It's different than I expected but better than I could have hoped.
When I was a small child my mother was director of a preschool. She lived kids all day. I was there all the time and it left a sour taste in my mouth about being around so many kids. I determined then and there that there would be no kids for me. When my parents divorced when I was three I also determined that I did not believe in marriage either so the equation was simple to me: not getting married hence no kids. Easy. This decision was met with not-so-few disapproving comments, though.
When I was getting ready to graduated from high school my guidance counselor actually refused to write a recommendation letter for me to apply to Stanford University. I think his exact words were, "It's not a woman's job to pursue such endeavors (medicine) but rather stay home and raise kids."* Oh yeah, that set my blood a boiling. He was a nice guy and funny enough, his wife was a career woman and I think all of his multiple daughters all pursued graduate degrees. Not sure what his problem was but it only made me more determined to pursue my goal of becoming a career woman, living in an apartment with a cool dog, and living out the rest of my life taking care of patients - not kids. My back up plan - join the U.S. Airforce and become a nurse.
(*Disclaimer: I am in no way putting down women who do pursue these aspirations. I am currently pursing this career pathway and I find it to be much more challenging than any other jobs I've previously had.)
Well, accepted to Stanford I did, pay for it, I could not. At the time, my mom was making 10K working as a grocery store clerk in our small town. How she supported us, I still do not know. So, I went to college anywhere I could get a full scholarship. I started out as a piano major at UNLV and ended up graduating from nursing school at Boise State University. But that's a tale for another posting.
Moving to Boise meant reconnecting with this handsome man I had met at one of my sister's work gatherings when I was only a young lass of 16 years. Oddly enough, I was more than happy to settle down with this person and someday have his children. My simple equation did not take falling in love into account. Honestly, I think no matter what path I had pursued I would have ended up in the same place I am now. T Rex Dad is former Airforce so if I had gone that route I might have been his Florence Nightingale.
We enjoyed our kid-free years - all six of them. And we knew we always wanted kids but we both felt it important to have alone time. T Rex Dad is still and always will be the best friend I've ever had. And I still get butterflies in my stomach in the evenings when I know he's on his way home from work. He is truly the first man I ever loved and it would take a force of nature or an act of God (in his case - both) to deviate from my goal.
I'm so glad He did as here are the results:
Motherhood has been the most wonderful experience of my life. T Rex Dad and I both say, we just need to keep holding onto and cherishing every moment because they grow up all too fast. Someday, probably in about 50 years, we'll be sitting around in our recliner chairs reminiscing the days of pregnancy, new babies, potty training, trips to the zoo, illness, purchasing our first jungle gym, a house full of toys, changing an office into a playroom, and whatever else life has in store for us. Right now though, we're holding onto to every memory both good or not-so-good. I'm just so grateful that I get to enjoy this adventure called motherhood.
Share with me what experiences you'll be remembering when you're in the rocking chair looking back on either your days as a mother or your days with your own mother.