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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Surprised By Motherhood

One of my favorite bloggers, Lisa-Jo Baker (and I almost said friend, because honestly when you're a part of her community she makes you feel that way) wrote a book, “Surprised By Motherhood” and it comes out today. I read the first three chapters and they were amazing. I get to read the rest of it when my amazon pre-order shipment comes. I will impatiently wait until tomorrow or possibly Thursday for it to arrive.

In the meantime, Lisa-Jo asked women to write on their blogs what has surprised us about motherhood. Here is what has surprised me about motherhood:

First, I have a secret.....I never really wanted kids. I didn't think I'd have any. But one day I got a negative pregnancy test (wasn't trying) and I felt....disappointed. I was surprised. I was surprised that my so-not-a-kid-person self would be disappointed to receive a “not yet” from a pregnancy test. And is that a tear?! Yes, I even mourned the loss of this child that never even was. This dream of a child I conjured in my head. I was surprised I wanted to be a mom. That's when my husband and I started really talking about our future as parents.

I had/have a number of medical conditions that caused doctors to tell us it may not happen and if it does it will take a while and/or be a difficult pregnancy and delivery. Well we got pregnant on our first try! Surprise! And it was a difficult pregnancy and delivery (68 hour labor....yes....that happened).

I was surprised I did it. That I could do it. After everything the doctors told me, after every anxious, paranoid thought that ran through my mind, after all the sleepless nights, I did it.
I went to school for 20 years and received two degrees with honors. After ALL that work, years and years of work, I was surprised to realize that I consider my son to be my greatest accomplishment.

During my pregnancy and especially after, I was surprised to find how deep love goes. I could never, ever, possibly imagine loving someone the way I love my son. There is no explaining it. It changed me. And somehow I fall more in love with him everyday. Just when you think you couldn't love someone more, you do. I am surprised at how much I kiss him – sometimes just to get a whiff of that amazing scent (seriously, can we find a way to bottle that?)

I was also surprised to find how all-consuming it is. There is no break. No off-switch. No spring break or summer vacation. Even when my husband and I go on a rare date, I still worry about him, think about him, talk about him. I continue to be surprised at how this so-not-a-kid-person could want to spend so much time with a kid. As much as I ache for a break at times, if I'm away from him for a few hours I miss him. Really.

There are new surprises everyday. His first smile, the first time he rolled over (naked), his first tooth, the first time he crawled (naked), the first time he laughed, the first time he pulled himself up (naked), the first time he said mama, the first time he walked (naked), the first time he exclaimed, “I did it!” I feel so proud of him everyday. (I also feel frustrated, overwhelmed, joyful, and about 50 other emotions in the course of a day).

I've learned that you can't know what the future holds because motherhood never stops surprising you. I was all excited for today, to write this blog and launch my own project-- “365 Days to a more Fulfilling Life” (found here: and then in the middle of the night my son woke up with a 103.4 fever, the highest it's ever been and I. Was. Terrified. Motherhood is not something you can learn in books, it's something you learn on the job. You could read in a book what to do if your child has a high fever, but it's another thing completely to feel your too-warm baby and see 103.4 staring back at you on the thermometer.

Not knowing what the next day or even the next hour will bring can be exhilarating or terrifying. But I am trying to live in the moment. To enjoy it, savor it, count my blessings and thank God for them. Motherhood is full of surprises and I take them – good or bad – one day at a time.   

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