I started writing this post last night and just deleted everything I wrote. It amazes me how difficult it is to get out my feelings on Mother's Day this year. I still feel strongly about the things I said last year, but there's so much more to it now. I've spent this morning crying off and on; tears of joy and sorrow. It doesn't help that I'm overtired; two of the worst nights of sleep Cai has had since the week we brought him home, plus planning a wedding shower, and being on the news (more on that at the bottom of the page), plus some really weird pain in my boob (yay breastfeeding, you wonderful terrible beast). I'm having a hard time sorting through the joy and the pain this year, especially when I didn't expect to feel any pain.
I am rejoicing in my son. Yes, he was fussy today after a rough night, but shortly before his second nap, the only position he was happy in was standing on my lap with his arms wrapped around my neck. We laughed and played together, and I cried. Sometimes the love is so great it hurts.
There are no words to express how thankful I am that the Lord filled that emptiness I felt for so many years with the most amazing little boy.
Sorrow and Guilt
It's almost like survivor's guilt. I know so many women who are in pain today; because they have no children; because they've lost a child or children; because they're waiting for their child. My heart aches for them.
I scrolled through Facebook yesterday and today and saw post after post about motherhood. Mother's rejoicing in their children, bragging about them, thanking the Lord for them, thanking their children for making them mothers. I want to do that, but I can't because I know the pain it brings when you don't have that.
I want to shout from the rooftops that being a mama is everything I wanted it to be and more, that it is fulfilling, that now that I'm a stay at home mom, I feel like I'm doing exactly what I was always meant to do (that statement is for me personally; I'm not trying to say that all moms should be stay at home moms). I don't want to feel like shouting that out is selfish. I want to be oblivious to other people's feelings and focus on the wonder of my own.
Exhaustion and Inadequacy
Last night was one of the hardest nights of parenthood yet. I was already overtired and wanted to go to bed early, and then Cai made it worse. After sleeping for an hour; he decided sleep wasn't worth it and alternated between crying inconsolably and laughing hysterically. We tried everything; swaddling and not swaddling (that's a battle I'll blog about another time), nursing him (my go-to for comfort that either works magically or pissess him off more), teething tablets, playing with him, reading to him, and bringing him into bed with me. Things worked and then they didn't. At one point I sat on my bed and held my screaming baby and cried myself. I didn't know what to do. Then my amazing husband came in and took him and got him finally to sleep (this is not to say I had been trying alone to that point; it's just for some reason, this particular time that Steve took him worked). In contrast to my crying and frustration, Steve took him with a smile and enjoyed coforting him. God knew what he was doing when He gave me Steve because we handle stress so differently (did I mention he lost his job a few weeks ago and is still handling everything with a smile and kindness? ). As thankful as I was, it reminded me that I am not Super Mom and never will be, and the sooner I learn to be okay with that, the better.
All of this to say that Mother's Day is not as painless as I thought it would be; it's just different. In a good way. And that's okay. It will always be different for me (Hopefully. May I never take it for granted.), and that's okay.
And those who are hurting today, for many reasons, secretly or publicly, know that I am asking for you and praying for you, for comfort and joy.
I was interviewed on a local news program yesterday morning about my first Mother's Day after years of infertility. I was asked to be on the program through Sher Institute, my fertility clinic. It was a pretty neat experience. Of course there are things I wanted to say and didn't, and things I wish I hadn't said, or at least said differently, but overall, I'm pleased with how it went. You can watch it here: First time moms celebrate Mother's Day.