As long as I can remember, I have only truly wanted one thing in this life- to be a mother. Growing up, my own mother was practically perfect. Our house was spotless, she made us wonderful home cooked meals and baked goods, her endless imagination had us swimming in crafts, fun and playing. I wanted to be exactly like her. Very quickly after becoming a mother myself, I realized that I would never be able to attain the “perfect mother” aura that my mother was so good at. My body won't allow it...
The first time I ever heard N's heartbeat, I was in the ER (same thing for L's first heartbeat, as a matter of fact.) Jeremy had to rush me to the ER because I could not stop throwing up, for hours. My first trimester nausea and overall feeling like garbage all the time made my migraines kick up significantly. The medications that I would normally take to help dull the pain cannot be taken during pregnancy- they are class D drugs that can cause birth defects and even miscarriage. (I take nothing but my prenatal vitamins and some Tums for heartburn.) Because I couldn't stop throwing up, I was dehydrated and need to have lots of fluids and anti nausea meds pumped via IV. That was the first of 4 ER visits being pregnant with Nathan. Motherhood gives you a kind of strength, from the moment of conception, that can sustain you through anything. I have suffered through horrible migraines and pain, knowing that my pain was keeping my baby safe.
In my motherhood dreams, I was going to be the mom that took her kids to the park all the time, chased them around in the sunshine, went on family trips to the beach and zoo. My Pinterest is filled with boards of craft and activity ideas, toddler enrichment, and creative meals to get your kids to love new foods! In reality, taking my kids to the park and being in the sun makes me very sick, and is a major trigger. When we do fun, amazing things like the beach or the zoo, I pay for it by not being able to leave my bed for a day or two, and I won't be able to get out of the house for possibly 3 more days. My dreamy pin boards are full, but my walls are not. Mac and cheese, hot dogs, and grilled cheese happen constantly – not the homemade veggie tots and fun shape sandwiches. I even buy the frozen pb&j sandwiches sometimes (which horrified me and made me feel very ashamed at first) because there are day when, yes, even making that simple sandwich is just too hard for me.
Most recently, I had extreme mom guilt (as my husband and friends can attest too) about needing N to ride the bus to school next year. In my dream world, I was the mom doing school pick up and drop off. I would know the school and they would know me, because I would be there daily doing my motherly duty. N has missed preschool because of me several times. You see, when I have a migraine I cannot drive, especially once I take my meds (it says right on there “may cause drowsiness or dizziness” 100% does … “This drug may impair the ability to operate a vehicle, vessel, or machinery” 100% does... although I don't own a boat or machinery , but I assume you wouldn't want me behind the wheel of those either!) N loves school and he is always crushed when I am unable to take him. His broken hearted sigh and pleading to “just drink some water and it will be fine” is a dagger right to this momma's heart. I hate being the cause of him missing out on things. I am supposed to be the supermom giving him the world, not holding him back because of my own disability.
Over the course of several weeks, much stress and countless prayers, God calmed my heart and showed me that it is okay to let some things go. It is okay to need to rely on the bus the take N to school – that is, after all, the job of all the fabulous bus drivers out there. I have put a lot of pressure on myself to be that dream mother, but I have to be okay to let that go too. I can only be who I am, a mother trying her best to make sure her kids know that they are loved, safe, supported, and encouraged. I am a mother that is allowed to know her own limits and not feel guilty for things that are out of my control. I am a mother that knows at the end of the day, I understand how to treasure every good day, every happy memory made and every snuggle. Hopefully, one day they will look back and not see a mother that was sick and sunken in limitations, but a mother that filled them with love and inspired them with the strength that comes in never giving up... just like my own mother did for me.