It’s These Moments That Catch Me

It’s these moments that catch me.   This morning before work, way too early for my liking, I walked my three year old son and his bestie Elmo to his car seat and strapped him in. As he often does, he smiled and asked, “Hug, Mommy?” after I fastened his seat belt. I leaned in and hugged him, feeling the strength of his tiny little arms pulling me in.

I then brought my daughter’s infant car seat around and fastened it in place, bending over to kiss her downy head as she slept through the whole process, more beautiful than I have words to describe, cooing softly and smiling.

It’s these moments that catch me. When I am doing everyday Mommy things and I get blown away with how much I love these itty bitty humans that am privileged to call my children.

I loved my life pre-kids, I orchestrated great changes to help my little corner of the planet, I took crazy-fun vacations all over the world, I ate cashews with a Diet Coke and called it “dinner”, and I took classes after work in anything and everything that caught my fancy. And, it was a great life and I have few regrets, but there was always a subtle nagging, the call of my life-long desire to parent. I felt that call in college, but knew I had time to find a husband and get married and have kids or time to be Bohemian and accidentally get pregnant and walk with barefoot abandon in a field with my huge belly as the wind blew the grasses softly and I whispered to my child.

But, time passed and none of that happened. I just got older.

And I saw my dream slipping away. My dream of marriage could happen at any time and I was less worried about missing that, but my dream of being a Mom, not a step-mom, but Mom to my own children felt like it was slipping away with each tick of my biological clock. I would face acquaintances’ and coworkers’ pregnancies with a brave and happy face, but inside I was eaten up with sadness and jealousy—why not me?

Until one day, a girlfriend said, “Why not you? Why don’t you do something about it? You don’t need a husband to have kids.”

And, I’d heard it before, but I hadn’t been able to listen; I hadn’t been ready. Because, to deliberately take on single mothering seemed too big for me. I wasn’t rich enough or smart enough to do any such thing. But, this time, I didn’t let it go.

And I woke up many mornings of my “thinking” period terrified—what was I about to do? How could I possibly—? And the ultimate, How will I feel in twenty years if I don’t even try?

I took baby steps…literally and figuratively.   I took quite a few of them. And, it didn’t feel wrong.   I ended up here, strapping my kids—my kids—in their car seats and look at my beautiful family. My family that I had given up on ever having.

But now I know, having kids was one of the best decisions I ever made. It’s these moments that catch me.


To discuss this and other SMC topics, join SMC and take part in our discussions on our lively online 24/7 Forum and at local chapter meetings.

“After I joined SMC, I learned so much! One of the best things was not feeling alone. So many had gone before me, and if they could do it, then so could I! My local group was a great source of support and becoming an SMC was the best decision I've ever made.”

– Joyce Gabbert