For Mother's Day the US website Women Speak For Themselves ran a contest for women to write to other women about why not to fear motherhood. WSFT got 140 entries and the winning piece is here. The following is the third of three runners-up. The other two are here.
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Dear Millennial Woman,
I did not think I would ever be a biological mother. This didn't bother me; I was too busy anyway and much too afraid of the sheer pain of it all. I winced to hear the word “labor” in connection with childbirth. But love won me over.
It started with my need to be loved and cherished by someone. I know you have that need, too. A woman wants nothing quite as much as arms to hold her and a heart to lay her head on. Let's be honest: this is at the root of some of our worst decisions, driven by passion, fueled by lust. We let ourselves be scorched by the heat of our hook-ups because we want someone to hold and harbor us and our fears. But it isn't where we find love. My husband, however, knew how to love me unconditionally and it was in the comfort and security of his love that I found my true self.
But this letter isn't about me, it's about you. It's about your desire for love. I want you to experience the strong, solid tethers of a true union, bound by marriage, within which love bears its most beautiful fruit — the birth of a child.
I gave birth to my first-born three months ago; a year ago she was conceived. And, yes, I labored, long and hard, to bring her into this world. But love once again won me over. Hers is like her father's love, but even more so in its untainted innocence; she looks at me with a tender love that knows no limits. I am the first person she loved.
Every time she looks at me, she recognizes that I am unique – I am her mother – and she loves me uniquely. To be loved so fully and perfectly, to be embraced by her and know that to her, I am everything (for now), is a reward in itself.
Young woman, look no further for love than in the eyes of a child. They are like the eyes of God — in them you can see yourself anew and recognize that you are loved unconditionally. I can't imagine now who I would be without my little daughter to teach me every day who I am. I can't imagine how much love I would have lost without her.
Young woman, what is it worth to gain the world and not experience love? The love of a child is too beautiful to refuse. Choose life and you will find love. ~ Julia M. Dezelski