wanted to be a dad. He is the one who grew up playing house. My husband never went through a “girls are icky” phase because he knew eventually a girl would give him what he wanted; kids of his own.
Seeing the joy his father’s five brothers and sisters brought each other, having kids was always part of my husband’s life plan. In fact, he told people with a straight face he wanted ten of the little suckers! We occasionally had “the talk” about having kids, but it usually ended up with me in tears because I wasn’t ready. I was afraid I never would be.
Early in our marriage I was focused on making a name for myself, career-wise. I was still trying to figure out who I was and didn’t feel like a real grown-up yet. I still wasn’t sure of my purpose on this earth. How could I have a baby while trying to figure all this out? Plus, my vision of motherhood was clouded with negative images of dowdy clothes, screaming kids in stores, resentment towards my husband, losing my sense of self, and frankly, a perceived lowered status in society. On top of that, I was terrified of labor and child birth.
After 7 years of marriage, I could no longer ignore my husband’s dream. A dream he could not fulfill without me. Who was I to crush a dream he’s held onto since early childhood? In early 2011 I went off birth control. Trust me. When I say it is the bravest thing I ever did; it was. Within a couple months I was pregnant. I bawled when I saw those two faint lines on the stick. My life was over. So I thought.
It’s amazing when you think you don’t want something, you end up getting it anyway. And as fate would have it, it turns out to be EVERYTHING you’ve ever wanted and you just didn’t know it yet. Has that happened to you?
Today I am hopelessly in love with my two year old son and his little brother. Their joy feeds my soul and their laughter is my addiction. In them, I have discovered a new, fulfilling purpose. Instead of having to be a “boring grown-up,” I get to be a kid again as we laugh together, play with Legos and take trips down the slide at the park.
I have a new-found confidence that didn’t exist before my first son was born. I mean, look at what my body made! However, the biggest surprise was finding out just how wrong I was about motherhood. Sure, having a baby closed a couple of doors, but for every door that closed, dozens opened. I’ve made friends with fellow moms who are full of wisdom, grace and support. I am discovering the world made new through my children’s eyes. I’m digging deep, learning new skills and stretching myself farther than I could ever imagine. But only now, as a mom, who is staying true to her inner-self.
If only I could tell my pre-baby self to have no fear. That it is actually better on the other side. Then maybe those two pink lines wouldn’t have been so scary. I am thankful for the privilege to be on this journey with my husband and our two sweet baby boys and I look toward the future with eager anticipation.