Motherhood is a constant exercise of grace.
Today is my firstborns birthday. I find myself staring at her - in the super awkward sort of creepy mom way. You know, the look you give your kids when you realize they are yours, they are getting older and that life is passing by way too fast.
11 years ago at 7:31 PM I gave birth to Kaiya in a minimally climatic way - until after she came out. I still remember my doctor's worried face - she couldn’t get the Pitocin to start working and the post-birth bleeding to stop. For a 1/2 second there I thought I was going to go. I recall looking over at Kaiya - where she was getting cleaned off and thinking - am I going to make it? It scared me to the core. Obviously, we know how the story went because I am here now sharing this with you, but I think that experience did two things: at first when I held Kaiya I didn’t feel that “new baby spark”. Maybe it was my fight or flight instinct still worried that for a brief second I could have left this human without a mom - and it scared the ish out of me. Second, it made me worry more and that worry kept me from recognizing that being a new mom wasn’t always supposed to look like it did on TLC’s Bringing Home Baby...being a new mom sometimes comes with fear and anxiety and lack of connection.
My first born showed me that sometimes motherhood isn't going to look or feel all that people say it's cracked out to be. It's hard and scary, and frustrating and all those things are OK. She showed me that apologizing to your child is the most humbling thing you can do. That working through all the stages and phases that ebb and flow with children's personalities, in fact, make you a stronger, wiser and kinder person. Motherhood is hard but seriously so rewarding - that is not just a taboo every mom tells you - it's legit!
11 years later I realize that momhood is a constant practice of self-grace. It’s feeling the scary and worry and recognizing that those fleeting moments don’t make you a terrible momma - they make you human. I recognize that it’s taken me 11 years to realize that I’m not always going to get it right but I’m sure as heck going to try over and over and even when I stumble I’ll get up, brush myself off - hug myself in grace and move forward with mama-hood.
This beautiful soul has taught me more lessons in 11 years than I have learned in 37. She has tenacity, spark, love and a light that shines bright - especially when nurtured by the right environment - she flourishes. She has compassion and heart and a strong level of gumption and perseverance that will serve her greatly as she gets older. She is an old soul with a big heart and an innate way of nurturing those younger than her. She cares deeply and loves hard, she is an inspiration.
God has blessed me many times over, starting with the man I married. But making me a mom to this beautiful soul is a privilege and honor I don’t take lightly and that feeling has only tripled with my other two littles.
My birthday wishes for this sweet child of mine is that her 11th year is filled with big dreams, with God's presence and joy that just exuberates in everything that she does!
photo cred: Juju Elgeioushi/Juju Photography