Family Happenings

My Take on Motherhood

First and foremost-I want to wish all of you Moms a very Happy Mother’s Day!
I’ve always believed that every woman’s heart has the innate ability to love, protect and care with amazing compassion and empathy. I celebrate you all and the loves of your life whether it be kids, animals, nieces or nephews.
Being a mom is an incredible blessing-today i’m writing my thoughts about my journey and the importance of this role.

It hit me like a bolt of lightening. I was working in my Moms craft shop, high up on a ladder pinning up a baby sweater she crocheted for display. I stopped and looked at that little sweater and had the most amazing feeling-I wanted to make “motherhood” my career choice.

Now I just needed to find my soulmate.

God surely had a plan, Craig and I met soon after and our whirlwind romance began. Neither one of us could wait to have kids and thats when I realized the first of many things regarding motherhood. As I sit here and think about my last 27 years as a mom I recall priceless memories, stories and thoughts that entails that incredible title of “Mom”.
I’ve always joked around about my “cape” I wear, worn and tattered but always up for the challenge. If someone were to draw a portrait of me in said cape it would probably resemble a colorful blur across a white canvas.
The following are a few of my thoughts on things I’ve come to realize about motherhood and what it has meant to me.

Worry
I had no idea how much the feeling of worry would become my life. I worried if I could get pregnant, if I could carry a baby to term and would it be healthy? Would I make a good Mom? Could I do this?
Once our first baby was born the worrying was worse… thousands of thoughts here, far too many to even list- you moms know what I mean. But one thing is for sure, worry is unfortunately a never ending thing.

Reshape, Structure and Insure
I just wanted to be the best Mom ever. Period. Let me be
very clear- this was a personal goal only. It was something I needed for myself. It was a way to reset the hurts I had in my life. You take the good things you were brought up with, the memories and traditions that got you to where you are and you either add to that or correct and redirect to what you feel would be the way you’d like now that you’re starting out fresh.

Love and Support
You do the best you can-Luckily I have had the best husband and friend all along the way. I give single parents all the credit in the world-parenting is not easy!Neither is marriage. It takes patience, forgiveness and work. Craig, I love you with all my heart and I would do it all again.

24/7…….
No such thing as 9 to 5 hours as a mom. It’s a 24/7 job with no office parties, high fives or inter-office memos either. Lots of late nights as well,whether from sickness, homework or curfews. Holidays are the best and I bonus big when my heart is filled with mama pride.
I’ve held the highest standards for myself in my job as a mom. I have never read one book on kids and how to raise them. Instead I relied on Craig, intuition and countless hours of praying instead. I believe in Angels as well. Besides, there is no better paycheck then hugs & kisses from your kids and knowing that you did the best you could.

“No one loves you like your Mom”
My Mom instilled in me some wonderful attributes. I believe my love for the seasons, holidays, gardening and all things homemade are amazing gifts from her. I believe I inherited her strength and tenacious character. Her infinite faith and endless handmade gifts from her heart as well. I am so lucky to still have her here for many people to share. These are the things I carried forward on my journey as an example for my three kids.

“A Mothers work is never done”
I stared at my mom’s kitchen soap dish every.single.day as I washed or wiped the dishes growing up. On it were the words “A mothers work is never done” …..
Lets just say I get it now. The everyday work is endless. And as mundane and repetitious as it can be, I would not trade it for anything.

Dancing and Music
Craig and I started off our love this way, so why stop after 1,2 or 3 kids ?!! It is the best and continues to be the best even now that the kids are all in their twenties! We had a particular song for each one as they were babies and it usually was slow danced to if it was a tender moment, a rough day or to lull them to sleep. Recently at our first Daughters wedding, Chelsie chose her special song for her Daughter/Dad dance. Absolutely no surprise to me, Joe Cocker’s “You are so beautiful to me” was played. Needless to say, after a beautiful and emotional year of wedding planning I believe I cried my eyes out the entire dance. I know without a doubt that our kids will carry on this with their babies ❤

Do Your Best
When the kids were entering school age, Craig and I just had one thing to say to them-“Just do your very best” Enough said. Strangely enough, that sentence doesn’t sound that strong or impactful but we found years later it might have been a little too much. The kids really took it to heart. If ours kids did something not so good… we kept it simple, you got the “look” followed up by the words referring to a “not so smart donkey”, and that was all that was needed. Respect, trust and unconditional love.

Sacrifice
As a mom I did for sure want that last piece of cake. But, I wanted more for my little darling to be happy. Always having a weight issue, this probably was a good thing after all. Somehow, you always put yourself last in order to put your family in the front of the line- it’s a good form of “butting” in line, family style. It’s also a mom thing.

A heart full of memories
When you think back, how can a mom even try to account for all of things that made us smile-from cheering on the first diaper to watching them accomplish years and years of hard schooling?!! Never did I know the amount of happy tears that would stream down my face. My biggest piece of advice to all new moms-buy the best camera you can afford and take as many pictures as you can! You will have these moments to look at forever because as we all know, life is precious and you can never go back.

Standing Guard
We are often asked our advice on raising kids, its simple-Just be there. Don’t give up. Love with your whole heart. Pray every night for protection and wisdom. Leave love notes in their lunch boxes. Feed them the best foods. Let them experience the beauty in everything. Big hugs and encouragement. Blood is thicker than water.Teach them to see the best in people.Instill infinite faith in God. Shoot high.Say I love you.Play practical jokes.Celebrate.Learn from your mistakes.Be creative. Be thankful.Cook together.Not all days are good. Don’t steal.Play outside.Say your sorry.Send them off to make someones day.Call your Mom.Be nice.There is always a way.Be humble.Have respect.Always tell the truth.And always have humor-it will always enlighten any situation.

Moving Forward
In closing, I’ve had the time of my life with my journey so far-I am blessed beyond my wildest dreams. I’ve made counting my blessings a daily thing. I definitely picked the perfect career. My heart was definitely restored and that is something that I will always be forever thankful for. Now onto the next phase, watching our next two kids find their soulmates, being the best Mother in Law I can be and someday becoming Grandpa & Grandma Carpenter. Chelsie, Allie, Tyler & Ryan – Thank you for being you, I Love You beyond words ❤

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