Sunday, September 16, 2007

Niko Becomes a Mother

I never considered myself the motherly type. In fact neither did my friends or family. They expressed concerns about how I would make the transition from the overly scheduled life I conducted of running a busy non-profit to the circular life of being with a baby.
I worried about this.
I worried that I would miss the "me" time.
I worried that I would get bored, get anxious, wish I hadn't had a baby.
Even my step mother said over and over, "We'll see how you do when you are a Mom and are no longer in control over your whole life." I was worried.I had my baby boy on July 8th of this year. Birthed him at home in an amazing birth. And two months later, even during a week of being totally sick, even though my body was warm with fever and my throat was so sore I could barely swallow I held him fiercely to my breast, to my heart with a love that I never experienced in my life. And when my breast or my body or my voice lulled him calm it made me feel more alive and well then I have ever felt. I do not miss "me" time. I miss the hours I spend away from him. I dread going back to work with a heart breaking ache.

Although my sentences are often half finished, my well planned life is constantly interrupted, and the hours reel one into the next with little sense of day and night and no difference between week day and weekend, nothing else makes me feel this way, nothing else makes me feel so desperately in love, so desperately ALIVE.
I used to wake at 5am to go to the gym, then to work, then to dates with friends or my partner, then to bed. Now I wake at 2, at 5, at 7 to feed my son. Now my favorite part of my day is our afternoon nap. I crave these hours together when I can breathe in his breath next to my cheek, his little heart beating fast next to mine. He is asleep; a smile comes over his face, then a frown. He wakes with urgent cries for food. I feed him and he smiles, his face covered with my milk. He giggles as he gazes right into my eyes. He is totally at peace, totally content, totally loved. I am totally at peace, totally content, totally loved.

And until I first felt his warm, wet, sticky skin, I never was sure I could give up my sense of self centeredness, my need for my own time first, my need for my own needs first. How would I ever give up the long weekend days I spent running, biking, shopping, walking and being alone, the long weekends I spent with my partner? How would I compromise up my work?
And now all at once I don't even need to think about it - it just is all I want, he is all I want.

Becoming a mother has opened me to new places in my heart and to a joy so intense it makes me gasp. Maybe I am not "motherly", but I am a mother in love. --Niko Everett


Elizabeth said...

Your words are so beautiful, and your photos are even more beautiful. That photo of you kissing your son put a lump in my throat. I have three children, and sometimes I miss those baby days, when I could smooch them as much as I wanted!

Sage Femme said...

stunning. simply stunning!

miaow said...

Oh, that was lovely. My baby is due in January, and I'm wondering all those things too.

Bebu said...

What a beautiful post. Just lovely.

Tash said...

That's so beautiful you brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing.

James Affinito said...

So beautiful Niko. You've inspired me from afar for a long time. Life is good.

Niko Everett said...

Reading back over my thought on becoming a mother have sparked me to say just a few other things. Now, nearly a year later, I am clear that it is also critical to be self-centered, to take that time for myself and to not lose myself in becoming a mother. It is a constant meditation to balance myself, my baby, my husband. It is a battle to not feel guilty to take time for me, to say no and to create boundaries. I want to be a stand for women making sure they put themselves first so they can be more full when they show up for their children, partners, friends and the world. Still becoming! Humbled daily.