Friday, June 13, 2014

Life Lesson From My Children

Here we are with baby number 3. He and I spend a lot of time together. He likes to keep me up late into the night and in the delirium of sleeplessness I find my thoughts turning to my children and how each of them have taught me and molded me into the woman I have become.

When Kylee was born it was a violent shove into motherhood. It felt sudden and foreign and I was ill prepared. It’s funny because you see other Moms while you are single and childless and you don’t think much of it because this women are graceful and organized and they make it seems like, “yeah, anyone could do this”. Then one day this baby you have been dying to come into the world actually does and noone prepares you (or they do and you can’t hear them) for what motherhood is really like.

Kylee and I had a rocky start. Nursing was hard, going to work was hard, sleeplessness was hard. I read parenting books and did everything they said-TO THE LETTER!

·         “Feed your baby every 3 hours”-check.
·         “Don’t hold them too much”-check.
·         “Let them cry it out”-check.

My newness as a mother and my lack of skill blinded me from the seemingly obvious:
1.       Your baby could be hungrier than every 3 hours
2.       That baby time is fleeting and you’ll regret not lovin on them more
3.       Sometimes your baby wants you to hold them until the end of time, but do it because the time is fleeting.

My introduction to motherhood was hard. I suddenly saw all my personal flaws in Technicolor simultaneously! I was selfish and I saw motherhood as the end of Misti and the beginning of my new persona “Kylee’s Mom” and it frustrated me. I saw all the things I was giving up in order to be a mother and felt guilty for feeling that way. I was young and I needed to finish school and we were poor and so I had to continue working. The weight of my responsibilities was crushing, let alone adding motherhood to the heap. So what did Kylee teach me? She taught me that I am a crazy, controlling, “by the book” nut job-at least up to that first year.

In a lot of ways I feel like I failed Kylee. I failed to be the kind of mom I hoped I would be for her during those early years. I was preoccupied with trying to pay the bills and obtain a diploma to be a really good Mommy. Kylee taught me humility. She helped me realize that everything isn’t about me. I grew up never feeling like anything was about me. And I certainly didn’t want my child to feel that kind of unimportance. Kylee helped me learn that I can change. She helped me realize the potential of the kind of Mother I could become and made it seem attainable. While Kylee and I had a rough start, I’m certain our finish will be wondrous. Through her I have transformed my vision of the perfect by the book Mom to the perfect Mom for Kylee Stoddard. A hard lesson, but one I never would have learned any other way.

I’ve mentioned it before in this journal, but Aubrey opened my eyes to the gift of motherhood. Following a very difficult family trial, I prayed desperately about how I could possibly heal and move on from this tragedy. My answer came and shockingly was, “Have a baby”. Um yeah no, so I prayed again. The answer again, “Have a baby”. Honestly, I prayed several more times and finally got it that we should really HAVE A BABY. And so we did.

Aubrey came and she really did heal my heart. She taught me that love can heal all wounds no matter how deep or wrenching. Holding her little baby body warmed my heart to what this life is about-FAMILY.  I felt blessed to have this “fresh from heaven” child as my tangible band aid. I rejoiced in her dependence on me because I had equal dependence on her, to help me forgive and to reconcile from recent anguish.

Aubrey taught me to appreciate the baby time. To trust myself as a mother and let the little things go. To accept my mothering faults and work within them and just simply live in the moment. Her baby-toddler years were a joyous time, which says a lot following such deep despair. Even now when I look at her, I am reminded of all she healed just simply by her presence. She is my miracle worker baby and brought healing and great joy to our lives.

I joke that we like to wait a minimum of half a decade before we contemplate having another child. Honestly, Rhett was a hard decision. It seemed like I would be ready and then Paul wouldn’t. Then Paul would be ready and I would not. We were just could not get on the same page.

 My best friend Christy had her first baby girl in mid December. I was blessed to witness her birth and the utter joy that encompassed her and her husband as they welcomed their little sweet Emma. It was really one of the top 10 moments of my life. I went home and couldn’t stop talking about what a miracle it was and how that special experienced touched my heart.

Being Christmastime, Paul and I were up late wrapping presents and we discussed, yet again, having another baby. Finally, we were both on the same page.  The very next month we were pregnant. This baby was READY and was simply waiting for us to realize we were too!

Rhett really was ready to make his debut! He came into this world quick (3 hr labor) and I instantly new that he was for us and was encompassed with a feeling of completeness. He was the last piece of our family puzzle and he has made us all feel whole.

Rhett has taught me to slow down and truly relish the baby time. Getting up in the night was not a chore, but a joy. A time set aside for him and me to be alone. I loved it, I loved it all. I have felt a strong and instantaneous bond with this little boy that I can’t quite describe. It is best said that I am simply in love with him!

After coming home from the hospital Mom and Jill and Ryan were at our house and were hogging him. I had just spent 2 days in the hospital with him all to myself and having to share was hard. I went to lay down to cry (remember I’m coming off those crazy prego hormones) because I wanted to hold him. Luckily Paul went and rescued me and brought him back into my arms. I guess that really describes it all. Rhett and I are bonded. Without him, I wouldn’t really be me.

Now that he is here I am counting down the days to when I can quit working and be with him and the girls full time. A desire I never had before. Rhett has shown me how much I love my children and how much I love being a Mommy.

My children continue to teach me about my short comings and where I need to change, through their ever changing needs they show me how to be a better person, how to laugh and enjoy the little things. But best of all, they have helped me feeI am good enough for them, which helps me think that maybe I’m not such a bad Mommy after all.

Rest assured my 3 sweet children I am screwing you all up, of this fact I am sure! But I am doing it to the best of my ability and I am doing it with all the love I can muster! 

About Me

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Paul and I have been married 10 years. We have two beautiful little girls, Kylee and Aubrey. We are blessed with a great family and amazing friends. Life is good!