Thursday, May 6, 2010

A Tribute to My Fellow Mom's...

I think I have always wanted to be a "Mom". Even when I was little I enjoyed playing with dolls and pretending that I was a Mom. I bathed them and fed them, loved them and pretty much thought I had this mothering thing figured out.

As I became a teenager and young adult I realized I had a want and need to have a career. Hmmm...that didn't fit into my original Mommy role, Mommy didn't go off to work and leave her dolls/children with someone else. Times were changing and I began to rationalize that I could indeed have a career and be a mom. This could work, I still had it figured out.

I went to college and I had an enjoyable and productive career in Marketing Communications. I loved my job and enjoyed the opportunities and challenges it provided. I then got married and I married Jeff who was part of a family business. I quickly learned that when you have your own business you work more, not less, than the average worker. Okay, I can adjust my plan it's still on track....I think.

In my job, I travelled quite a bit, setting up trade shows, doing meetings and conferences and when I became pregnant with my first child I began to see the first glich in my plan. The travel was going to be an issue. Jeff never signed up to be "Mister Mom". He enjoyed his role as Dad but he wasn't really interested in taking on both roles. So, before Ben was born I changed jobs so that I would only have to travel locally and could be home each night. See, I can adjust and make some sacrifices.

Well, then Ben was born and I realized that even travelling locally meant I was gone more than 8 hours a day, not such a great plan. So, I changed jobs again this time going into a job with much more flexible hours and no travel. I started to feel that my career was slowly, ever so slowly swirling down the drain. As I downsized my job I also downsized my advancement opportunities and my paycheck. I had moments when I wanted to jump back into the big job, envied those who had the big job but then I began to realize what I was really missing was the fulfillment that came with doing a good job and the challenge of reaching the next level and okay...let's be honest the bigger paycheck.

I think all along, God was guiding me and letting me know that my job as mom was going to be different than what I imagined. It wasn't going to be my dream of the big career...and being a mom too. Being a mom was about to become my career.

It all kind of hit me at once. Ben turned 6 and we began to realize that he learned differently. He wasn't picking up on reading, absolutely hated writing and his love of school was non-existent. Danielle was a content 4 year old, but a princess in her own right. And then I gave birth to a beautiful 10lb 2oz boy that we all know and love now as Sam. Sam rocked my world in more ways than one. Sam's diagnosis of Down syndrome took us all by surprise. Jeff and I struggled through the toughest 24 hours of our lives as we came to terms with everything the doctors told us. This isn't what I imagined when I played with my dolls so many years before. None of my dolls had disabilities, none of them learned differently....this isn't what I planned. This isn't what I wanted.

Reality set in...I couldn't change life was changing....and I had no thoughts were scattered....I can do this...NO I can't....I don't want to do this....I have to do this. And then I held Sam and he looked at me with the biggest most innocent blue eyes I had ever seen. He was trusting me, he was depending on me to step up, he was willing me to be feel appreciate more. He wasn't asking me for anything but to be loved and to be cared for just like any other baby.

In Sam's first year, he tested me. I guess he wanted to make sure I was paying attention. Sam was ill a lot, we had our first ambulance ride together, our first of many stays at Children's Hospital, our first visit to the ICU, studies, surgeries and way too many doctor appointments. To this day I often think of the mom's and the children who are in the hospitals through out our country, some looking out the same windows I did wondering how it could be possible that everyone else's life was continuing when their own life seemed to be standing still. This Mother's Day I ask that you pray for the mom's sitting at their children's bedsides willing them to get better and that you hug your own children just a little bit tighter.

The moments I remember most in that first year occurred around 2:00 a.m. Sam and I were often awake at that time due to Sam's respiratory issues. We were both exhausted, probably a little delirious...okay a lot of delirious. We would either be taking a drive because Sam was most comfortable in his car seat to help with his breathing or we would be playing cars on the living room floor. Each time I would look at Sam in the rear view mirror or I would smash into his little car he would squeal with laughter and his smile told me everything he couldn't. His laugh was from his heart and soul...he was happy I was there. When Sam had to go through tests or have IV's put in or when he just struggled to take the next breath I would sing, "You Are My Sunshine". It seemed a fitting song, although the line of "please don't take my sunshine away" sounded more like a desperate plea than a rhyme in a song. It was then that I realized that no matter how much Sam changed my life I just simply could not imagine life without him. This Mother's Day I ask you to pray for the mom's that have had to do just that, the mom's who have had to accept God's plan of having their child earn their wings and leave this earth long before they were ready to let them go.

This Mother's Day I reflect on my new understanding of being a mom, my new and improved life. I don't have a career, I have a job that allows me the flexibility of being there for my children when they need me. However that doesn't mean I will never have a career, instead it means this time around I will work differently. As I begin my journey into freelance writing, public speaking or possibly authoring a book some day I'm moving forward at my pace, what works for me and my family. I have come to the realization that my dreams are not gone, just changed...enhanced even. My children are the reason I have started writing again and through their experiences, stories and journeys I have again learned how to write from my heart.

The life lessons my children have taught me are many. Patience...persistance...being humble...never giving up...loving unconditionally...courage...determination...individuality...keeping a positive attitude...commitment...respect...dedication...conviction..wisdom...dwelling in possibility and remaining optimistic are just a few. My life as their Mom is the best gift I could have ever been given and one of the hardest jobs I have ever had.

This Mother's Day I acknowledge every mom! You know who you are. Your motherhood experience may be completely different than mine and yet we have a common thread, we have loved someone more than ourselves, we have given someone all of ourselves and we hope they will love us despite ourselves.


  1. A beautiful post of your journey as a mother and how God has used your children in the "refining" process. I think no other career would do as good a job keeping us on our knees :)

  2. Life's a Journey, isn't it? Happy Mother's Day!

  3. You are an amazing mom! We are given things for a reason. I tell myself that everyday. Your children are very lucky to have you.