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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Not the mother I thought I'd be....

Eight years ago, Logan and I decided to stop using birth control and see what happened. We had grand ideas about being parents. We'd been married two years, we were both on our second to last year of college, we owned a condo and we were ready. Ready to be parents. Ready to change our lives forever and make a family. Really if you think about it, or well, if we think about it, it was an excuse to have lots of unprotected sex. Lots.

More than that though, I always knew I wanted to be a mother. From a very young age, I knew I wanted kids. We argued about how many we'd have, but we both knew we wanted kids.

I'm not exactly sure we thought it would happen so soon; the getting pregnant part. They say a year at the very least when you've been on the pill for a while. "They" are morons, whoever they are. I was pregnant within a month.

We planned and organized as we got ready for our baby. Our baby girl who we were so thrilled to be pregnant with. We painted our second bedroom, bought little onesies and sockies, baby proofed our entire condo and went through a name book, name by name. We dreamed big dreams. For her and for us. For our family, the little family we were creating. Huge dreams about what she'd be like. I don't think this is so out there, I bet there are tons of first time mothers who dream about what their children will be like. We hope for the best and pray for the amazing. We envision perfect lives for them. Lives without fear, hatred, uncertainty or loss. Lives that are full of sunshine and flowers.

I had an idea about what kind of a mom I'd be. That, I'd be spontaneous, fun and never impatient. I didn't believe being a parent would be all sunshine and roses, but I had a bit of a skewed idea of motherhood. I wouldn't be big on bedtimes, schedules could be made up as we went along and I'd never force my kid to eat when they didn't want too. If the food of choice was hot dogs, I'd go with it. The things Logan and I would do with said child, danced in my head. We wanted to travel the world, take our baby with us. Travel the US, see everything and anything. Just get in the car and go. I had great plans for the way my child would be, as well.

Then I was handed this teeny baby. And she was teeny, having been born a month early. She was also nothing like what we'd imagined. Not at all. Don't get me wrong, she was ours and she was perfect in our eyes. Our beautiful baby girl. God we adored her from the second she came into the world.

She was also great birth control, for tons of other people. Morgan is the kid that makes people go, maybe we'll start with a fish. She was a screamer, from pretty much birth on. She had colic so bad that we literally had to massage her stomach after every time she ate. She wouldn't breast feed, so I gave up within a week. It was okay, because I was open to whatever, but also because I needed to be able to give her to other people to feed. She had to be held at all times, non-stop. But only a certain way, which changed often. She wanted her way, all the time, from a very young age. She was a good sleeper at night, I will give her that. She started sleeping though the night at six weeks. She wasn't a good napper. She was not an easy baby, nor an easy toddler. In fact, nothing about her was or is easy.

My grandiose plans went right out the window. Our ideas of traveling the world with her as a baby, were dashed by the second day of her life. Morgan, even now at, seven and a half years old, is a child that needs a strict schedule. Bedtimes are a must, meals need to be at the same times, changes from the schedule must be explained over and over, for it to go off okay. Even then, it doesn't always work out for her. She has trouble with transitions, change, deviations from the way she knows it to be. Or wants it to be. We talk about what will happen in her day tomorrow at dinner every night. Over the past few years it has shrunk to: this is the basic plan type of a thing. It used to include great detail: you will wake up, you will eat breakfast, you will get dressed; a full timeline of her day. It wasn't for us, it was for her. We did it because she needed it.

This is just how my daughter is. It's a part of her, a part of her that frustrates me to no end some days. I also love it about her. She has changed my views of the world. She has shaped the mother I became. If Bailey had been born first, or even Harrison; I'd be a different mother than I am today. I might be that mother that I thought I'd become. The care free mom.

I am not that mother. I am not the mother I thought I'd be. I am a better mother than I would have been. I know this to be true. I have the rest of my life to travel the world, to see the sites, to live moment to moment. I may not be the mother that I wanted to be. However, I am the mother they need me to be. A mother with rules, who enforces bedtimes, a mother who makes them read half an hour out loud a night, one who makes them eat vegetables and brush their teeth. I don't make up elaborate art projects, nor do I cook from scratch. But I've found people who will do that stuff with them. I am not as patient as I thought I'd be....but I'm more patient than my mom was with us, so that's an improvement.

I can be spontaneous; the fun mom, who can let rules go for a night. I can run around and play at the park with them, pretending to be a fairy princess; build complex mazes out of pillows on my floor, to avoid the hot lava monster. I can let them go wild in a candy store every now and again. But the next day, I become mom again. Their mom. Morgan, Bailey and Harrison's mom.

I may not be the mom I thought I'd be, but I'd not give up the mom I am to them in a heart beat. It's the thing I'm most proud of in this world.

8 comments:

Jaden Paige said...

*sniff*

What a great entry. I loved reading it. Thanks for sharing. It was beautiful :)

Lesley said...

This is a really sweet post. Isn't it funny how no matter how much planning we do (in this case planning on being a certain kind of mom, envisioning having a certain kind of child), life takes over and show us how little we know by giving us things that are THAT much more wonderful and beautiful than anything we could have ever imagined.

Your kids are going to love reading these posts one day!

Maura said...

Really beautiful. :-)

Shonda Little said...

Beautiful post.
We all start out with unrealistic ideas, but then from the minute we see them, we realize the fairy tale isn't on some distant beach, its in the bedroom where we help with their homework.

Susan said...

As you were describing your daughter as an infant, I thought, wow that sounds just like mine was. Then when you mentioned having to describe what you all would be doing next, each TRANSITION, it hit me. Your seven year old is what my child will be like in 5 years. Her dr. recently described her as "slow to transition" and told us about the discussing each and everything we do technique. You know what? Things have vastly improved since then. So, I am also not the impulsive/fly by the seat of your pants mommy. But, like you, that's ok, because it's just one of the things that makes my kid the wonderful person that she is.

anymommy said...

Rightfully so. You should be so proud. I'm proud and teary and happy reading this post. Lovely.

EatPlayLove said...

Oh grandiose ideas we all have them, nice to know you are content with the reality of how you define mothering. It's good to keep in mind each day is a new day to become exactly who we want to be.

Mrs. Chicken said...

I'm so behind in my Reader.

But this called out to me in an honest, true way.

I don't think any of us are who we thought we would be, in any capacity.

And as you say, it is usually for the best.

Love this post.