Sunday, March 01, 2009

Mother Love

It strikes me that women who express concern that they don't love their newborns as they should might be being a bit premature. Although I found newborn Baby Y pretty remarkable, my feelings were more of astonishment and curiosity than deep love. For me, the love grew over time, as it does with any relationship. And it has grown to become overwhelming. Additionally, my feelings about working as I approach graduation are definitely more complicated than they were when I entered school. And unlike the opinion-less newborn I arrived at Booth with, I am now mother to an increasingly opinionated little boy.

The week before last I skipped virtually all my classes and hardly moved from the couch which Baby Y thought was just fantastic. We read books and cuddled and whenever he went out with Grandma, I was right there on the couch when he he got back home. So this week with me back on the regular schedule, was a hard adjustment. And I actually thought on Thursday that he might be mad at me. I didn't think 20 month olds could get mad but he refused to have anything to do with me when I got home that night which was crushing.

It's been an incredibly unproductive weekend. And I don't mind. I just want to spend time with Baby Y. Every homework assignment just seems trivial and useless compared to foregone or distracted hours with him. Normally, Baby Y goes down for bedtime and naps without a peep. We put him in his crib, wave good bye and go on with life. But today he was completely beside himself if left alone. We held him and sang and rocked for a good hour. And that's all I wanted to think about. So many times during my life at Booth, I have wanted Baby Y to take only the pre-allotted time in my daily schedule so I could get right back to homework or interview prep or stock pitch research. My reasoning at the time was that it was all for him. Ultimately, the preparation would turn into a good career for me and a college fund for him and happiness for my family.

What I'm wondering these days is how it will be with two little ones. How I can bear to send them to daycare once we leave Chicago, assuming my mom returns back to her normal life, and is no longer full-time grandma. Will entrepreneurship will give me the freedom and flexibility to be with my babies or whether the all-consuming nature of starting a business will prevent me from feeling as though I'm ever fully present for children? Would a summer spent as a full-time mama leave me satisfied or frantic and bored? But it's interesting to reflect on how much I'ved changed during bschool: month by month my childless identity grows fainter in my mind, and the mother love grows deeper. It's an interesting ride.


Deadhedge said...

I called the first 6 months of my 11 month old, his larvae stage. I'll admit that he was interested but I was still mostly curious about him, too. When they turn into little people, it's a lot of fun.

My wife just went back to work (night shift) and we weren't sure about how he would react to her leaving and me putting him to bed. It took him a few night but now he's quite comfortable with it.

Anonymous said...


I stumbled upon your blog as I was searching for some advise on becoming pregnant just before starting business school. I am at a crossroads and am torn between my desire to start a family soon (I am 30 yrs old!) and not wanting to put MBA on hold.

Incidentally, I am planning to attend U-Chicago. I'd really appreciate if you can spend some time talking to me. I understand that time is at a premium for you since you are balancing so many priorities. If you do not have any time, do let me know.


MaybeMBA said...

Deadhedge - ha. Yes, the early months are very larval! I enjoy toddlerness quite a bit more.

Anonymous - I'm so glad you reached out. I specifically made the decision to get pregnant and have my first child before starting my MBA and can relate to your decision. (although it ended up being just barely before!) We had first-years this year who gave birth in the first quarter (yipes!) and tons of pregnant second years right now. Having your first child before or during the MBA can be the perfect time actually. (and I just attended a panel today of experienced Booth alumnae who recommended putting your personal priorities before your professional priorities) So, of course, I say GO FOR IT!! But I'm happy to talk more about the nuances. Things are a bit hectic through the end of finals (Mar 20th). Can you wait until then? Leave me the best way to contact you. (Can be a throw away email if you like.)

Anonymous said...


Thanks so much for offering to share your experience with me! We can defintiely talk after 3/20 - I am in no rush. My email id is .