Before I had children, I remember being warned about all the ways in which my life would change. Long, lazy days binge watching Netflix series…gone. Nights of uninterrupted sleep, forever out of reach. Easy road trips with my husband where our biggest problem was choosing the next playlist…well, those are a distant memory. Not to mention late nights out…those are definitely gone forever (our last date night began at 4pm!).
All the warnings, all the “just hold on to your independence a little longer!” pleas from well-meaning parents…I didn’t care about any of that. I was ready for it all.
But, my path to motherhood was longer than I expected. When I experienced pregnancy loss once, and then again, I became consumed with the desire to become a mom. I scoured the internet for stories similar to mine. I longingly looked at pictures of friends on FB with their babies. Anytime I heard a woman complain about the inconveniences of motherhood, I scoffed and felt angry that what she grumbled about, I may not have. I remember making deals with God, the Universe, anyone who would listen…just let me have kids. I would have given up so much to grow my family and I felt a deep desperation that it may not happen for us.
Like many women who have miscarried, I blamed myself. Did I work out too much? Did I not work out enough? Did I eat the wrong foods? Am I just not supposed to be a mom? Was I too stressed at work? Will my husband still love me if I can’t have kids? Would he want to remarry? Feelings of regret, insecurity and doom flooded me. I felt like my body had let me down.
I fought hard for answers and after seeing a Specialist found out that my problem was simple and easily fixed. I had a surgery to repair a simple uterine septum and was pregnant again four weeks later. It was a successful pregnancy and we welcomed our first son, Benjamin, and then almost two years later, Nathan made his grand entrance into this life. I’m a lucky mama, I know this.
But, this message is not about miscarriage. It’s about the fact that no matter how we arrive at becoming a mother, whether it’s easy or difficult, a long road or short, one we planned for our not…we are still FAR MORE than our role as a mom. We are women who deserve more than being defined only as a caretaker for others.
I do not take my role as a Mom lightly. I love my little guys with every fiber of my being and I’m supremely aware of my responsibility to raise them to be grounded, responsible, compassionate, joyful, strong men. I know that the example my husband and I set in our relationship is how they will view love and commitment, I know that our dedication to our careers will show them they need to work for what they desire in life and I also know that the way we talk to ourselves, the way we care for our mind, body and soul, will set the most important example of all...that self-care the key to their happiness, and continued happiness, for their entire lives.
I can’t control their worlds. I can’t shelter them from disappointment, rejection, hurt or sadness. But, I can show them that they will be with themselves through this life and THAT relationship is the most important one of all. Trust yourself, love yourself, know that you are enough today. Build faith in God, build faith in yourself and never forget to take care of yourself, first and foremost.
So, I will meditate. See a therapist. Spend time with friends and family. Lift heavy weights. Become stronger. Step into my power every day. Be gentle on myself for losing our two little angels. Work on my faith. Inspire and support others. Get manicures and massages. Own my experiences. Honor at my insecurities. Work on my marriage. Speak kindly and gently to myself. Be disciplined with my work. And yes, be a good mom. Because, I am so worthy of my care…not because of who I take care for but because who I am.