I always thought that I knew how special being a mother would be. I could imagine the love that would overwhelm my heart, the pride that would knock me over at times, and the dreams and hopes that I would forever have for my child. But in actuality, the words that describe those deep sentiments now pale in comparison to real experience. Although being a mother to an ever curious toddler is a constantly changing experience, it far surpasses anything my pre-motherhood self could have imagined. My son has forever changed my life for the better; and in ways that I would have never dreamed. I became a school psychologist with the intent to help students succeed – but I also picked this career because it seemed to be “parent friendly.” I relished the thought of being at work during school hours/days and home with my son when he was home. I felt confident in the choice that I made back in college, before meeting my wonderful husband, or buying a house and settling in, or marrying him and starting our family. Being a strict (and sometimes unwavering) planner, I was glad that my previous plans would support the fact that I was MEANT (by God, or biology, or some kind of ingrained personality trait) to become a mother.
And now I am staying home with my wonderful son, and it is more amazing than I ever thought. Everyday that I am home with him, I am mentally taking a step away from my so-well-thought-out previous plans. I am also rediscovering my fascination of and passion for being a mother. And I am realizing that my passion extends to helping other mothers that I have had the pleasure of meeting and spending time with recently. Looking at my own experiences and my own feelings of fulfillment, I just know that I want to make sure that every parent I meet has the ability to be as happy in their role as I am. Any time that I start to doubt myself, or the decisions that I have made, I just need to look into the crystal blue eyes of my son and know that I will do anything I need for him. I WILL find a way to balance being an attentive and involved mother with my passion for helping all children succeed. I know that he deserves the absolute best and I am sure that other parents feel the exact same for their children. As I type these thoughts (and re-read them) and check in on my sleeping toddler, I feel more and more confident in my decisions. The future is going to bring many more doubts, and the path that I have chosen is not considered an easy one, but my inspiration is always there for me – giving me sloppy wet open-mouthed kisses, making endless messes of toys, food, and unrecognizable substances, and urging me on with every achievement he makes. And being the best mother I can for him, in every aspect of my own life, is always going to drive me … and inspire me.