I'm joining my friend, Vicki at Frugal Mom Knows Best in the writing workshop with Mama's Losin' It's. They are talking about how motherhood has changed you. Please be sure to check out both of their stories. This is a great thing to write about and really made me think. So on to the show.
So many years ago, I started praying for my children to come. You see I came from a large family (see above). I believed that having a child was what made a girl became a woman. That thought I would later come to realize actually was what my dad thought. I came from a very dysfunctional family. While I grew up, I promised that I would do things differently than my folks. That I would be a good mother. That my children would have everything that they needed. That they wouldn't have to beg for things. That I would support them even over what my husband wanted. And yes, I imagined them as being perfect as well.
My mother was very codependent. She did basically anything my father told her. At 8 p.m., typically my parents went into their bedroom. We all called it the dungeon. We were not allowed to go in there. My father was jealous of us kids. It sounds crazy but it is true. He believed that children were not to be heard at all. We were supposed to appear when we needed to make a public attention and be quiet. He felt that way and we were to follow his directions. He was a hard man to grow up with. My mother tried to cover for him most of my life. I can remember at 12 years old begging my mother to divorce him. We struggled to get clothes money every year for school. Now my parents had done extremely well financially but he didn't believe in sharing it.
I remember walking across that stage at 18 years of age and thinking "You can't stop me now." Well, you all know that I had female problems that eventually led to a complete hysterectomy. My dreams were over when I had the surgery. At least I believed so at the time.
I was 32 years old when I met my current husband. I did not want to get married to him. I was so afraid that he would leave me when he finally wanted children. He insisted that he didn't want kids. I had accepted by now that I would never be a mother. I didn’t actually believe in adopting children at this point. Or it just had never occurred to me. I wasn’t happy about not having my own children. I had finally decided that I could live through my sister’s or brother’s kids. I helped raise them. Now I didn’t do much. But I didn’t want anyone else to have to suffer through not having their own child. My husband and I began fighting about it. I believed that some day he would want his own children. I couldn’t get it out of my mind. You could say that I became obsessed by it. That actually was the fact that drove us apart right before we got married. And low and behold, he had a one night stand with fertile myrtle Marsha. He got drunk and she was convenient. Ok I'm not going there.
One month after we were married, we found out that our daughter was coming. Marsha didn’t want her so we would be able to raise our own child. I would be able to adopt her through step parent adoption. I was terrified and excited all at the same time. I wanted my own child but now the doubts started. Would I be able to love her as if she was my own? Would I be able to raise her? Did I know what to do with a newborn baby? What if I was like my parents? Would we be the best parents for her? And the worst one of all: What if Marsha was playing with us and changes her mind?
I had so many thoughts running through my head. I was so overwhelmed and so incredibly excited. I was scared to death as well. Talk about being confusing. We began the process of preparing her room. I got to go to the baby store for the first time for my child. I’m choosing all the things that I want for her at Toys’ R Us. I was crying while I was picking things. I think the lady that originally was helping us thought I was insane or something. I definitely didn’t look pregnant. We got to name our daughter. We named her Faith because she is our blessing.
Before: Life was about me. What I wanted. What I needed.
After: Life is about my family. Life is about watching my kids grow up. Life is about giving things up so that they have what they needs or wants.
Before: Expecting children to be perfect
After: They aren’t perfect. Unless you think projectile vomit is perfect or them screaming so long that I want to pull my hair out or temper tantrum when all the adults look at you like you are the most evilest person on earth.
Before: We used to go out on the town.
After: I may drink a glass of wine once a month now. I have better things to spend money on.
Before: I loved reading the news.
After: I hate reading the news now. I can’t help but think every time I read about a child that could be my child. I worry about the future of our children.
Before: Children affected me softly.
After: Every smile or giggle they makes my heart skip a beat.
Before: Material things were important.
After: I would throw it all away for the safety of my children.
Before: Doctors scared me.
After: My child is sick. I will scare the doctor to get the answer. I will push them until we fix the problem. I won’t stop until I know how to make my child well again.
Before: I was about the job.
After: Who cares about a job? My children are too important.
Before: Life was on a schedule.
After: What is a schedule? I’m late for everything now. Life isn’t about a schedule. It’s about doing what’s best for the kids.
Before: I used to sleep a lot.
After: What is sleep? Is it really needed? Jason wakes up at 6:30 a.m. most mornings. Faith starts school at 8 a.m. Running to and here all day long and then the kids go to bed at 8:30 p.m. I’m still up doing work for them. I fall into bed exhausted.
Before: I always stood by my decisions.
After: Now I question myself constantly.
Before: Sex all the time
After: If we are lucky. Kids come first. Intimacy after a long day with the kids can be really hard. I find I love him more now for the most unromantic reasons. For his coming home late at night and cooking dinner when I’m exhausted after a day with the kids. When he hold my child to comfort them.
Before: A clean house
After: I’ll settle for a lived in house. Life just does not have to be perfect. It is clean but it’s not perfect. It is lived in.
Ok so I have completely changed BUT ….
It’s the best thing that has ever happened to me. How can you explain in words how their little smiles or giggles make your heart swell? How can you explain that one tear shed hurts more than anything in the world if it comes from them? How can you explain that the joys of being a mother are worth more than every cent I made all of my life? How can you explain that to see them happy is what completes me?
How can you explain that this is what I was meant to be doing?