Parenthood Will Change Your Life

I’ve been a dad for almost a decade and proud to have been blessed with three angelic babies in that span. I still get choked up when I read this piece that I’m about to share with you. The message and meaning becomes deeper and more profound as the years go by, especially if you do indeed become a parent.

Yes, it was written by a woman about motherhood but I believe the sentiments hold true for men and fatherhood just as much. We dads feel the same way so this amazing piece of writing should move all you guys just as much as it does for women. I think it’s beautiful and so very true.

Here’s me and mini-Pai Matthew who’s Five now (But I still see him like this)

by Dale Hanson Bourke

Time is running out for my friend. We are sitting at lunch when she casually
mentions that she and her husband are thinking
of “starting a family.” What she means is that her
biological clock has begun its countdown and she
is considering the prospect of motherhood.

“We’re taking a survey,” she says, half jokingly.
“Do you think I should have a baby?”

“It will change your life,” I say carefully.

“I know,” she says. “No more sleeping in on Saturdays,
no more spontaneous vacations…”

But that is not what I mean at all.

I look at my friend, trying to decide what to tell her.
I want her to know what she will never learn in childbirth
classes. I want to tell her that the physical wounds of
childbirth heal, but that becoming a mother will leave
her with an emotional wound so raw that she will be forever
vulnerable.

I consider warning her that she will never read
a newspaper again without asking “What if that had been my
child?” That every plane crash, every fire will haunt her.
That when she sees pictures of starving children, she will
look at the mothers and wonder if anything could be worse
than watching your child die.

I look at her carefully manicured nails and stylish suit
and think she should know that no matter how sophisticated
she is, becoming a mother will immediately reduce her to the
primitive level. That a slightly urgent call of “Mom!” will
cause her to drop her best crystal without a moment’s
hesitation.

I feel I should warn her that no matter how many years she
has invested in her career, she will be professionally
derailed by motherhood. She might successfully arrange for
child care, but one day she will be waiting to go into an
important business meeting, and she will think about her
baby’s sweet smell. She will have to use every ounce of
discipline to keep from running home, just to make sure he
is all right.

I want my friend to know that everyday routine decisions
will no longer be routine. That a visit to Mc Donald’s and a
five year old boy’s desire to go to the men’s room rather
than the women’s room will become a major dilemma. That
right there, in the midst of clattering trays and screaming
children, issues of independence and gender identity will be
weighed against the prospect that danger may be lurking in
the rest room.

I want her to know that however decisive she may be at the
office, she will second-guess herself constantly as a mother.
Looking at my attractive friend, I want to assure her that
eventually she will shed the pounds of pregnancy, but will
never feel the same about herself. That her life, now so
important, will be of less value to her once she has a child.
That she would give it up in a moment to save her offspring,
but will also begin to hope for more years, not so much to
accomplish her own dreams, but to watch her child accomplish his.

I want her to know that a cesarean scar or stretch marks
will become badges of honor.

My friend’s relationship with her husband will change, but
not in the ways she thinks. I wish she could understand how
much more you can love a man who is always careful to powder
the baby or who never hesitates to play with his son. I think
she should know that she will fall in love with her husband
again for reasons she would never have imagined.

I wish my modern friend could sense the bond she will feel
with other women throughout history who have tried desperately
to stop war and prejudice and drunk driving.

I want to describe to my friend the exhilaration of seeing
your son learn to hit a baseball. I want to capture for her
the laugh of a baby who is touching the soft fur of a dog for
the first time. I want her to taste the joy that is so real
that it hurts.

My friend’s quizzical look makes me realize that tears have
formed in my eyes.

“You’ll never regret it.” I finally say.

by Dale Hanson Bourke
from Chicken Soup for the Woman’s Soul

Here are some links about Dale Hanson Bourke

MomSense Interview
Another interview about her book Turn Toward the Wind

SecondCalling website for her book of the same name

About Doriano "Paisano" Carta
  • http://www.thetechnologylife.com Tim FitzGerald

    What a great post! Last night I coached the first soccer practice of my 3yr old twins boys and their friends. It’s difficult to put into words how special this relationship could be and how those ‘important’ things that just a few short years ago, could pale by comparison. Thanks for reminding me once again about the things that are most important in life! I really enjoy your site, keep the great stories coming!

  • http://www.thetechnologylife.com Tim FitzGerald

    What a great post! Last night I coached the first soccer practice of my 3yr old twins boys and their friends. It’s difficult to put into words how special this relationship could be and how those ‘important’ things that just a few short years ago, could pale by comparison. Thanks for reminding me once again about the things that are most important in life! I really enjoy your site, keep the great stories coming!

  • Carmen Villadar

    I read this awhile back and it really choked me. I still cry when I read it. Thank you for posting it. By the way, I love how Dad’s are blogging .. I simply love it.

  • Carmen Villadar

    I read this awhile back and it really choked me. I still cry when I read it. Thank you for posting it. By the way, I love how Dad’s are blogging .. I simply love it.

  • http://www.pinkmoxie.com Miiko Mentz

    What a beautiful post Paisano. I’ve always wondered if dads and mothers who adopt feel that deeper level of bonding that women who give birth do. Two things that I really love about becoming a mother is being blessed enough to have experienced my baby growing inside of my body and then feeding my child from my own body. I can’t tell you how much those two experiences simply amazed me about the miracle of life. I was in awe of it. And to this day they are two experiences I am most fond of, but it’s also what makes me feel like my child is still part of my body and I find such difficulty in cutting the umbilical cord.

    So when I read “The message and meaning becomes deeper and more profound as the years go by” I see that you, too, feel that sense of your child being so connected to you as if they were still attached to your body. I love that you shared that and that there are men like you who bond so closely and beautifully with your children.

    And thanks for re-posting the piece from Dale Hanson Bourke. It is so emotionally moving and so true. Now, if we all can just figure out how to cut the umbilical cord and set them free so they can go off into the world and make their own way. When you figure out how to do that let me know, because I can’t seem to cut the umbilical cord and want to be attached to my child forever!!!

    P.S. This is the second time I’ve commented here and I feel like a party crasher given I’m not a dad. But I love Dad-o-matic because it’s filled with men who have embraced parenthood and it’s so nice to see because, sadly, there are far too many men in the world who don’t embrace and participate in their children’s lives the way you guys do.

  • http://www.pinkmoxie.com Miiko Mentz

    What a beautiful post Paisano. I’ve always wondered if dads and mothers who adopt feel that deeper level of bonding that women who give birth do. Two things that I really love about becoming a mother is being blessed enough to have experienced my baby growing inside of my body and then feeding my child from my own body. I can’t tell you how much those two experiences simply amazed me about the miracle of life. I was in awe of it. And to this day they are two experiences I am most fond of, but it’s also what makes me feel like my child is still part of my body and I find such difficulty in cutting the umbilical cord.

    So when I read “The message and meaning becomes deeper and more profound as the years go by” I see that you, too, feel that sense of your child being so connected to you as if they were still attached to your body. I love that you shared that and that there are men like you who bond so closely and beautifully with your children.

    And thanks for re-posting the piece from Dale Hanson Bourke. It is so emotionally moving and so true. Now, if we all can just figure out how to cut the umbilical cord and set them free so they can go off into the world and make their own way. When you figure out how to do that let me know, because I can’t seem to cut the umbilical cord and want to be attached to my child forever!!!

    P.S. This is the second time I’ve commented here and I feel like a party crasher given I’m not a dad. But I love Dad-o-matic because it’s filled with men who have embraced parenthood and it’s so nice to see because, sadly, there are far too many men in the world who don’t embrace and participate in their children’s lives the way you guys do.

  • Joey Parshley

    This was such as great post. I also love the idea of a place for dads to blog about their connection to their children. I have grown up hearing that there is no bond like that of a Mother and Child. Well, I think that is hooey! It should be edited to “Parent and Child”. More dads should open themselves up to that relationship. It will be the most heart breaking thin they will do in their lives. It will also will be infinitely more inviting than anything they could possibly accomplish.

    I have never in my life met anyone that I love the way I love my son and daughter. I am always infinitely more touched when I see a father interacting with their child. It is so important for our children to see male role models that are not afraid to show their feeling. It gives them so much ammo to take into their lives when the “umbilical cord is cut” (I do not believe that is EVER completely severed btw).

    I look forward to reading more great posts. I only wish there was a way to contribute to this incredible concept aside from solely commenting.

  • Joey Parshley

    This was such as great post. I also love the idea of a place for dads to blog about their connection to their children. I have grown up hearing that there is no bond like that of a Mother and Child. Well, I think that is hooey! It should be edited to “Parent and Child”. More dads should open themselves up to that relationship. It will be the most heart breaking thin they will do in their lives. It will also will be infinitely more inviting than anything they could possibly accomplish.

    I have never in my life met anyone that I love the way I love my son and daughter. I am always infinitely more touched when I see a father interacting with their child. It is so important for our children to see male role models that are not afraid to show their feeling. It gives them so much ammo to take into their lives when the “umbilical cord is cut” (I do not believe that is EVER completely severed btw).

    I look forward to reading more great posts. I only wish there was a way to contribute to this incredible concept aside from solely commenting.