Wednesday, May 15, 2013

on motherhood

all pictures in this post were taken by the lovely jalene taylor of jtaylorphotography.

Lately I have been thinking a lot about what it means to be a mother. Mothers Day was a few days ago, and amidst the all the moving, sickness, and unpacking, Garrett and Raegan managed to spoil me rotten.

I spent my day chasing around my little girl, making her laugh, and showering her with kisses. I watched as her dad twirled her around as they danced through the apartment, and the smile that lit up her whole face. We ate yummy food, talked to all the mothers in our lives, and just had a happy day.

It was a good day to reminisce on my short journey in motherhood. Nine months isn't very long, and somedays it feels like just a blink, but part of me also feels like I've been a mother my whole life. This was what I was made to be. I truly believe that. I know that my greatest calling in this life is to be a mother, to raise these little souls to be good contributing members of society, who come to this planet to leave it better than they found it. I've always known that I wouldn't be mother theresa or ghandi, but I knew that I would still change the world. And I knew that the way I would go about doing that would be as a mother, through my children.

These past months have provided me so many opportunities to grow. I really feel like a different person than I was before I had Rae, a better person. I've been able to see myself through different eyes, through a mother's eyes. I used to look in the mirror and define myself by what I saw in my reflection; so much of who I was inside was determined by how I saw myself on the outside. Now, I feel like who I am on the inside, defines how I see myself on the outside. It's something I've been working on for a long time. Like, years. And I think it took becoming a mother to really have genuine, long-lasting success. To really believe, and not just tell myself, that beauty doesn't mean skinny legs or shiny hair, that beauty is kindness, service, compassion, friendship, and happiness. I've been able to see myself through these new 'mother eyes' of mine, and it rocks.

A mother is what I've always wanted to be. It was kind of my 'end all.' And then I had a baby, and I was a mom to the most beautiful soul in the world. And it was amazing and life was good. But I didn't feel like I was who I wanted to be, like, in the end. I guess I kinda expected that since I was now a mom, that I would be who I wanted to be. But I wasn't. And I realized that I still had so much to do, so much 'me' to discover, so much to figure out.

Becoming a mother made me question so many things about myself and the world. Because it wasn't about me anymore, it was about her, which changed everything. I found new answers to questions I thought I had answered a million times before. I prayed harder, and listened better, and looked at things with my new 'mother' eyes. And the world looked different. Some things that always seemed to make sense, suddenly didn't anymore. And certain things that never made sense, suddenly did.

These past nine months have contained a serious amount of introspection and prayer and growing. At times I've felt more lost than ever, and then other times, mostly when I'm cuddled up with my hubby and my baby, I've felt more found than ever. And I don't know why this sudden internal growth spurt decided to happen when I became a mother (sometimes I think it was just the hormones...and maybe it was). But I think it's something everyone goes through...or at least I hope so. Otherwise I'll feel like a crazy. But I'm happy that it's happened...and is still happening. Because I want to be more 'me.' I want to throw out bad habits, and negative thoughts, and judgements, and I want to just be me. And I want to look at the world with mother eyes, and see others as they are deep down, and forgive instead of condemn, and love everyone around me unconditionally. Because I think that's what a mother is. A real mother. And that's who I want to be, for me and for Garrett and for that little beauty named Rae.

I also couldn't help but think of those who aren't mothers yet, but who want to be. I know way too many people who are struggling with this right now. So many women ready to give their heart to a tiny little soul. Who would love nothing more than to wake up in the middle of the night to a hungry baby, or change a million stinky diapers. And I ache a little bit for these friends. Because each one of them would be, seriously, theeee beeeest mother. And sometimes I think that motherhood is the hardest thing in the world, but it's definitely easier than not being a mother. And most nights, in my prayers, I mention these friends, and ask that they might get to be mothers soon. And then as I think of them, or read about their struggles, I realize that they already have 'mother eyes.' They already are mothers in so many ways. And so, on mothers day I crossed my fingers for them, that someday soon (like hopefully tomorrow....or at the latest, the next day) they get to be mothers not just to those around them, but to their own little babies. And for today, I hope they can know that they are mothers in so many ways, and I just know that there must be souls lining up in heaven to come to them!

I also thought a lot about my dear cousin, Jen. She's a beautiful mother of 8 beeeeautiful kids. She's someone I've always looked up to as a person, but especially as a mother. She's just got one of those genuinely beautiful souls, and it shines through in everything she does. I remember getting letters in the mail from her when I was a little girl (she's about 10 years older than me), she'd tell me about when she was coming to town next and we'd plan sleepovers and cousin parties and those letters made me feel so special. She's got a beautiful family now. Anyways, she's in the hospital now, pregnant with her 8th. She's been diagnosed with Placenta Previa and Placenta Perceta. From my simple understanding, her placenta is covering her cervix, which makes it tricky to get the baby out, and it is also growing into her uterus wall as well as other organs in her body....very much so like a cancer. It's a veeery risky situation. Here she is, literally risking her life for this unborn baby of hers, baby #8. Thankfully, he is healthy and growing strong. And what a beautiful example she is of motherhood. Jen has always had 'mother eyes' too I think. It's easy to see that everything she does is with others in mind, especially her kids. So I said an extra prayer for her on mothers day too, grateful for her example all these years, and having faith that all will turn out well with her and her baby boy.

Long story short, it was a good mothers day. Being a mother is one of my very greatest blessings!


1 comment:

  1. Awww! Aren't you sweet? I love this post-- love the pictures! You are lovely and I think motherhood has only made you more beautiful. Rae is a doll baby!! Happy Mother's Day!! It's like your first new after-giving-birth day. Love you!


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