motherhood and expectations

Motherhood has been profoundly life changing for me. Never have I dug so deep or felt such joy all at the same time.

When I was longing to become a mother, I thought about how grand it would be. How many kids, what gender, and what color eyes would each child have. How skinny I would be just after birthing them all. How I would not be one of those moms who posts tons of pictures of her kids on facebook. How well disciplined, funny and well dressed they would be. How hard could it be after all? They are just kids. Getting pregnant will happen quickly, I will feel great and look even better in maternity clothes. My husband will certainly make enough for me to be a stay at home mom. My delivery will be quick and my baby a perfect angel.
Yes, this was the dream world I lived in.

Getting pregnant was the longest seven years ever. It was gut wrenchingly difficult in every sense. Everyone around me was having babies and I just could not make it happen. Who I was as a person was shook to the core, stripped naked and left beat up on the floor. It was awful. I put on a happy face but I was broken. God used that time of brokenness to reveal himself to me in ways I was not even aware of. I thought I would never leave that valley of life to see the mountaintop. When I finally got pregnant, I did not feel great nor were maternity clothes all they were cracked up to be. I was on bedrest (which is depressing by the way) for half my pregnancy with the twins or chasing one year old twins with the second pregnancy. My husband does not make enough for me to stay home with my kids. My delivery was very painful, I had several pre term labor scares with time in the hospital and my babies all had terrible reflux so cried a lot and slept rarely. Not to mention I had gall bladder surgery just 6 weeks after birthing twins who spent 2 weeks in the NICU.
In short, nothing I expected motherhood to be was.

I cried a lot. I felt overwhelmed a lot. I had a hard time nursing. I was exhausted. I rarely wore make up or real clothes. I felt trapped in my house...for months. So when I hear young girls fantasizing with their friends about becoming a mom, I want nothing more than to shake them and ask them to wait. Just a little while. Just until you can get your feet on the ground, your expectations real and your support group on stand by. It is not all dress up and cuddle time girls. Sorry.

It is hard. Just plain hard. It does not get easier, it gets different. The challenges change. God has grown me in deep, passionate ways. I am more patient, more relaxed, more compassionate. I know exactly who I am. Exactly what God created me to be- a mother, a wife, and God's daughter. Every single day is a choice to give up my very self to God by serving Him through my children. Sometimes every moment. Like when I step on a hot wheel, baby puke or worse a wooden block. When I have gotten little sleep, am late for work and have three humans pulling on me crying to be held and dirtying my clothes. Getting down to their level, slowing down, stepping into their brain, speaking gently, playing creatively, embracing their hearts when I hold them. This all takes me taking a step back from my human self to see my boys how God sees them. It's like God whispers to my children my sins and asks them to push me just a bit further than I can handle so I can see my sin. It's working God. I am growing. I am learning. This time last year I still cried regularly from my feeling of overwhelmed-nedss. God's grace, mercy and humor have carried me and lead me. I will not expect to be a perfect mom. I will not expect my kids to be perfect. Expectation of perfection has only bred me disappointment. I am teachable Lord. May each day bring new light to your grace, your deep love for me and my profound joy in my family as they are.

I am looking forward to what else motherhood brings- the good, bad and ugly. I just know now not to place an expectation of a movie like life in my world. My boys are simply the deepest, widest most amazing joy I have ever experienced. Motherhood however, well I am still working on that one. ;)


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