I was thinking about the role of motherhood yesterday. Well, actually, I think about it everyday. Because I am a mom! But, there’s so much more to motherhood than just giving birth, feeding, clothing, and nurturing the little ones.
I began my journey toward home 15 years ago. As a new, young mother of 23 years, I was terrified, petrified, and just plain lost! All of those years I spent as a teenager with babysitting, nothing could prepare me for the real thing! A real baby… alive… crying, peeing, pooping, never sleeping, and wanting to nurse all the time. I was doomed.
Then, I remembered I had a job. A real job, outside the home, where I could be an adult again. My feminist side began to rise within me once more, and I was so happy to put my newborn into daycare. I did not shed one tear. As I look back on those days, I realize now just how wrong I had been in my view of motherhood.
Now, wait, before you bash me and tell me I’m brain-washed, please let me finish my story. I went back to work; I was chronically tired, and my baby was chronically ill. By the time he was eight months old, he had switched babysitters twice, and already had tubes put into his ears. Still, I felt like I had to work. I needed the health insurance. I needed the income. How could I possibly become a stay-at-home mom?
Two years later, my second precious son was born. This time I was much more relaxed, and I was able to juggle the demands of a two year old and a newborn. My new baby was not a chronic cryer, and he actually slept more than his brother. I decided to stay home an extra two weeks to enjoy my time with him. Still, I felt like I had no choice but to return to work when my maternity leave was done. I found a sitter that was able to take my newborn on a part-time basis. I also found out later that she kept him in his carseat most of the time. This time, I did shed a few tears.
An opportunity arose for my family to move out of state. So we did. I took a chance, and quit my job. I said goodbye to my cubicle, my co-workers, my health insurance, and my income. And, I said hello to full time motherhood… in a new state with no friends and a new climate.
To be honest, I did not like the transition to becoming a full time mom. Many a time I have read how women feel like they lose their independence, their identities, their self-worth. Oh boy did I understand this plight! And, to top it off, I could not find one soul in my neighborhood who shared my sentiments. This was a perfect recipe for depression.
To make the long story short, I found depression, and then I found hope. I learned very slowly how to accept my circumstances, make the best out of chaos, and find my place. Every mom must go through this, but it is up to each individual to determine how she will go through the storms and the calm.
As I look back on the past decade and one-half decade, I see how I could have been more content. But, now I have the opportunity to look forward to each day as I continue to feed, clothe, and nurture my children. They are not obstacles, burdens, or inconveniences that were placed in my lap. They are blessings and opportunities to make a difference in the world, should I have the knowledge and patience to train them.
I am no longer a feminist, but I am feminine to the core. I love everything that displays the beauty of motherhood, and of womanhood. My journey to home has been riddled with rocky paths, thorny pains, and stormy waters. But, the end result is a polished, smooth countenance and heart. I am thankful for this journey. I am grateful for the joys and the trials. Yet, the journey is not over… my story continues.
P.S. For those of you who are in need of “mom” encouragement, I urge you to register for the upcoming Mom Heart Conferences in early 2011! Please go to the following link for more information: http://www.wholeheart.org/mom-heart-conference-online-registration/ If you have any questions, please ask me 🙂 Thanks!