Super Bowl Sunday ushered in more than wardrobe malfunctions and touchdowns. Debra Duncan, morning news anchor for Channel 11, and husband, Neal, welcomed 9 lbs. 5 oz. Neal Duncan into the world that day. Now she says that she finally understands what she has always heard: It’s the toughest job you will ever love. Duncan’s road to motherhood was a bumpy one. “You always think there will be a better time,” she says. “In my first marriage, I knew we shouldn’t have kids. If that meant I wouldn’t be a mom, that was fine.”
When she and her second husband decided to try, she suffered a miscarriage. When she began to explore adoption alternatives, she found out she was pregnant again. “After the miscarriage, I didn’t want to acknowledge I was pregnant,” she says. It didn’t really hit her until the minute she heard him cry.
Now Duncan shares the feelings most mothers know. “I’ve never been more afraid,” says Duncan. “I want so much for him. Each day I pray, ‘Please, God, don’t let anything happen to my child.'”
To Duncan, the true heroes are the stay-at-home moms – it’s a 24-hour job that never ends. Duncan has never needed much sleep, and it’s a good thing because her television schedule has her up at 2 a.m. and off work by 9 a.m. This allows her a full day to spend with her little one. No one can really explain how hard it really is,” she says. “It’s a complete commitment.”
Her advice to fellow moms is simple: “You don’t have to be a perfect mother because it’s not perfect. Perfect is happy and healthy.”
In a twist on baby showers, Duncan’s friends threw her a party, and she gave all the gifts to Houston babies infected with HIV. “I wanted to take those things that a lot of us take for granted and give them to someone who won’t take them for granted,” she says.
Happy Mother’s Day, and God love all the mothers out there. “Now I know how much my mom put into me. I owe her.”