There are things I'll never understand about fatherhood, and I'll be the first to admit it. However, there are approximately a million things I often think my partner can't understand about motherhood, either. I've tried to explain a few times, but it seems as though there's an undeniable divide between motherhood and fatherhood that's beyond explanation. So, yes, there are things my partner can't understand about motherhood, but that doesn't mean I'm somehow intrinsically more equipped to handle parenthood than he is. It just means that some experiences, however shared, are also different.
I dreamt of meeting my daughter for nine months before she joined our family. From the day we decided to move 4,000 miles away to pursue adoption, every night when I closed my eyes to go to sleep I would picture what it would be like to walk into the hospital and be handed my daughter. In some bizarre twist of fate (or faith, quite possibly), it happened almost exactly how I pictured.
What I couldn't picture and never anticipated, though, was how I was instantly changed in that moment. I walked into that hospital as Emily and I walked out as Maya's mom. My priorities and my heart changed so quickly and monumentally that it really took me by surprise. I thought I'd have to get used to the idea that I had a daughter or that I was a mom. I thought I might have to get used to her, since I didn't grow her in my own womb. I didn't. Motherhood hit me instantly and, as a result, I'm pretty sure my husband still doesn't understand what that's like.