Why do we become parents?

It’s my daughter’s third birthday, and I have some things to say.

The first thing, is that we were meant for each other.

I am Pisces. I am the place where the zodiac completes. I am endings and letting go, dissolving into something greater, more mysterious, barely hanging on to this physical life by a finger.

She is Aries. She is the place where everything begins. She is about the physicality of her own being, standing in it, fully present, fresh, innocent, unwavering.

We are both so close to Source – me heading back home – her, newly arrived.

She came into the world softly

I mean, she was loud (so was I). But the whole thing felt soft. Relatively calm. Perfectly timed, labour started on her due date in the early morning, she arrived late that night. (Her beautiful birth story is over here).

The first few days were strange, of course. I actually cried when she developed a diaper rash. I asked myself “what kind of horrible mother am I?”.

Answer: A fine one. A new one.

I was triggered when my own mother took over that situation, instituted an expert level diaper changing process, as she would – she, a master of process and also diaper changing.

On the precipice of my own massive healing journey, I thought she was judging me. Of course that wasn’t true, I was only judging my self. Lessons, lessons everywhere. Mothers and daughters, am I right?

Thank goodness for mothers.

You, who I cradled in my arms

My baby. Taught me my own cavernous capacity for love. A surprise, it’s bottomless.

She arrived and snatched my heart. It detached somehow, when she and I separated. I imagine them together, crouched on the back of a white horse, careening across a misty field together. She’s taken it and I feel, mostly, fine. Like, isn’t this what a heart is for?

To play recklessly with. To unchain oneself through. It’s a freeing kind of love. An all-nighter. Hot yoga. Exhausting satisfaction. Leaving it all on the mat.

It’s her climbing into my lap. It’s her saying “I love you”. It’s her laughing, shrieking, scampering loudly, while I remind her the baby is asleep nearby.

It’s her making things. It’s her asking one million questions as we drive that familiar stretch of highway over Toronto, like:

“Mummy, what is that?”

“Those are condos”

“What are condos?”

“People live there.”

“But why?”

Why do we become parents?

Sometimes I wonder why we become parents. I mean personally, I came into this shockingly naive. I went up to the counter of life, I ordered a baby, and right before She placed Her into my arms, I had to hand over literally everything: I traded life as I knew it for this. I do mean everything.

I’ve often thought over the past few years, how did I do that? Why? And wild, over-achieving me went and repeated the exact same process as soon as nature gave the green light 16 months later, but that’s another story.

I know why. Because going to yoga regularly and watching netflix when I feel like it, having a home and life that feel like they’re in order, doing things when I want to, going for drinks with friends, climbing up the corporate ladder – those are fun things.

But coming face to face with bottomless love and almost drowning in it?

That’s the kind of thrill I came into this life for. And if it (my life) ended right now, I can honestly say this heart has had its share. It’s a well used, intensely brimming, colt-riding, hurdling-across-a-misty-field kind of heart.

This little one has really taken it for a ride.

It is an experience

Many years ago on a business trip, a colleague asked me if I wanted kids one day (he was a new dad). I hesitated, for one thing not comfortable admitting, as a young woman, that becoming a mother might matter to me (what would he think of my commitment to my consulting career?). Welcome to early-20s me.

But I trusted this colleague. I liked him. Eventually I said, “I think I’d like to have that experience.”

He was unimpressed with this answer. “It’s not an experience. You have a baby, and then you have another family member.”

My friend, I beg to differ.

It’s an experience. Everything is. It’s the most profound experience I’ve had in my life so far.

So happy third birthday, baby girl. Thank you for coming here in all your Aries tangibility and fully rocking my un-tethered Piscean world.

We’re only three years in and I’m so much better for knowing you. Here’s to the thrill of the ride.


If you are grappling with life and career post-motherhood and want to chat, our first conversation is free. You can book it HERE.

1 Comment

  1. So sweet and lovely! I’ve been teetering between kid vs. no kids for years and now, at 30, I’m beginning to come around to the idea and, for similar reasons: it’s an experience. To rework our lives. To let life reshape us. To teach compassion. To re-learn curiosity. To crack our heart open wider than we realized possible. To make the world a better place by raising a human being with the values and attributes that will lead to a better world. I’m so inspired by this–thank you! And happy (belated) birthday to your little one!!

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