A Mother’s Reflection

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Yesterday was my first Mother’s Day (with a baby not on the inside of me) and it was great.  Olivia was so thoughtful and got me exactly what I wanted (kitchen gadgets) and Kraft has promised a 6-pack of my favorite beer next time we’re near Specs.  And we’re going to Alamo Drafthouse’s baby day and watching Babies tomorrow.  I am sooo excited about it.

So I was thinking and reflecting on what it means to be a mother and I started thinking about what it takes to be a mother. 

“It’s important to not make the decision based on fear.”
If you’ve known me for any reasonable amount of time you know that the issue of “planning” kids is one that I am constantly thinking about, reading about, discussing, reflecting on, etc.  I don’t always understand the decisions that people make but I know they are doing what they think is best for the family.  When it comes to me and Kraft making decisions about kids, I have yet to come up with a better answer than – leave God in control of it. 

If me and Kraft were in charge of our fertility I’m not sure we’d ever have a kid.  Having a kid is inconvenient, uncomfortable, expensive (and completely wonderful, but that’s besides the point).  If we were planning it I don’t know if we’d ever think we had enough money or were in a place good enough in our relationship to have a kid.  So from the beginning we decided we have to leave it up to God.  It was very tempting to say after the Squeaker was born that we want to space kids out, that we want to figure out how to be parents, that we need to save up some money, but when it came down to it we were just plain scared of getting pregnant right away. 

I was discussing this with a friend and honestly just trying to see if I could come up with a reason that would convince me that the situation was grave enough to use NFP to not conceive a child.  In our conversation we came to the conclusion that when it comes to making major decisions like this we cannot let fear dictate our decision.  Just because we were scared of getting pregnant again quickly does not mean that we should take it into our own hands.  So we decided to leave it in God’s hands (obviously always the right choice but of course the hardest) and here we are 8 months later and not pregnant yet.  God knows what we need.  And if I had gotten pregnant in these last 8 months, God would know what He was doing sending us that baby.

“Always button baby clothes from the bottom up.”
At one of my baby showers everyone wrote advice for us new parents and this was one of the few suggestions that I think about constantly.  Whenever I’m putting O in her pajamas, I always start from the top with the buttons and I always miss a button by the time I get to the end and I think about this advice card.  I should know to start from the bottom by now but I never do.  Such a simple piece of advice but so right on.

“If you don’t buy me the candy I’m going to tell grandma that I saw you kissing daddy’s peepee.”
A horrible embarrassing story that I read about in some parenting magazine.  The little kid yelled this at her mom when they were trying to check out at the grocery store.  Being a mom requires such humility in so many different ways.  Carrying added baby weight when I’ve always been so self-conscious about weight.  Walking around UT with O by myself and getting looks of shock from students/parents walking around. (We always joke that I should put on a UT tshirt and hang out with O and the stroller in front of some sorority house just for laughs.)  Having O scream at the top of her lungs in a restaurant or totally meltdown in public and getting ugly looks.  Breastfeeding in public when there is no other recourse.  Looking frumpy in public because O just wouldn’t let me do anything to make myself presentable that morning.  Moms have got to have such thick skin.

“You just never know what’s going to happen in life so really enjoy it and be thankful.”

On our first flight with O we sat next to this absolutely wonderful lady.  She was telling us how much she wanted a big family but her husband divorced her after they had their first kid and she never remarried or had any other kids.  I know, sad huh?  But she’s so right.  We may want a huge family but that doesn’t mean that God has other plans.  Maybe God will only send us O for the rest of our lives.  So we have to be so thankful and enjoy every moment with O because maybe we won’t walk this newborn part again.

“No storm can shake my inmost calm while to that rock I’m clinging.  Since Love is Lord of heaven and how can I keep from singing.”
This is a hymn from church that I constantly have to sing to keep sane.  It’s kinda like my mantra.  When I feel like I’m about to lose it because I’m so frustrated with O I sing this in my heard and picture me holding onto the rock of sanity and it helps me calm down.  God always sends me the grace to calm down when I ask for it.

“9:20 sleep, 9:55 awake, 10:35 sleep, 10:37 awake, 10:45 sleep, 10:55 awake, 11:05 sleep, 11:45 awake, 11:48 asleep, 11:55 awake, 12:08 asleep, 1:22 awake,  1:40 sleep, 4:00 awake, 5:00 sleep, 6:20 awake, 7:45 sleep, 10:30 awake”

This is O’s sleep log from a night in January.  We have had some really rough nights.  She’s not much better at sleeping.  She still sleeps at least one good 3 hour block but other than that wakes up about every hour but it’s much easier to put her back to sleep than it used to be.  Patience is the name of the game.  And sometimes I lose at the game but everyday is a new day.

So here’s to all the moms that have to be not afraid, practical, humble, thankful, sane, patient, and a million other things to keep the family running. 

Happy (belated) Mother’s Day.

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