Monday, June 10, 2013

on motherhood and how i got here

This whole motherhood thing has really taken me by surprise.

I've always known that I wanted to be a mom.  I knew it would be worth it.  And I knew I would love my kids.   But that's about as far as my confidence level went.

Truth be told?  I was terrified about the day-to-day stuff.  I was terrified that I would be bored.  I was terrified that I was going to resent not having my full-time dream job.  And I was terrified that I just wouldn't be cut out for motherhood.  [Dare I say, that I wouldn't always even like it.]

I did a lot of babysitting as a teenager.  And I loved it, I did.  I grew so attached to many of those amazing kids.  But by the end of the night, I was more than ready to hand them back over to their parents.  I was never one of those girls who wanted to spend all my free time babysitting.  And I was certainly never one of those girls who would go out of my way to hold babies.

I envied those girls.

But I wasn't one of them.

For the life of me, I couldn't imagine loving being a stay-at-home mom.

And I am.  Loving being a stay-at-home mom.

I think Heavenly Father really prepared me for this time in my life.  In a lot of really unexpected ways.

The first and most important was marrying Tim.  He is endlessly supportive of me and my dreams, whatever they may be and however they may change.  He makes me a better person and makes me feel like I can do anything.  And I always knew our kids would be the luckiest because they would have him as a dad.  Cheesy but oh so true.

Dropping out of grad school because I hated it was probably the most unexpected.  Since the age of 14, I had known - absolutely - that going into counseling was what I wanted to do with my life.  Which was why finding out I had been wrong about it came as an absolute shock.

Then came the period of unemployment.  I was stuck at home looking for jobs all day, every day.  It was an adjustment, to say the least.  I went from spending like 18 hours a day on everything grad school to spending 16 hours a day feeling like I was doing nothing with my life.  [I got a little more sleep those days.]

Then after the unexpected feelings that Heavenly Father wanted us to get pregnant [much sooner than we'd planned] and then actually finding out I was pregnant, I finally got a job!  ...A temporary, would-only-last-for-four-months job.  Which meant that once it was done, I was back to the feeling-like-I-was-doing-nothing-with-my-life stage.  Because it felt pointless to look for a job, only to take maternity leave a couple of months later, only to move to Utah just a few months after that.

But it didn't feel like that forever.  Every day, spending time as a homemaker felt a little less pointless.  And of course, growing a baby doesn't feel pointless, because it isn't.

By the time Ellie was born, I was ready.  And I was surprised just how ready for it I was.  Surprised, shocked, amazed...and happier than I'd ever been.

Does that mean that every day is easy?  Um, no.  Some days I absolutely can't wait to hand her over to Tim when he gets home, because for whatever reason, she's been crying for two hours straight and my heart is about to break into a million pieces.

Does that mean that I feel like I know what I'm doing?  Um, no.  Just when I feel like I'm starting to really figure things out, Ellie changes.  Her sleeping pattern changes and the things she wants for entertainment change and our schedules change.

Does that mean that there aren't times when I don't miss aspects of my "old life"?  Um, no.  Especially because I'm nursing her, sometimes I feel like there are so many things I can't do, places I can't go.

But does that mean that it isn't the most incredible thing I've ever done with my life?  Um, NO.  It's the best job I've ever had.  Hardest, yes.  Most time-consuming, yes.  But oh, so worth it.  It sounds cheesy, but every single day, I have moments where I tear up because I am just so happy.  Because being a mom is so amazing.  Because my daughter is the most beautiful thing I've ever seen.

Everyone has a different story.  And there is no right or wrong story.  But this is mine.  And I'm grateful for all the unexpected [and sometimes unwanted] events that led me here.

Whenever I worried about motherhood, my dad always told me the same thing.

"It will be different with your own kids."

And he was right.

It's been better.


Katie Elizabeth Hawkes said...

I love this SO MUCH. You know I don't I always try and trust people when they say I'll like my own. So your story gives me hope :)

mcarrasco said...

I love this post. I never hold babies, and know absolutely nothing about children, so obviously I am paranoid about having to stay home during the day and raise one. I totally understand those feelings of wanting to be successful in a career too. I hate that I still work at In n out, even after getting a bachelor's, and really want to get my master's, but I know working night at In n out is what will allow me to stay home with our son. It's quite the internal struggle for me, because being a mom and working in fast food just sounds embarrassing lol but it's a sacrifice I will have to make. You're amazing Katie and I look up to you in so many ways, and will be calling you often once this kid is born so you can tell me what to do haha

Camille Elise said...

You inspire me. That's all I have to say. :)

Ariana said...

Amen, sista, amen.

I'll Love You Forever said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE this post. You are such a cute Mom! Your dad is right, it is different with our own kids. Love how big she is getting! So cute! xoxo

karajean said...

This post makes me wish you still lived in AZ so we could be friends because this post is me. Exactly.