I wanted to do something special for my wife for Mother’s Day this year.
Shelby worried, however, that honoring her for Mother’s Day was premature, since the baby isn’t due for another month, and she didn’t want to jinx anything.
“So, fine, we’ll just say the day before Mother’s Day is Mothers-to-Be Day,” I replied.
Part of the reasoning, although I didn’t say it at the time, was to recognize how much I love her and am amazed by the amount of strength she has shown in handling this pregnancy.
The decision to have a child was ours equally, but the workload involved in carrying this baby is almost entirely hers, and this pregnancy has not been exactly easy.
Depictions of smiling, glowing pregnant women often leave out the other, less-pleasant symptoms of pregnancy.
The aches, the pains, the discomfort, the nausea, the frequent trips to the bathroom, the swollen fingers, the difficulty sleeping; in none of these things can I share or lessen her burden, but only try to make her a little more comfortable.
While I’m amazed at the way her body changes and adapts to the growing life inside her, my wife is a little less full of wonder when it comes to some of the ways her little passenger has co-opted her body’s normal functions.
The same is true for childbirth, little more than a month away. Hers is the awesome task of bringing our daughter into the world; my job is just to be there for her and assist as I can with the tasks she can’t, because she’ll be rather busy at the time.
Someone told me the other day that having a child is a “dramatic paradigm shift”. I suspect that will be true. It’s been just the two of us for so many years, but when baby makes three, our lives are going to change in ways I’ve only just begun to imagine.
But when she’s here, we’ll at least be able to share in the duties more equally.
Unlike now, where so much of the burden is on her shoulders.
Which is why I wanted to give Shelby her own special day to be feted and pampered, separate from the day we honor and treat our own mothers, in order to recognize her for all the hard work that goes into becoming a mother.
And also, one last chance to do something special, just the two of us, before everything changes.
So I’m kind of glad she didn’t want to be honored on Mother’s Day, because it gives us this one, unique day to recognize the changes she’s going through, and the changes coming up in both our lives.
So Happy Mothers-to-Be Day. Feel free to share it with the expectant mothers in your life next year, and maybe it will catch on.
Eunice News writer Jamie Anfenson-Comeau can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.