From the day I started this blog, I have held the belief that every mother has a story to tell. For all our differences, we are all in this together. We all face a variety of choices and struggles, and sometimes all you need is to know that someone else has been there, no matter what it is that you are dealing with.
As I was pondering this the other day, my mind turned to my mother. She has had such a unique journey, raising 2 children to adulthood and then starting all over in a new era. Honestly, I think she should have a blog of her own, or maybe a book, about all that that has entailed, there’s just so much material!
In the end, I asked her to write something for me, whatever she wished…and I’ll probably do so again (just a head’s up, Mama!). Luckily, she agreed and I am proud to share her story with you today.
One Mother’s Journey
29 years of motherhood has brought me many memories, along with tears of joy and pain.
My daughter asked me to write an article for her blog and so as I reflect on the years my children have been a part of my life, I can honestly say that through it all–the good, the bad, and the ugly–they have been my rock and my salvation more than they can possibly ever comprehend.
At age 19 I thought I knew it all and was so grown up that I got married to a guy I dated for only 3 months. By age 20 I conceived my first child. From the moment of conception I had morning sickness. My daughter continued to keep me dehydrated for the first four months of my pregnancy, causing me to have IVs every other day, but I still loved being pregnant. She instantly became my world before I even laid eyes on her. She was only 4lbs 14oz when born, but she was healthy.
I never knew I could love someone so deeply. There was never a doubt that she was mine. All mine. Being an only child, I guess I didn’t share well. Although I was married, I truly felt that she was my responsibility alone and I wanted her and I to have the bond I had with my own mom.
Feeling like I could never love another child as much as I loved my daughter, I convinced my husband that we didn’t need to have any more children. It would be so unfair to bring a child into our family that would always be second place.
Well, the universe decided that didn’t matter and at age 22, with my daughter being 15 months old, I discovered I was pregnant again. Unlike the first pregnancy, I was devastated. How could I possibly love this child as much as the first? Not to mention, having no siblings of my own I had nothing to even compare to.
Then, when I felt movement for the first time I knew it would be okay and as the pregnancy went along the idea was scary, but still exciting too. The day my son was born I lost my heart forever. I cannot possibly describe the over-whelming love I felt holding him. Then I became riddled with guilt that I could have ever thought I didn’t want him.
The universe yet again decided to laugh at me by giving him a hernia around his bowels. Doctor after doctor kept telling me he had colic. He cried and cried. His only relief was a swing and a vacuum. I had empathy now for how shaken baby could occur. How was I ever going to bond with him like this? After 3 swings and two vacuums, the hernia appeared and the finally did surgery.
I was given the most loving and loyal handsome boy who to this day admits he is a mama’s boy and is truly the best gift the universe could have given me. My heart swells when I think of how wonderful he is and the relationship I longed to have with him is so strong. He is truly the best male friend I have.
I divorced their father when 8 and 6 years old. We were on our own for 12 years. I chose them over anyone else. I devoted myself to raising them. It was the three of us against the world. I hope they know they were my life.
Thinking my journey of motherhood was slowing down, my boyfriend–who had been a part of our lives all these years–and I decided to finally live together and buy a house. I had my daughter in college and my son in his senior year of high school, it was time for me to be able to focus on other things.
The universe decided it was time for another intervention and at age 40 I discovered I was pregnant. Not only was this my husband’s first child, he was also 10 years my junior…yeah, I don’t do anything normal.
I was actually thrilled to be pregnant. I suppose empty nest syndrome may have been involved, but I can honestly say without a doubt that this child was supposed to be here and he has healed us in so many ways.
At age 41 I delivered a beautiful baby boy. I was so worried that my two older children would think I was moving on without them, and then they told me something beautiful. They told me he was the glue that now bonded them to their stepfather forever and they were so happy to have a little brother.
When my mother passed away he was the reason I got out of bed. He has brought such joy to our family. I could list all the reasons he was given to us, but the bottom line is he is loved way beyond words and I will be forever thankful for him.
Now not only am I a mother, but my daughter has blessed me with a beautiful granddaughter. Nothing is more surreal than watching your first child give birth. It was one of the greatest gifts I was ever given and came at a time when I truly needed it.
So, as you can see motherhood is a journey of many roads and although there are bumps and wrong turns made, I am thankful that mine had so much variety. I love being a mom.