Mother's Day commentary
Jennifer and Nora Hartwig

We all have many titles. Mine are wife, daughter, sister, friend, Army civilian and managing editor of The Frontline. But last year, I took on the most important title that any woman can claim - mother. In June, I had my first child, my daughter Nora. I could bore you with all of those cheesy clichAfAs - she's the light of my life, I never knew I could love someone so unconditionally - but they are all absolutely true.

Becoming a mother is one of life's colossal miracles, and the most amazing part is that it happens every single day.

You feel like a different person once you become a mother because you are a different person - your life becomes raising and nurturing that other person. Your heart, quite literally, is now outside of your body; you can't function without that little person, and everything you do is in direct relation to how it will affect her. You look at your child, and you see yourself and the person you love; you see what you were put here to do.

I look at her, I can't believe that someone can look so much like me, while still looking like her own self; how she can already have my eyes, and my husband's sideways smile. How she hates being grabbed on the side of the thighs, just like me. How, when my husband is away for work, which unfortunately is quite often, I just have to look at her to see him - how she is the perfect blend of us, and I, like all other mothers, think she is the most beautiful child I have ever seen.

When I walk into the room, her whole face lights up, and I wish I had one of those mirrors they put on the Grinch's heart because mine almost explodes every time I see that. It's hard to imagine that only 10 months ago I didn't know her, and now I can't imagine my life without her.

My world has completely changed, I can't believe how different my existence is since June 24, 2009. Last year, lunch time was a little break for me, a time to sit down and unwind; now, its 30 precious minutes with my little girl, just so she can see my face a little more in the day. I don't do a lot of things I used to do, like go out on a whim, go down to River Street on the weekends, and there is no such thing as a "quick errand," but I have so much more happiness in my life now that I ever thought possible.

I'm a full-time working mom; I work 8-10 hours a day, five days a week, and I have an hour drive each way to work. I spend an hour with her in the morning, and about an hour at night, not including our two hours in the car, most of which she spends sleeping. I work so much for her, to give her a better life, but also for me. I like having a career, I like having a life outside of my home, and I like to think that I will be a good role model for her in the future, to show her that you can have a career, and still be a great mom.

For all of the Soldiers who are mothers - I don't know how you do it; I am in awe of you. I think working 45 hours a week is tough, but you spend months at a time away from your children. I know you do it because you love them, and they know it, too.

We all have many titles, and many different roles. We moms are able to juggle more than most people can imagine - and usually, we have to do it with about 20 pounds on our hip.

Page last updated Thu May 6th, 2010 at 15:48