Guest post by Wendy Levitt.
Last month my daughter turned eleven. Of course, I celebrated her. Her birthday, her life, her friends. But I celebrated something else, too. Last month I celebrated my eleventh anniversary of motherhood. I had to laugh. Eleven years ago it never would have occurred to me to view motherhood as an accomplishment.
Eleven years ago I was a career woman with a rising star. When I wasn't working, I was talking about work. Thinking about work. Dreaming about work. When I closed my eyes I saw PowerPoint slides. I was -- as my mother frequently reminded me -- someone who had too much potential to stay at home and be "just" a mom.
Eleven years later I can finally appreciate that motherhood is more than being "just" a mom. But eleven years ago, I didn't know. Eleven years ago I was flat on my back in nothing but a paper gown and way-too-huge maternity bra. My water-balloon belly poked straight into the air. "My baby." I rubbed the side of my belly affectionately with one hand and tapped the keys on my BlackBerry with the other, doing a quick search to make sure I'd locked the times for our mommy-and-me classes so no one could double book me into a meeting -- unless it was really important.
When my exam was over, I only had one question, "Can I be induced the Friday after next?" I'd blocked the entire afternoon. The plan (yes, I really thought this) was to deliver on Friday and be ready for conference calls the following Monday.