Ender was conceived after nearly 5 years of trying, including a few runs with Clomid. When we finally found out that I was pregnant, I spent the months of my pregnancy filled with joy, even on my most nauseous day. FINALLY the baby we had prayed so long for!
I worried that maybe I wouldn’t bond right away, that maybe he wouldn’t love me, but when he was born, I was overcome with a love and sense of fulfillment that I can’t aptly describe.
He was beautiful; he was mine.
I was so afraid to be home alone with him at first. I watched him sleep when I should have been sleeping myself for fear something would happen to him if I looked away for half a second. I cried as I tried to find time for a shower, for a moment of quiet, for a moment free from the stress of taking care of someone else’s life. I loved him so much, and at the same time I was filled with fear that I would mess up somehow, that the tiniest thing would lead to disaster.
It took a few months to really feel secure, but motherhood has felt more and more certain to me since Ender’s birth and has completely changed me in countless ways. I wish someone had walked alongside me through those first months to let me know that I was doing fine, that I was learning and growing with my son, that the beginning is hard because it is a monumental change. I suppose I had this expectation that motherhood would feel a little easier to settle into. I knew it would be hard to adjust at first- it’s a big change! Everywhere I looked people painted idyllic images of motherhood and I suppose I expected that to be true.
I really identified with Angela in her post about reading The gift of the Ordinary Day. Sometimes I wonder if I’m the only one who has non-peaceful days with my boys, and Angela’s (who has 5 boys, 1 girl and another coming) words about women who do not acknowledge the messes of life stayed with me after the first read. Do we do other women, specifically soon-to-be and new mothers a disservice by talking only about the good parts of life?
In this space I choose to write about and document certain parts of our life- crafting, education, books, and other fun things, because those are the things we want to carry forward with us. I suppose it’s where I choose to set my focus. Keeping the focus on the nights awake with sick toddlers, arguing between brothers, pouting in a hiding place, or the messy corners would keep me mired in the problems of this moment instead of setting my sights on the ways my boys are growing and changing, the places they are going, the grace in which we live. So I try to acknowledge the “messes of life” (to which the answer seems to be GET OUTSIDE right now!) and move us on to the next place.
I focus here on the things we want to remember, mostly the cool things, occasionally the stuff of the moment, because it informs who we are and where we are going.
The messes too.