Parenting: A Heart On The Outside

Someone once shared a quote with me that summed up a feeling that is so very hard to describe...

“Making the decision to have a child is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body."

I don't think there is any quote in the world that is more fitting in relation to a human feeling than this one.

Immediately following the birth of my daughter, I felt this overwhelming sense of vulnerability. As Oprah was an "AHA moment." 

I was scared because I instantly knew that if anything happened to her I would be lost, as if my life wasn't actually complete until she arrived. Who was I before?

It's my responsibility to keep her safe and protected from this insanely scary world, and that is a frightening feeling. When I was pregnant with Emily, I remember asking a friend if having a kid is as stressful as they say, and she said "you will be up at night worrying and your life will completely change, but it's worth it."

Well, to be didn't sound all that fun. Did I really want to spend every night losing sleep over some tiny person I didn't know yet?It sounded absolutely depressing and until Emily was placed in my arms I questioned if I was doing the right thing...wrinkling the perfectly smooth life that I was living with my husband and my dogs. We had our steady jobs, our long sessions at the gym, and money that could be spent on us and only us. We had the option to pack up and go wherever we wanted WHENEVER we pleased, and hangovers could easily be cured with endless hours of television and laying on the couch all day. Those words sound kind of foreign to me now. 

And then she came...and if you are a know the rest. It's a ridiculous amount of work and stress and not a ton of glamorous reward. But, there is something magical about being a parent, and I haven't been able to describe it other than by comparing it to the above quote. Maybe it's that sense of purpose that goes along with having a particular focus every single day...even if it just means that you did your best to keep your kid fed, clothed and well...alive, to put it bluntly. 

I'd love to hear your parenting stories...your ups and downs and everything in between.

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