On Motherhood {Part I}

Mama & BabyI remember standing over my first newborn baby, as he slept soundly in his bassinet, thinking to myself that I had no idea what I was doing.  I went from a mostly carefree married woman to a mother.  The nine months prepared me, I was ready for it, but I doubted knowing what I was doing.   Yet, still, I stood over him, watching his chest rise and fall, dreaming of the days to come.   What would his favorite color be?   Would he love bubbles?  Would he always like to fall asleep, on my shoulder, with me singing him a sweet lullaby?

Would I mess him up?  Would I be good enough for him?

As he slept one night, a couple months later, I watched over him again thinking how marvelous it would be if he had a little brother or sister Photobucketto love.   All the while, deep within me, grew a second perfect little human being.  The following almost-nine months would be spent worrying if I would have enough in me to give.    Each night, as I rocked my first baby to sleep with a new baby—a girl—growing inside of me, I would dream some more.   Would they love to play make-believe together?  Would they feed each other bites of their ice cream because they would have different tastes, yet within them lived the desire to try something new?   Would they sing songs together; the very songs that I’d sang to them, as they fell fast asleep at nap and at night?   Would they fight?  Would they be best friends?

Would I mess them up?  Would I be good enough for the both of them?

There was never a plan to have three children so close-in-age.  Blessings don’t have to go according to plan, though.  And, by the millennium I was the mother to three babies.   Going from two to three was almost effortless.  Other than the simultaneous pooping, never ending supply of sippy cups and bottles, and round-the-clock Blue’s Clues and Veggie Tales, it wasn’t that bad.   It was tiring.  There was constant movement.   But, it was manageable.   My favorite part of the day was our bedtime routine.  The baby in my arms, the girl would sit to my right, as she twirled my hair in her chubby fingers, and the big boy would sit with his Papa.   As the baby fell asleep in my arms, I would think about the day we had, reflecting upon how time felt so short because they were growing so quickly.   Still something in me would say, “you have forever to get it right, Mishelle.”

Relentlessly, I would worry about messing them up, and I’d continue to question if I would be good enough for all of them.

PhotobucketYears flew by and in between we’d get lost in the day-in-and-day-out.   My expectations of “perfect days” would be bounced out of the window when the reality of days took over.  It didn’t really matter, though; there was constant laughter and singing and ice cream and park play and, most of all, love.   Certainly those thoughts about being a good enough mother would infiltrate my mind, but my heart would tell me that I was.  My heart would let my eyes see my children in these moments that proved to me that I was doing my best, and that I wasn’t messing them up.

*****

Years later while sitting on my bed, on my thirty-second birthday, drinking coffee, I shared with Michael that I was pregnant again.   I wondered… What kind of relationships would the bigs have with the new baby?  Would they change his diapers?  Would they take him to the park when they were old enough to drive?   Would they teach him our songs?   And, again, I was flooded with thoughts about what kind of mother I would be to this new baby, so many years later, with bigger kids.

Would I mess him up, and would I be good enough for my evolving family?

 

I have never professed to be the perfect mother.  I might yell too much at times.  I might make mistakes.  I might say the wrong things at the wrong times.  I might butt heads.  I might resort to pizza on nights that I don’t feel like cooking.

But…

I have come to the realization that there is no such thing as a perfect mother.

Fearing that you will mess up your children or questioning if you’re good enough just shows [your] vulnerability.

I am proud to say that I am a vulnerable mother.  That is what makes me believe—with all my heart—that I cannot mess up my children, because I am absolutely a good enough mother for them.


This post is part of a four part sponsored Tiny Prints Mother’s day campaign.  Tiny Prints has Mother’s Day cards that are fully customizable, and can be sent straight to the recipient.  For someone, such as myself, who always forgets to send out cards on time, this new service that Tiny Prints is offering is just awesome.  You can schedule your cards and gifts to go out, letting all the mothers in your life know how special they are, and how much you treasure them!  Stay tuned for more of my reflections on motherhood.

 

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6 Responses to “On Motherhood {Part I}”
  1. You’re an AMAZING mother. I’ve seen you in action. I truly do hope some of your skillz rub off onto me.

  2. This was beautiful, Mishi. <3

  3. 04.16.2011

    So lovely. Such a good mama. :)

  4. I used to read your blog religiously and somehow lost it along the way. I’m so glad to have found you again. Your writing and your photography take my breath away.

  5. 04.21.2011

    What a beautiful post! I only have one daughter, so far, and hoping and praying for more! :)

    Thank you for stopping by my blog – I am so glad you did!

  6. 04.24.2011

    that is incredible Mishelle. I love it. You described everything so perfectly, what so many of us go through. Bravo Mama!!!!


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