7.04.2011

On Mommying

My friend Katie over at Look! I Can Grow People told me something yesterday that her mom has been telling her: motherhood is all about sacrifice and giving up your expectations to face the unexpected. That resonated with me because it's a lesson I'm trying to learn myself and quite possibly the most true words I've ever read. Since she shared it with me, I've been using it as kind of an over-and-over-again mantra to myself. So far, I've learned just how true these words are. Motherhood is most definitely about giving up your expectations and facing the unexpected. No matter how much you've read, researched, prepared, stocked up or memorized, motherhood will always be ultimately learn-as-you-go. Things will happen that you never planned for. I thought being diagnosed with preeclampsia and being put on bedrest was the biggest of my worries at the time. After all, delivery is the only cure for preeclampsia and so I imagined my perfect c-section which would result in my baby being handed straight to me, a perfect and instantaneous breastfeeding relationship and a pain-free recovery at home with my perfect new family. Then my water broke. Then I learned that there really is such a thing as birth trauma and this is where Katie's mom's quote began to really make sense to me.

And then I learned, too, that being a mommy means having to heal quickly. You can't lay in bed and cry with the blinds pulled shut for days on end when your plans are thrown off course. You have to heal and face the unexpected and be a strong mommy. I'm 25 years old and I can't recall a single time my mother was out of commission growing up. Even at her sickest, she was in the kitchen making dinner or helping with homework and it really seemed like she was invincible. And she was, because she's a mom. Moms are supposed to cloak themselves in invincibility and convince everyone around them that nothing is too hard or too strong to get them down.

I am a mommy now. I have let go of those preconceived notions I had about motherhood and doing everything by my perfectly-tuned plan. Being a mommy means doing things you never thought you'd do. It means learning to laugh when people who have never had children attempt telling you what is best for your child or learning to turn the other cheek when people who have not been in your shoes offer their unsolicited critiques or disapproval. At the end of the day, there is a beautiful little boy who I call my son and he is surrounded by so much love. Nothing else matters.

I am a mommy now. My sole responsibility is to care for my son and love him (and maybe spoil him just a bit) and give him the absolute world and beyond. Nothing else matters but his happiness and well-being. When his daddy and I watch him sleeping in his bassinet at night, nothing else matters in the world. When there are piles of dishes in the sink and even taller piles of laundry attacking your hamper, being a mommy means knowing that holding your son and rocking in his glider is what you make time for. Dishes and laundry can wait.

I'm in the process of healing both mentally and physically and have to say that I'm proud of my success on both accounts. I'm sure without my iron pills and red-meat diet (which I am growing so sick of, you can only imagine) the anemia might sneak up on me again but with the supplemental assistance, I'm feeling awesome these days. I've learned that there is no time to wallow in pain or misery or self-pity or frustration when life throws you a curveball when you have a beautiful little boy who falls asleep in your arms as you sing the "Mommy and Ethan are rocking in the chair" song (my husband would like it noted that I'm not a lyricist and this song makes it frighteningly obvious). There is no time for shame or self-doubt or letting the stinging c-section incision beat you down when your husband is home from work for a month and a half and you have all of this time to spend together as a family. The love permeating through our house is incredible.

And nothing else matters in the world.



These days in addition to healing, my days have consisted of car rides (Ethan's most favorite things and admittedly mine, too, as I can't see anything other than awesomeness about my husband chauffeuring me around to get a cup of coffee) and family walks around the block.




My husband turned 26 years old on the 2nd. It's crazy to me that when we first met, he was celebrating his 16th birthday. I've often said that growing up alongside the love of my life is perhaps the greatest thing ever but I want my statement altered to read that watching the love of my life grow into an amazing daddy is by far the greatest thing ever. We sang "happy birthday" and ate gluten-free carrot cake and my husband requested that all he wanted for his birthday was to spend time with his son.



And so I know now that even if my plans get thrown off course, even if things don't go exactly as how I rehearsed them in my head, life will end up okay. That's guaranteed thanks in part to the beautiful, perfect little boy who I am so lucky and proud to call my son. In just a couple of days he will be two weeks old and, already, he has become the greatest source of my inspiration.

3 comments:

  1. That was sooooooo nice. Made me tear up, parts of Aaron and all. You know it - you are lucky and have all the reasons in the world to be proud!!!

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  2. Most beautiful post ever. I totally agree with all of it. Back in the beginning I used to wake up and literally say outloud "let's see what happens today!" lol bc anticipating anything in the early days is just silliness apparently :)

    Love you lots, you're doing a great job!

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  3. I have just spent the past two hours reading everything I have missed. The joys of finding out you were pregnant, the sickness you endured, the bed rest and the remarkable birth of Ethan. I teared up a lot, I smiled many other times, but this entry just left me very moved. You said everything so perfectly. I think I will spend the rest of my weekend (or at least the time I have during Silas' naps) to read even more. You are an amazing Mommy.

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