I wanted to be a young mom. I can clearly remember thinking that one day while I was walking to a classroom during my junior year of college. It was a crisp fall day and I can see the leaves rolling around my ankles as I walked. I don't know why I thought it. None of my friends had kids. In fact, I didn't even like kids at that point. Babysitting felt like torture and the sound of a baby crying was birth control. No joke, most days it still is.
So the very thought that I wanted to be a young mom kinda threw me off. I might not offer to watch other people's children but I knew I wanted some of my own one day. And as fate would have it (or in my case God) my wish was granted because I found myself a newlywed and pregnant at the tender age of 22. Just so you know if you have unprotected sex you may get pregnant. Apparently I didn't get that memo.
I remember staring at the pregnancy stick thinking Crap, I'm not ready. I smoked one last cigarette and let the news sink in. Yes I used to smoke, and some days when motherhood gets the best of me, wish I still did. But anyway I digress... As excited as I was to be pregnant, I was so clueless. Absolutely clueless. I had days of complete panic and other days of immeasurable joy. But one thing remained certain...my life would forever be changed that I could be sure of.
I was a young mom who did her very best to love, cherish and not wish the days away with her infant but ultimately failed tremendously on the last point. I could not, and I mean COULD NOT stop wishing the days away. Most days I despised being attached to my child, and my only relief in any form was the daily naps he took.
I viewed motherhood as stripping me of the life I wanted because I was tied down to feeding and nap times. I could no longer do what I wanted to do when I wanted to do it. The mundane tasks of motherhood seemed oh so boring and not to mention necessary to keep the child alive and well. I mean we do get judged quite harshly should we neglect to do so. I felt held hostage by my own creation. Motherhood felt like prison. And as chid #2 arrived (on purpose this time) my sentiments of motherhood remained the same. I viewed raising children as a mandatory part of being a female and it sucked.
To be completely honest, for the majority of the last decade I have viewed motherhood as robbing me of my freedom.
I get it. I sound ungrateful and super selfish. I would not disagree with you here, but genuinely this is how I felt for many many years. And I'm okay owning it because it was my reality. I viewed motherhood as a prison sentence. I wasn't grateful for being a mom, resentful was more accurate. Now don't get me wrong this wasn't a daily resenting, and I DID enjoy my kids on a daily basis. I just always had this deep, underlying feeling of "ugh, kids." And you may be a woman who is reading this and cussing me under your breathe. I get that also. There are some women who want nothing more than to have a child. But this is my journey, and the easiness that I had of having children altered me in a manner that no other task could have accomplished. God will use all things to better shape us.
And shape me He sure did. Motherhood brought me to my knees too many times to count.
And eventually something turned in me. I call it a heart change. My heart had believed one thing and now believed the opposite. It wasn't immediate or spontaneous. I think it happened really slowly, and almost quite surprisingly to me. But as my kids grew I realized how much I have enjoyed the gift and treasure of being called a mom. I am raising two precious souls that were created in God's own image. I especially feel it this year, as my oldest now towers way above me. I have to look up into his face to see the crystal blue of his eyes and at times his voice is unrecognizable to my ears. I stare and think who is this fine young man and how did I get so lucky to be his mom?
Tears have filled my eyes just thinking of how short the time is before he is off into the world on his own. I have become THAT mom.
It's funny, what we often believe to be a prison sentence in our lives can so often be the gift we've always craved. We just need a heart change--a new perspective to see it from. Motherhood isn't a life sentence to hard labor, as I had once thought but a life sentence of the gift that keeps on giving. Through every age, and season. Through every drink spilled, middle of the night throw up, and tear shed--I have found so much JOY in motherhood. I am a better human being because I am a mom. I have grown up along with my kids. I now know I was created to be a mom. I was created to give life and in turn, their lives are my greatest accomplishment.