My youngest turns one today and I figured that it would be good to share my thoughts on motherhood since I’ve been feeling a bit sappy and want this to be a reminder to my future self that the hair loss I’ve suffered as of late was worth it (kidding).
I was 19 when I gave birth to my first child, a girl. My husband and I would find her by the bookshelves with books in her lap by the time she knew how to sit and crawl. She played by herself in her room and I would call her to dinner when it was ready. Some of her characters that I remember most was her willingness to walk everywhere without a stroller and her ability to sleep through the night from the very beginning. Motherhood with one child seemed to be a piece of cake and my naive self thought that raising another would be just as easy.
It was when I had my second child that I began to shift my opinion on motherhood. My second child brought a new dynamic to my role; he was needy and wanted to be held often. When my second child was about three, I quit my job so that he would no longer go to daycare for the entire day. His amusing personality made the day go by quick. We stayed home during the day and baked, watched movies together, and took walks. Yet, even then, I couldn’t help but have this sinking feeling that the education and career I wanted was taking a set back. It made me hopeless and frustrated that I was putting my aspirations on the backburner. How could I feel so blessed with two wonderful little human beings but also feel like my life was stalling?
In 2016, I found out that I was pregnant with a third child and I was devastated to the core. I initially thought that I was stressed from final exams since I had gone back to school for some post-bac courses. It turned out that I was indeed pregnant. The provider asking me why I hadn’t tied my tubes after my second child if I had known that a third one wasn’t in my plan. Well, it was an awkward question for him to ask and for me to answer, but it made me realize that I do have full control of my body. I ended up tying my tubes 12 hours after giving birth to my third.
Throughout this entire motherhood thing, there have been many days where I wanted to give up being a mom. I’ve been depressed. I’ve been overwhelmed. I’ve been ashamed. I’ve caught myself saying, “If I didn’t have [insert child’s name here], then I could be doing [fill in the blank].” Then I see their little hands reaching out for me when they want hugs and my heart literally melts.
Within the last 365 days since the birth of my youngest, I’ve learned so much about myself. I learned how strong I can be for them and for myself. Their resiliency and ability to stay positive even when I’m falling apart inside keeps me going. They remind me every day of their love for me. I need them just as much as they need me. When I catch myself thinking about the if’s, I stop and remind myself of the many blessings that come with being a mom – little hands to hold, endless snuggles, wild laughter, silly jokes, wonderful memories, and insightful reminders of God’s love.
Motherhood won’t ever be a walk in the park for me no matter what age my kids are, but I’m sure it’ll get easier as they grow older. I know that there will be days when I’m on the brink of a mommy meltdown. However, my kids will grow up and I’ll miss holding their little hands. For now, I’ll continue to count my blessings and cherish their sweet kisses.