A friend of mine recently shared with me her plans to start a family. I then shared with her the good, the bad, and the ugly of motherhood (with maybe a little too much emphasis on the bad and the ugly....)
I hope, dear readers, that I do not grouse on the subject too much. I hope that I have managed to hit the highlights as well. Mother's Day is fast approaching and so is my first born's birthday so I've been reflecting on my roll as a mother. For my sake and for the sake of my friend, this blog will be about the parts of motherhood that make it all worth while!
First there is the pleasure of carrying a child. I'm serious! I loved being pregnant! Even the uncomfortable things were a joy to me because of what it meant was happening inside. Yes, carrying a baby is a bit like having a parasite. I mean, my doctor told me, "prenatal vitamins are not for the baby. They are for the mom! The baby gets everything they need from you. If it needs calcium, it will take it right from the mom's bones." Your baby will literally be sucking your essence right out of ya! (Wait...be encouraging.) Feeling the baby move, watching my body change...oh and intimacy is out of this world when pregnant! Truth.
Most newborns look more "other worldly" then ethereal at first. Still, the first time you see your babys face...speechless. Gabriel was a real beauty! He actually did not have that wrinkled old man face that most new borns have. He was such a cutie! (Aside from the warped head but it goes back...mostly.) Drew...was a little funky and swollen but such a love bug from the get go!
I did not have a good start with Gabe and the breast feeding was an ordeal. (Ladies with a low milk supply: try Blessed Thistle and Fenugreek. Both are herbs at the grocery store that will have the bar open with in 12 hours of taking them.) Drew was very easy to nurse and very easy to make happy. I was so thankful for an easy second go-round. He and I had a tender moment our first night together. I don't know if it was the soft glowing light or the drugs....probably the drugs...but it was so sweet and I can see it in my mind as clear as that day!
The first year with our first was hard. Not gonna lie. My favorite time of his babydom was from 1-2. The leaps and bounds that boy made! That was such an exciting time for he and I both.
It was during this time that I realized that my children were not mine. I mean, from the get-go I knew they were the Lords to give and take but even here in this world, they are not mine. I will have 18-20 years with my sons and then they will be their own men. They each have another woman waiting for them some where out there. They will be hers. She will be their priority. So I realized I had to celebrate as they gained skills and became independent of me. If I tried to hold them back and keep them my little boys they would turn into turds. I don't want my sons to seek out a mother in their wife but a lover and a partner. That has been the bulwark of my parenting motives ever since. I'm not raising good kids. I'm grooming great men.
Gabriel is so philosophical, prophetic, black and white. Justice is of up most importance to him. He has a gallant heroes heart. He is an old soul who began to seek God from a very young age. He is often the one teaching me instead of the other way around. His intelligence is one of his greatest gifts but could also be one of his greatest downfalls. It's hard for him to make a mistake or be wrong. I apologize to him a lot because I legitimately need to and because I want him to see how to handle making a mistake. (Something I don't always handle well myself.)
Drew (God love him) is me. Why God? Why oh why do you do this? It's not funny anymore. He is gregarious, out spoken, LOUD, funny, charismatic, dramatic, charming, and a foodie! He is independent. Tell him "no" and he will show you "Oh yes." He is also ultra sensitive. If he thinks someone is unhappy with him or does not like him it hurts him greatly. It physically aches. I know, because I am the same way. He is going to be a chef. He decided this long ago and stands by it. He is not a foodie with out purpose. (Well...not always.)
They bring joy to everyone who meets them. They impress airplane passengers, teachers, Sunday school teachers, state senators, other parents, cashiers, the ladies....everyone they touch. I swear this! My friends tear up when they speak of them. They are a blessing!
They tell me they love me, they are proud of me, that I'm beautiful, that I'm "not lame." Drew holds my face and says, "Oh Mommy! You are my one and only mom! You are my angel!" Gabriel says that he is so glad that God decided to give him to me.
I appreciate my time with them and my time away from them. It's good for me to miss them and, like wise, for them to miss me from time to time. Take breaks mommy's! I think this is especially important for stay home moms because you are 24-7 in kid world. Even when they are in school, most of what I'm doing is for them. The laundry, the groceries, PTA, the carpooling. Your world literally revolves around them. Family vacations are not vacations for moms. I am so grateful that I have a husband who recognizes that and happily makes these breaks possible for me. Usually. ;)
Since they were born I have been helping them grow up and apart from me. Make them more self reliant and capable. That's what parenting is. That's the job. My sons are 8 and 6 now and don't need me to do all of the little things so much anymore. They can blow their nose, wipe their butts, bathe, tie their shoes and the like. The hands-on stuff was the easy part. Now it is more about life lessons. Now I'm thinking I might would like to go back to curling up in my recliner with a suckling little baby in my arms...