06 Mar Momspiration Monday // Laura’s Story
I’m a planner…my hubby of 23 years might call it being a control freak, but I like to think of it as “prepared”….I plan EVERYTHING. So, when we married, I, of course, planned the birth of our first child. I was quite scientific about the process. I read all of the fertility books and I followed all the steps…right down to temperature charting. I thought I had it all lined up. I was in control. And then, I had my first big dose of the reality of motherhood and we lost our first baby in the first few weeks of pregnancy. I was devastated. I know now that God had a perfect plan, but at the time, I felt like I had failed (because remember, silly me thought I was in control). I was overwhelmingly sad. Our obstetrician had us wait for 2 months after the unpleasant D&C. Immediately we were expecting again. After our gender sonogram done directly by our doctor, we were told we were having a girl. We picked her name. Alyssa Mae. The induction wasn’t going as planned, so I ended up in a C-section. I should have known that after fully furnishing a flowers and bows nursery and having dozens of pink dresses on hand that my plans would be thwarted. Yes – you guessed it! We had a healthy incredible BABY BOY!!! SURPRISE!! Almost 5 years after the birth of our son, hubby and I thought that maybe we might be done. Maybe we would have an only child. Maybe our family was meant to be a family of 3. The month I finally said those words out loud….”I think I’m done having babies.” I discovered I was pregnant with our precious baby girl. The day we brought our little sweet baby home from the hospital in the heat of a Texas July, our AC went out. Early on in motherhood, learned a valuable lesson. Motherhood isn’t predictable and it sure as heck isn’t about control!!
Pre-kids I always had the picture in my head of motherhood, you know the one…where you are rubbing your ever-swelling belly with love or holding your sleeping infant with your beautiful hair streaming over your shoulder with the sunrise perfectly lighting the room. Real Instagram material, right? My vision of motherhood never entailed my skin stretching the point that I wanted to take it off like the way you take want to rip off Spanks and 4 inch heals off after a 12 hour work day!! I never day dreamed about begging my sweet baby boy to just sleep!! OH JUST SLEEP FOR FIVE MINUTES PLEASE! I never thought my hubby would have to practically sit on me to help me “Ferberize” my infant who had learned that if he cries, mommy comes running to nurse at all hours of the night…anytime he felt like it! But the reality of motherhood is this. There are the most “Front Page of Time Magazine” kind of moments where you could not imagine the world ever getting better…ever. There are those moments where you realize you have never seen love personified until you’ve looked on your precious baby boy’s face that has a carbon copy of your hubby’s cleft chin. There are those giggles that make your heart swell to unimaginable size and you can’t contain your own laughter joining in. The joy of watching our children learn and discover and seeing their little unique personalities emerge like butterflies coming out of a cocoon! What unmeasurable happiness motherhood provides!! Then there are the hard times. The ones that don’t make your social media feed. Staying up all night on concussion watch because your little one took the scariest tumble out of the high chair that you KNOW you buckled him into….or did you?? Or when you have to hand your baby girl over to the surgeon to have tubes put in her ears and you just aren’t sure anyone is really qualified to handle operating on your precious angel. (Funny story: When we told our little girl that she was going to the hospital for surgery and she was going to wear a hospital gown like the one mommy had on when she was in the hospital having a baby, our 6 year old daughter turned to us shocked and screamed “I’m having a baby????”) The reality of motherhood is the roller coaster never ends. You don’t graduate. You don’t get a medal, or a certificate (seriously, roll out the red carpet, because I, for one think that there should be “MOM awards” for these incredible accomplishments of motherhood– POTTY TRAINING for one!) Motherhood is never-ending and for that I am so very grateful.
Pre-kids I didn’t have close girlfriends. I was never in a sorority. I just never related that well to girls that were into shopping trips, and make-over sessions. It wasn’t until I had my first child that I really understood the sisterhood of motherhood. The value of that person on the other end of the telephone that totally understands why you are calling them for the right dose of Tylenol to stop the fever because you just can’t make sense of the directions right there on the side of the bottle in your state of exhaustion!! The comfort of someone telling you that they too can’t seem to get their kid to stop sucking their thumb. The girlfriend that comes over with a gift of 10 pictures of you and your baby…framed…knowing that you are about to have to return to work and you just can’t imagine not seeing that sweet child’s face all day, so she gives you a shrine to take into the office. That sisterhood stays with you. Even the day you drop them off at college, stifling tears, you reach out to the phone to text the girlfriend taking her son to another university hundreds of miles in a different direction from your home. The sisterhood of motherhood is golden. It is irreplaceable. Embrace the sisterhood of motherhood.
Pre-kids I thought I knew exactly how I was going to raise my children. They were going to behave in public, be respectful, always perfectly dressed, always freshly cleaned and always happy. You can stop laughing now. I know….what was I thinking? But I was so excited about being a mom, I wanted to be the best mom in the world. And you know what? I am. I am the best mom *I* can be. And being best isn’t about being perfect. It isn’t about your kids being perfect either. The best mom I can be some days means there isn’t a perfect gluten free breakfast on the table, but we did sing some great songs on the drive to grab some fast food pancakes and we laughed about how we had to cool them by holding then out the window because they were to hot! We made imperfection perfect. (Funny story: I decided that our 5 year old wasn’t getting enough out of our Catholic mass, so I decided we would sit in the front row one Sunday. During communion the priest raises the communion and says “The body of Christ”. Well, “body” had somehow become our word for private parts, so our son turns to me and shouts “BODY?” I whisper to calm him and tell him I’ll explain to him later but that it is a different “body”. As if on cue, the priest raises the chalice and says “The blood of Christ”. Well, that did it. My son starts shouting “BLOOD? BLOOD? MOM!!!” So much for my perfectly behaved child in public!! If I have learned one thing in my 18 years of motherhood, it is that just like each child has unique fingerprints, what parenting works for my one child, doesn’t work for my other child and it doesn’t always work for my friend’s child either. I learned to be passionate about my beliefs, but not so passionate that I can’t be compassionate about those that believe differently. Motherhood is about imperfection.
Pre-kids… I could have never thought ahead to the day I just experienced this summer. Sitting on my son’s bed, trying to have fun in these last few moments we had together. He pulls down boxes from the top of his closet and we divide up his treasured teddy bear and Lincoln Logs and Legos that will be packed into the attic from the laptop, backpack and coffeepot that will accompany him to the university he would now call home hundreds of miles away. Pre-kids I could have never imagined that moms could simultaneously be so overjoyed and so sad at the thought of this next chapter in their child’s life. Why do I keep feeling like I should have more time with him? Why am I so anxious? And then, we arrive at the dorm on the same campus my husband and I met all those years ago. My baby boy with the cleft chin that looks just like his daddy is smiling ear to ear as he climbs on the shoulders of his roommate to hang lights that will decorate his tiny dorm. He is a happy Longhorn. And suddenly, I’m not anxious or sad. I’m so happy he is happy. Motherhood is learning let them fly.
Post-kids…Well, there just isn’t such a thing. You never ever stop being a mom. I get that now. Motherhood is forever. And I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Laura lives in Garland, TX, with her husband, Ron, her son, Ben  and her daughter, Catherine . She recently went back to work as a contract Program Manager at Cisco after spending the last four years exploring life as a SAHM. When she’s not at work, you can find Laura cheering on her Texas Longhorns, taking photos as a part of her on-the-side photography business or volunteering at any and every school function, fundraiser and sporting event for her children. “Volunteer until you drop” has become a motto for this Texas-born, Texas-raised Longhorn!
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