I said these awful, ignorant things on the phone to my sister regarding Harriet Miers' nomination to the Supreme Court in 2005. It was one of those phone calls I frequently have with my sister where we both blather on and on with authority when really we're just trying to make sense of our thoughts on a subject.
I meant what I said, though not deeply. I was twenty-six, and wasn't a wife or mother myself. I aspired to be, though, and couldn't imagine what a woman like Ms. Miers' had been doing all of this time. Besides, you know, careering.
I had lunch recently with an old friend who has been fairly open about her lack of desire to bear children. But she's been with her partner for years now and is trying to figure out what she wants in the next stage of her life. Was it family? Will she regret it if they don't ever have children?
She's not sure her motivations are valid. She can't imagine life with a child. But she doesn't hate the idea anymore.
There was a guest at my housewarming party last weekend that I've known for a long time. She is one of those Super Moms. Not the competitive kind of Super Mom, but the Super Mom that lives every morsel of life within the joy of parenting her child.
She was the last person I would ever guess would turn to me and say, "It's not enough for me. I want something more for myself."
You know what has surprised me the very most about becoming a parent? How non-changed I am.
I was prepared for the world to start spinning the other direction. I thought that women were transformed - for better or worse - when they took on the Mom title.
But I'm the same person. With very few exceptions, my longtime friends who have become parents are the same at their core that they were before there was a little person in their home.
I'm more patient, with a bigger heart, surviving on less sleep. But I am, in my very soul, the exact same Laura.
I'm positive as time goes on that motherhood will continue to mold me and shape me and secure itself as a thick thread of my being. But maybe not more than being a wife or daughter or sister changes me. I believe who we are dictates the way we play our roles, not the other way around.
I am honored to be a mom. It will (probably) be the most important role I'll ever play. But it is not the whole of my life, and it doesn't make me any more or less a woman.
It took me becoming a mom to understand that I'm not more than as one.