Hands held high or Screaming bloody murder?
Have you ever been on a rollercoaster? Do you remember your first time? Were you scared? Were you excited? Did you throw your hands up high and take it all in or did you scream bloody murder until the ride was over?
Motherhood has been a rollercoaster experience for me. And I know I am not alone. It is extremely exciting at first. The baby shower, choosing names, designing nurseries, picking out the safest stroller and car seat, and buying cute outfits! So exciting!
But the minute labor/birth is over, and your baby is in your arms, you look at your spouse and think to yourself, “How in the world am I going to parent this little person? How am I going to be responsible enough to raise a good citizen? How am I going to do this? And why in the world is the hospital allowing me to take this precious new thing home?!
When my husband John and I brought Julia home that first day 6 years ago, we were in the parking lot of the hospital. We strapped her in, we made sure the car seat was secure. We followed all the directions. We packed her diaper bag. We bundled her up on that January morning and we both sat and stared at her in the car and said out loud, “We get to bring her home?!” It was both baffling, and terrifying!
Just like a rollercoaster of emotions we were so excited and happy in the hospital, but the moment we brought her home, and I still wasn’t able to sleep because of visitors, and nursing was painful, and sitting down was painful, and I was just so over tired, the happiness was gone, and reality set in. Motherhood is no joke. It is work. It is painful. There is no more luxury sleep. The house still needs to get cleaned, meals need to be cooked, and this baby, this new baby, needs you. All. The. Time. And trust me when I tell you. I was so spoiled.
Julia was the best baby in the world. She latched properly. She fell quickly into a rhythm and routine. She loved bath time. She did not cry. I’m serious. She didn’t. She was such a good baby, but I was so new at all this. I was such a great teacher. I was teacher of the year for crying out loud. I had my Masters Degree. Why couldn’t I keep it all together and do this motherhood thing right? Why was I so hormonal? Tired? And Cranky? Why did I miss my life before kids so much? Was I normal?
The mundane jobs of being a mom, changing diapers, food shopping, cleaning, making beds…not so exciting or terrifying, but John and I now have 3 kids…with one on the way…and life just keeps going and you just get busier and busier.
On my journey of motherhood I have found that each child has brought their own joys and trials. The roller coaster ride aka as motherhood goes pretty fast. And once you are on, there are no trial runs or time outs. You are committed to the ride. You are a mom forever.
One minute you are burping a newborn and the next you are watching them run! The next thing you know you are enrolling them in kindergarten or in our case picking out curriculum for home school. One of my favorite mommy quotes is, “The days are long, but the years are short.” Isn’t it true?
It’s funny because growing up I always loved babysitting, I always taught Sunday school for little kids at church, and then being an educator and teaching pre-k, third grade, and fourth grade in the classroom, I always thought being a mom was going to be a snap. If I can lead a classroom of 25 third graders, earn my Masters degree in 3 summers, be involved in missions at church, and be a wife, how hard could a baby be?
Little did I know!
At Jacob’s Well, I have met so many wonderful moms, I have listened to their stories, I have interviewed some for my blog, I have shared my struggles and joys with them. If you look around JW you will notice one thing: LIFE! People are either pregnant, nursing a baby, holding a grandchild, or running after a toddler. I love it. I love the honesty of the moms I meet. Motherhood is a sacred calling. It isn't always thrilling, exciting or fun, and it can be downright scary. I am so thankful that with my Savior and my awesome spouse, I am not alone. I can actually throw my hands up from time to time and enjoy the ride!