I'm so glad I took Courtney's recommendation and read Great With Child. I found myself nodding in agreement throughout the book, and there were a few moments that I nearly laughed out loud at Beth Ann Fennelly's observations about motherhood.
So many parts of this book resonated with me. When Fennelly says, "That's the other thing that happens when you become a mom. You feel more deeply. You become capable of a raw, scary fullness of emotion that tenderizes the hardened muscle of the heart." I couldn't agree more.
Then there's the part where she talks about her perfectionist tendencies and how they relate to motherhood. She said it so well when she said, "So that's the type of kid I was, and that's the type of mother I have to struggle not to be. Because that eager patch-earner still lurks in me, Girl Scout Guide in hand, pencil behind ear. And while being a Model Citizen might help in certain places, like airport security or bake sales, it's not the most practical training for the wild territory of motherhood." While I wasn't a Girl Scout, I can definitely relate to that feeling.
I like when she shares those little moments of motherhood, too. I really related when she talked about bringing her daughter to bed when she woke up in the midst of a thunderstorm. She said, "I carried her into my bed, which I try not to do often, telling her this was a special treat, but not telling her the treat really was all mine." A few weeks ago, I found myself in a similar situation. Craig was working late, and Liam cried out. He must have been having a nightmare or something. Normally, I would have just given him his pacifier and he would fall back asleep. I'm not sure if it's because I feel like my baby is growing up too quickly and I want to feel needed again, but for some reason, I felt compelled to bring him to bed with me. I agree that the treat was all mine.
Great With Child wasn't originally intended to be published. It started as a
collection of letters written by Fennelly to one of her former students,
Kathleen. I'm so glad it was published, though, because even though I'm almost through my first year of motherhood, I still need the reassurance of knowing that I'm not alone in this journey.