The Realness of Motherhood
If you have ever doubted that “mom brain” is real, I assure you it is! I don’t call my children by their correct names anymore! I call Ava “Ah-lec-Ava” most of the time because my tongue even combines their names!
The mundane tasks of picking up batteries as they roll across the floor from a remote that has been thrown from a three year old’s hands countless times, picking up a scattered pile of diaper wipes, then putting them in a ziplock bag because they’ve been pulled out of the original package, and cleaning poop off the floor RIGHT beside the potty while potty training, are just a few examples of what occurs in our home on any given week. Our role as “mom” can keep us quite busy! We don’t even go to the bathroom alone most of the time!
I am thankful for the honor of motherhood and all that comes with it. You see, there was a time I felt my body was “broken” and I had a sense of shame when one would ask, “You say you’ve been married 4 years?When are you going to have a child? Do you want children?” My response was, “Yes, I want to be a momma with all my heart! My husband and I have been trying to have a child for a year.” As time passed, the answer turned into “We have been trying 7 years”.
I even received responses like, “You know how you get pregnant, right?” I would respond with an uncomfortable and irritated curtesy laugh.
After years of trying to have my first child, going through 2 artificial insemenations, and taking fertility drugs, my husband at the time told me he didn’t want children. My spirit was crushed. It was like my breath and purpose had been ripped from me. My faith simply took over. I never argued about it. I simply prayed. After ten years of marriage and seven years of trying to get pregnant, I WAS pregnant with Alexis, my answer to prayer! God’s timing is always perfect and two years later, I gave birth to our sweet Ava!
I was a working mom of two, a serving wife, served in our church, and life was busy. As moms, we try to find balance in putting everyone’s needs before our own, while trying to listen to what our mind and body needs. For me, I didn’t find that balance until later in life and still try to find it often. My life was not my own for years. I was in a controlling marriage, making sure his every need was met as well as my daughters. After 20 years of marriage, we divorced. My life had become engrossed in motherhood and by allowing my husband to control me in every way, I didn’t even know what flavor ice cream I liked when we parted ways. (That is true!)
The one thing that kept me going after divorce was my two daughters. Motherhood was my life preserver. Thankfully, I have had my daughters 24/7 and was also taking care of my mother, who lived with us. I was working two jobs and all of my friends (except for one) no longer spoke to me on a regular basis. Yes, even church friends, whom I served with for several years, no longer kept in touch. However, God never left. He chases us and fights for us, even when we are so numb we don’t know how to talk to Him anymore. That one friend who remained faithful, reminded me that when we don’t know how or what to pray, The Holy Spirit is praying on our behalf. I am so thankful for that truth!
Motherhood leaves even the hardest working, dedicated, and loving mom feeling like she’s not doing enough and that she is not enough in general. When we lay our head down and the stillness of the night surrounds us, we second guess ourselves. Was I too hard on my child? Did I tell them how much I love them enough to where they really know? The truth is, our children won’t have a clue how much we love them until they become parents themselves.
I have often said, “No one understand a lady, like another lady.” We can breath so much life, understanding, and love into our fellow mothers by our words and attitude.
A year and a half ago, I had a miscarriage and lost my own momma within 24 hours of one another. Mourning my child and my mom at the same time was numbing. However, I couldn’t stop taking care of my three daughters. Motherhood, once again, became my life preserver and I had to keep going for my family.
Shortly after my miscarriage and after I was back at work, I had to crawl in the back seat of our travel car to grab something and my male coworker told me that’s probably why I miscarried. The disrespectful and insensitive remarks are things we endure as women and working mothers. There can be so many forces that come against us on top of what we tell ourselves. So why are we so critical and condemning of others?
God extends grace to us, so why is it so hard to Give ourself and others grace?
We have to remember that the ‘ol devil wants to deceive us and rob us of peace and joy.
Ephesians 6:12 says: “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.”
There is indescribable love, intense emotions, and relentless humor involved with motherhood! The humorous stories, that become the ones told countless times throughout the years, also become the comic relief we need and make the tough days bearable.
One Christmas when Ava was 3 years old and Alexis was 5, I decided we would have this beautiful moment of making a ginger bread house, just like the Hallmark and Rice Krispie commercials tell us we can have.
Ava was sitting on top of the counter and Alexis was standing in a chair along side us as we began to assemble the gingerbread house. I could not find the gumdrops and asked where they were. Ava looked up and said, “right here”, as she continued to put the remaining gumdrops in her underpants!
There are comical events that could never be scripted and even leaves a mom not knowing whether to laugh or cry!
Ava called me the other day from school because she wasn’t feeling well. So, as not to embarrass her, I changed my chocolate milk stained T-shirt I had slept in the previous night before going to the school to get her. Then, as I am trying to get Savannah to the car, I hit the garage door opener. She quickly runs and grabs the basket of golf balls and pours them out as fast as lightning.
About 50 yellow nerf golf balls roll down our driveway into the street. Savannah is hysterically laughing. So, I just stand there watching a sea of yellow roll down our driveway. I know it’s funny but, at the time I was so tired and had a monthly visitor that had my organs feeling as if they were dragging the floor. Yes, mommas, you can relate! To add to the humor, a guy slowly drove by with his window down and witnessed the entire thing while hearing me yell “Saaaaavannnnnahhhhh!”
He circled back around, not to help but, to see the craziness! I put Savannah in her car seat and went on my own belated Easter egg hunt for yellow golf balls, while hearing Savannah laughing the entire time!
Whether you are a mother struggling through the mundane daily tasks, a lady longing to know the joy of motherhood and struggling with infertility, a mother trying to find balance between your needs and the needs of others, or one who doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry; remember you’re never alone. Cherish that one friend that has your back and is faithful when others leave. Surround yourself with positive influences and lean on The One who is always with you and will intercede on your behalf. Happiness is an emotion that comes and goes. However, you can have joy in the midst of any situation.... especially in the ‘The Realness of Motherhood’.
I write about life and family. My heart's desire is to educate as I am being educated, while inspiring and encouraging others through the beauty of Down Syndrome.