Having children has been a dream of mine since I was very young. When people asked what I wanted to be when I grew up I would tell them what I assumed they wanted to hear: writer, president, publisher, doctor. I denied both to them and myself my true heart's desire: to be a wife and mother. But how in our modern culture can an educated woman wish for such a prosaic thing? How can motherhood be the goal in an of itself? Today being a mother is more of an accessory to an already fulfilling life. I know the route that I was to have taken: college, fledgling job, career and then after a good long wait, a baby to complete the picture of success.
In college I studied exactly what I believed my passion to be. I read classics and studied language, dabbled in anthropology and art history. I was unfocused but, at the time, I thought I was focused on exactly what I was meant to be doing. It was only after a year of marriage that my passion began to bloom. I had an overwhelming desire to have a baby - but this is normal, too, I presume. Most women can resist the urge, postpone their child rearing until after the usual (aforementioned) progression of activities. I could not. And so now I have 2 children at 26.
For a long time, and truthfully a lot of the time now, I felt that I had to justify my choices to everyone and anyone. I felt that people were judging me, this woman who couldn't restrain herself and be more sensible and modern and have a darn career first. Who was I to run counter all the hard work done so that I could work and be a mother. I know it is a privilege, this option to have both. But I have always believed that those women fought so that I could make the choice to either work or stay home, have children or not. However I still struggle to own my choice, to say "yes, I choose it this way."
I couldn't fathom why it was that I felt so called to have children and especially so early on. All those years ago in college I assumed I would do something with an English degree, the studies came easily to me, and I enjoyed it in that way you enjoy things you don't have to work too hard at. But it was after I had Abigail that I discovered something else I was deeply passionate about: birth. I was obsessed with hearing other mother's stories of labor, I wanted to hear about every contraction and push, every breath that lead to bringing life into the world. I thought that all mother's wanted to hear about another women's labor, the horrendous details the delightful moments, all of it. While, yes, as a whole mother's are generally interested in birth stories it's more of a time, height, weight conversation and I was starting to feel a little weird pressing these poor women for more.
Slowly I am coming to the realization that God has spoken to me through my daughters. Through their arrival I have found a passion far and above what I have known before. Had I not had them when I did I might have blundered on for years. I had always wondered why I could never get excited about the career options for my major, and now it makes sense: being good at something is not that same as being passionate about something. I have to work at medicine, at understanding the body and how we are each wonderfully and fearfully made (and delivered!) but I love every second of it.
I had thought for years that I was wandering around purposeless but for my girls (who are work and purpose enough, I know!) but it has also been a path towards an end I could not have fathomed years ago in an English classroom. It is a revelation I didn't know that I was even waiting on. Maybe this is a small thing, accepting my own choices belatedly; but to me it is seeing my desires and decisions through God's eyes and with His purpose: a view that I cannot get enough of.