A guest blog by Laura
I didn’t have to be anyone else for him to be happy. I didn’t have to look a certain way or behave a certain way — I could just be his mom. And that was more than enough for him.”
Before I had kids, I would joke that ‘I do not have a maternal bone in my body.’
It’s true. I was rarely around little kids, unless you include my sister; and when we were growing up, I had far more important things in my life than being a big sister. I only babysat a few times — it was not my thing.
I always figured I would have kids one day, but I didn’t know when or what it would look like for me.
Then something happened.
Close friends of mine welcomed their first baby girl into the world. And I was in love. I remember turning to Aaron and saying,
“Ohhhhh, I want one of these.”
I had finally been bitten by the bug. And what a relief. I finally felt the desire to be a mom.
Having this desire made me feel less like a misfit. Honestly, I always felt a little odd being the one who didn’t want to have kids, or at least not yet. Still, I continued stuggling to feel “maternal” — but this was a start, right?
It was a year after this when we began trying to start our own family.
Tragically, we lost our first baby to a miscarriage. My faith was extremely immature at this time — and the loss of our baby was devastating. I have always struggled with depression, making this loss especially difficult for me.
And although losing our baby was tragic, I soon learned that it was, unfortunately, a fairly common occurrence. Since our loss, God has used me to comfort (too) many friends with their miscarriages. Anyway, I digress.
Several months following our miscarriage, I found out I was pregnant again. I was excited —but I was also scared. I was afraid I would lose this baby, too.
Fortunately, the pregnancy was successful. We were, and still are, incredibly thankful God gave us a beautiful healthy, baby boy. In some ways, our previous loss through miscarriage made us even more grateful for the arrival of God’s miracle. I was determined to love our son the best I could and to remain thankful for him being placed in our lives.
During my first pregnancy, a close friend at the time introduced me to “attachment parenting” through Dr. William and Martha Sears,’ The Complete Book of Christian Parenting and Child Care: A Medical and Moral Guide to Raising Happy, Healthy Children. This became my guidebook. This form of parenting resonated with me. I didn’t have a clue what to do with a baby or how to raise one. But, thankfully, I found exactly what I needed in this book.
I finally felt a little more prepared for the big job ahead of me.
I could conjure up all kinds of mom guilt if I wanted to walk down that path. But I choose not to.”
Prior to having kids, I had zero job satisfaction. I was good at what I did and even made pretty good money at the time, but I found the whole thing to be pointless and empty. Once I had my son, though, I found my calling. I was a natural at taking care of a baby — my baby.
Fortunately for me, I had an easy baby. I would probably be singing to a different tune if I was given any other baby. I could anticipate his needs. I would wear him. Nurse him. Sing to him. Read to him. I didn’t have to be anyone else for him to be happy. I didn’t have to look a certain way or behave a certain way — I could just be his mom. And that was more than enough for him.
I loved being a stay-home-mom.
I also struggled.
I came into marriage and motherhood carrying baggage from my childhood. Initially, I thought I did a good job at compartmentalizing. I could be the “good mom,” but also the “struggling woman.”
For a long time I was living in a duality. I was the good kid/teen/young adult and also the bad kid/teen/young adult. This stuck with me for as long as I can remember, so naturally I carried into my marriage and into motherhood as well.
Despite it all, I still think I did, and do, a good job at being a mom.
Sure, I could think about how much better I could have been if I didn’t have this baggage; or if I had at least dealt with it in the past. But I don’t know if I was ready to deal with my “stuff” in my early 20s. I don’t know why I haven’t spent time on those ‘what-if’s,’ but I am happy I don’t. It would not be helpful, and would ultimately be a complete waste of time. I could conjure up all kinds of mom guilt if I wanted to walk down that path.
But I choose not to.
After having baby number one, we welcomed baby number two, another boy. I love them so. So much in fact, I wanted a third. My husband was certainly not on board that bus.
One night, while on vacation in a rustic cabin in North Carolina, I was nursing my youngest and lamenting in my head. I remember feeling as if I did not have enough time for my oldest. And then clear as day, I heard a voice in my head,
“And you think you want to have a third?”
I am not kidding. I truly believe that was God pumping the brakes on that desire.
And I am glad He did.
Looking back now, I know I was not ready to have another baby at that time. I had some growing to do. I had to put down the burden of my past to make way, years later, for the arrival of baby number three.
And she arrived at the perfect time.
About your guest blogger
Laura is a SAHM of two teen boys (both in college as of this year), and a joyful, almost-four-year-old daughter. She has mothered many other kids as a Sunday school teacher, preschool teacher’s assistant, and a nanny. She has always had littles in her life since welcoming her oldest into this world. She wouldn’t trade these blessings for the world. She and her husband, Aaron, have been married for 22 years. She is active in her church as a leader, a volunteer, and a servant for Christ.