|Photo by Red Bean Photography|
I’ve spent a good chunk of the last decade figuring out what it means to be a mother.
I don’t think my experience is very typical of most. I had my first child in my early twenties & 3 more children quickly followed.
I was not one of those that dreamed of being a young mom. Or wished for oodles of babies.
As a teenager, I had ambitious dreams for my twenties: college, master’s degree, lots of travel. I wanted to create & carve out a fulfilling, rich life filled with interesting people, places & things. Sure motherhood was in there somewhere, I’m sure. But it was most likely a side project.
Fortuitously, my ambitious path converged with my dashing future husband. We married, & soon realized what we wanted more than anything was to create a family. We wanted a boat load of kids. We had a vision of laughter, love, & lots of it.
We knew it wouldn’t be easy. And it wasn’t.
He still had 3 years of undergraduate school. His career choice wasn’t certain. We didn’t have a lot of money. But we did it anyway. We made those kids. And boy, was it hard work.
Pregnancy, each one, taught me humility.
I had no idea how it would try my endurance. I’d like to say I succeeded at rolling with the punches, but many days I was a bawling mess. Nauseated. Tired.
And I was one of those that does have out of control cravings will pregnancy. I didn’t want to even look at anything green. If it was healthy, I most likely could NOT stomach it. The weight gain (I gained 40-50 pounds each pregnancy). The disruption to intimacy with my husband. For the record, it is not the same when you’re nauseated, 8 months pregnant, & 40 pounds heavier. Pregnancy was most certainly a sacrifice.
The beauty of true sacrifice though, is that it is giving something up for something greater.
Yes, my body was not mine for 9 months, along with so many other things, but out of it came a perfect human being. One that was a little me, a little Joseph. A person that was dependent on my strength, my grace, my good will, to get through their early years of life.
And with each child I was amazed at how my heart grew.
The people, the places, the degrees.
What are those compared to my son’s beautiful green eyes & the way my daughter snuggles into my chest or watching my children accomplish a great task, like riding a bike for the first time?
If I could go back & talk with my teenage self, I’d say:
“Just you wait girl. You won’t believe how much you’re gonna love these 3 words: ‘I love you momma.'”
Submitted to Mom’s Best Network.