Adriana Zoder: Moms are prisoners of love

Jan. 19, 2013 @ 10:02 PM

As I look back at 2012, or forward to 2013, it is all about the kids.

When I became a mom, I discovered I did not want to separate myself from them. My life pretty much revolves around them.

This will be the year when I enter the blessed state of 3 and 5. Supposedly blessed. Come March, my children will be 3 and 5 — according to a book I read about transitioning from one to two kids, a much easier stage, as opposed to 1 and 3, or 2 and 4. I can attest to the fact that 2 and 4 was easier than 1 and 3, but not by a whole lot.

My first social engagement of the year was a baby shower — no surprises there. The mom-to-be lives in Knoxville. It was a fun afternoon spent with my mom, daughter and friends.

The darling pregnant young lady cried several times at sweet things people said about her baby as we drank punch and played baby shower bingo, name that baby and guess how many gummy bears in a jar.

In line to get a parfait and strawberry-chocolate skewers, I overheard a lady whispering with an older woman. Then, a bit louder, the notion that she and her husband might adopt, but they are not sure yet.

“How old are you?” “31.” “Well, you have plenty of time to figure it out...” It sounded like they were trying to have a baby and they could not. So I sat there swallowing hard on my parfait.

Truth be told, I had come to this baby shower a bit cynical about the experience of being a mom. I have been at it for five years. Some say these are the most difficult years, when the kids are under 5 and the mom is learning her craft. I wouldn’t know.

I can only hope it gets easier.

We moms are prisoners of love. It is a life sentence, too. We serve it willingly and don’t look back. But we serve all right and, in the midst of life with kids, we get tired and tired of being tired.

After overhearing about a woman’s struggle to have children though, I felt guilty. Here I am with two great kids, healthy and growing well, feeling sorry for myself because of all the work entailed.

I tried to talk to her a bit and then asked if she was trying to have a baby. “Oh no, not at all. My husband and I like to travel and we just don’t feel we are ready. ... I watch my friends come into church with their kids with stuff in their hair frazzled. ... I don’t want that. ... Maybe we will adopt one day. ...”

Now there’s a realist if I ever saw one. I told her that if she liked her life the way it is now, she should not have children. They would change it.

On the way home, my daughter chattered the whole hour from Knoxville to Gatlinburg, interrupting my conversation with my mom many times. I told myself that, one day, during a supposedly easier stage, I might want her to talk more to me — the way she did now. So I listened to her and answered her questions.

Happy New Year!

— Adriana Zoder, who was born in Romania, is an American citizen living with her husband and two children in Gatlinburg.Email to