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On saying yes, motherhood, and hard things

Saying Yes and Motherhood

This guy. I know every mother feels this way (rightfully so), but he’s just a special little guy.

He was my gift. But let’s start from the beginning with the first little boy who stole my heart. Most people don’t know this, but Chris & I were blessed to be able to take care of another little boy before we became parents. We brought him home at 1 month old, 1 month before our wedding. I had never even changed a diaper before. Most people thought we were crazy.

At first I thought the sleepless nights & crying would be the death of me, and we both felt some questioning if we had made the right choice & could actually take care of a tiny human being. The entire weight of the responsibility we had just taken on didn’t really sink in until I was pulled over on the side of the interstate on the way home from the hospital, trying to feed a screaming baby a bottle with zero clue as to what I was doing. I cried every day for a few months from sleep deprivation. It was nothing short of hard.

But then… it got easier, and more fun, and more rewarding, and more of a blessing as the days, weeks, months passed.

All the while, we were trying to balance on the tight-rope of making that little boy feel as loved as if he were ours while knowing that he wasn’t. Every day I found myself giving my whole heart away to this little baby, while knowing that he was going to take it with him when he left.

And then the day came when that amazing little boy was reunited with his mother. I never knew the meaning of bittersweet before then.

You see, we wanted more than anything for the story to have that happy ending, with mother and baby together again. We knew that was the mission when we accepted it. We just didn’t know that it was going to break our hearts.

Coming home to an empty baby’s room every day made me realize that being a mother was the hardest, most exhausting, stressful and terrifying thing that I never, ever wanted to stop doing.

People often asked me, “Wasn’t that hard?”

Well, yeah. It was really freaking hard. Hard doesn’t encompass it actually.

And you know what else, through that experience I learned that it’s the hard stuff that is the best stuff. I learned to say YES to the hard things. Follow your heart. When your intuition for that one split second tells you that you are supposed to do that one thing — you do that thing and you see it through and you don’t quit when it gets hard, because on the other side of hard come the blessings.

Every moment with that child was a blessing, and seeing him and his mother doing so amazingly well is a bigger blessing.

And then… then things came full circle. We felt pretty lost with such a quiet, clean house and an empty crib. We put our plans to be “newlyweds” to the side and decided it was time for babies. We were blessed to not have to try for long. Our son was due June 7th.

And then, like a sign from God that we were on the right path, my water broke 3 weeks early and I went into labor on the exact same date that one year earlier I handed that precious baby boy over to his mother and walked away.

Say yes to the hard things with an open heart and mind. They are the best things, much like motherhood itself.

peace, love, and positively imperfect grace,

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