I am 34 years old and have 4 kids, 2 step kids, and one angel baby, all ranging from 18 years to 10 months old. My motherhood journey has been just that. A journey. A crazy, messy, beautiful, roller coaster ride of a journey.
I often think about my 20 year old self about to give birth for the first time. I remember that day of the ultrasound. I went to the appointment by myself and wore all pink because I knew I would never be able to handle a boy. I even wore pink socks and underwear. It HAD to be a girl. Because Lord knows I would absolutely DIE if it was a boy. Luckily for me, she was a beautiful 7 lb. baby girl. And so was my next baby three years later. (On the same day I might add!)
I look back and think about how young and naive I was as a mom of two little girls. I loved them and would do anything for them but looking back, that life was about me. My problems. My struggling marriage. My domestic abuse story. My messy divorce. My issues. And they were just along for the ride. My ride.
Now as a mom of six, this LIFE is about them. But this journey, this journey is still about me.
I have had to “find myself” with each baby, each wrong turn, each mistake, each celebration, and each choice I’ve ever made. The one thing that’s stayed constant is that I’m a mama.
So, yes my motherhood journey has been just that. A journey. A journey of learning who I am with each one of my babies. I am definitely not that 19 year old girl with that unseen pregnant belly out of wedlock and scared to death of what was to come. Nor am I that 24 year old with two babes under four, fresh out of a divorce and oh so lost and lonely. Nor am I that stepmother who was desperately trying to make my new blended family work. I am all of that and here I am with two new kids, 13 years later… and guess what? They’re both BOYS. And I couldn’t be more smitten with them.
I feel like I’m in the middle zone now. That zone between what I once knew and what I know now. That period where I can change a diaper with my eyes closed but I also know the fragile depths of the teenage years. As I look ahead, I can only envision what my children will grow up to be. And as I’m in this moment, I can only try to shape that for them now with our own version of parenting. I’m just winging it like I always have, yet now it’s just with a little hindsight in my back pocket and I may or may not know myself a little better.
Motherhood isn’t always about the kids. Sometimes it’s about the mamas. The first time mamas who think they know what they’re doing and the second time mamas who still feel like they have no idea what they’re doing. Its about the mamas with no one else. It’s about the mamas overwhelmed by EVERYONE else. It’s about the mamas going through a divorce. It’s about the mamas rebuilding a life. It’s about the mamas just trying to get by. It’s about the mamas who are grieving. It’s about the mamas who haven’t held their children yet.
And it’s about the mamas who are still on the journey.
We love our kids but sometimes, every once in a while, amidst everything life throws our way, between every waking moment that we’re taking care of babies and feeding big kids, after the laundry is done and the dishes are washed, after mama has taken care of everything else…. we have to remind ourselves that this journey is still about mama.