Monday, March 19, 2012

A Mother's Battle Part One

A monumental moment for women is the choice & follow through of becoming a mother. While no one needs a child to validate their existence, raising a family is one of (if not the) greatest accomplish for a woman. And while the husband & I plan on having kids one day, by no means am I in a position to talk about the struggles & joys of being a mother in the modern world.

But I have some awesome friends who are! And as my own mother says it best, there's no one thing that makes you a mother. So I've dragged three amazing mothers into guest blogging for me to share their experiences of being a mom. And they were so ready to share their experiences that it became extremely long so I decided to separate this out into three different entries. This week's guest blogger is a beloved friend & co-worker, Heather...

" I'd read the research and heard the warnings about natural birth vs hospital birth. All the skepticism about epidurals and pitocin and how that alters a mother's ability to biologically bond with their child or the risk of the child being born "drugged" was thrown at me before I went in to labor and delivery. All the risks of all the procedures as well as all the kazillion things that could go wrong during pregnancy and labor and delivery were thrown my way by my doctors, my nurses and other mothers in my life. I was overwhelmed. In fact, I was scared to death. Most women are afraid of the pain. Most new mothers are afraid of the weight gain. Not I. I was afraid of not bonding with my baby or maybe not even liking my baby like I'd been warned by other mothers. I was afraid I'd have a baby all drugged up and ready for rehab. After 20 hours of labor and 45 minutes of straight PUSHING I had my first-ever baby. My baby. My Madison. I was weak. I was tired. I was in pain. I was overwhelmed. I had the baby shakes (if you don't know what they are, they are what they sound like. Convulsions you can't control that hurt). I had pitocin for 19 hours. I had an epidural for probably 10 hours. When Justin handed me my little bundle of joy swaddled up in a blanket with a pink and blue stripped hat on I looked at her and kissed her and immediately started to cry but I was too weak to hold her. I made him take her. Then after hours of recovery from the epidural and a long series of exams, inspections, nurse interrogations and a million other things I received my baby again. I looked at her and never felt so attached to anything in my life and I was convinced I'd never love anyone the way I love this little baby. And I was right.
When my second baby came along I was worried if I'd love her as much as my first. I worried if I'd be as good a mother to Lilly as I was to Madison. I was afraid we wouldn't bond. But, I was wrong again. My perfect little Lilly is everything I ever wanted as well and there's no epidural or amount of pitocin that could change that. So my biggest triumphs are my babies...plain and simple. The babies that were blessings I didn't even know I needed.
My struggle these days is feeling adequate enough. My struggle between my life as a mother, my life as a wife, my career, my friendships....every time I turn around there are expectations, there are questions, and there are pressures. By the time I get to bed and my husband wants attention, I feel inadequate because I'm just too tired. When I leave my screaming kids in the care of others every single day so I can keep my career and provide a life for them, I feel inadequate as a mother. When motherhood keeps me distracted from work or keeps me home from work when I have too much to do, I feel inadequate as an employee. When my friends need a phone conversation or need a favor or want to hang out with me, I have to either leave my home-related responsibilities at bay to make time for a friend or neglect my friend. It's a daily struggle that gets exhausting each and every day. I don't feel like I carry THE WORLD on my shoulders but I feel like I carry about 20 people's lives on my shoulders. When it's not motherhood, wifery, career or friendship, it's family. Do I see my nieces and nephews enough? Do I talk to my parents enough? Make enough trips home? Do my kids see their aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins enough? When it's not motherhood, wifery, career, friends or family, it's finances. You get my drift, right?
I'm told to worry less and enjoy it. Let me assure you, I enjoy every single part of having so many facets to my life. I am blessed to have so many people who both need and want me in their lives. I wouldn't trade it...however I would make a clone or two just so I can be better at it all!"
As previously mentioned, Heather is an amazing mother, friend & co-worker. Every day I'm inspired by the sheer amount of love in her heart. Seriously. It's insane how self-less she is. That's kind of why I have to say something about how awesome she is. Heather does have her own Facebook blog that she occasionally write in & I highly suggest that you like the page. Very inspiring.

Who will be the next guest blogger? Who knows! But she's a Mom... Stay tuned.

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