I can’t believe on this day last year I was still waiting to meet River. It feels like I’ve already been through several lifetimes since he’s been here with me.
My first Mother’s Day was a little bitter sweet with everything that went down this week, dealing with a loss, and still feeling physically like I was hit by a bus. But I have my River! And he took his first steps to me and waved bye bye for the first time today! Hopefully this is not an indication he’ll be moving out tomorrow. It really does go by fast.
Because of the serious lows this week I had to do some soul searching today to pull myself out of the pity party I was already subconsciously starting to decorate for when I woke up this morning. I needed to get a better perspective so I didn’t just cry all day. I thought about all the years we tried for our precious River, and I also thought about all those moms who don’t have a baby to hold on this side of life yet. Per usual, at first that took me a little deeper into my despair. How do you explain all that sadness away into something that is ok? But I think there’s a reason that makes sense.
With all the highs and lows this year I can say without a doubt being a mother is not a destination. It’s a journey that begins long before that child is even a glimmer in your eye (or a twinkle at the end of an IVF syringe or a sparkle on the tip of the pen used to sign adoption papers). You don’t just become a mother on the day your first child is born. Every day of your life leading up to meeting your baby for the first time is an important piece of being a mom and meaningful in determining what KIND of mom you will be, which is everything.
Giving birth to a baby doesn’t make you a mother, being a nurturer does. Nurturing yourself and others years before your baby arrives is more than a warm up, it’s the real deal and an important element of being a mom. Some people get their babies early in life, but then miss out on nurturing themselves first, and vice versa.
No matter where you are on your journey of being a mom, whether you have met your little one yet or not, remember to feel gratitude for what you have in the meantime because your baby needs you to. It’s a skill you will need to teach them. But it’s also the way we keep from becoming bitter and disdainful. Those are not great traits for a mother.
There will always be sadness in life, but also ALWAYS something to be grateful for. Gratitude is the absolute key to life. Remember that no matter where you stand, you cannot see the big picture yet. If you could, gratitude would be a lot easier to find. Sometimes things seem like they’re nowhere in sight, but they lay just around the corner. If you could see what was around every corner throughout your life, you’d probably breathe easier, but you would never try and fail, never grow, never suffer and then triumph, and you’d never be strong. What kind of mom would that be? Not the kind you want to be, trust me. Growth is imparitive, but so is unshakable happiness. In the meantime, take notice of what there is to be happy about RIGHT NOW, and I promise you’ll find it’s actually unlimited.
Easy for me to say now, right? No, not really. It’s still hard for me, but gets easier with practice. Of course I know I have so much to be happy about! And it’s so obvious to me partially because I spent so long in the meantime. I’m so grateful for River! And my husband, family and friends. And my health and my LIFE that I understand even more now is fleeting and precious. And I’m also grateful my air conditioning is working (it wasn’t last night) and that I have ice cream in the freezer. But most of all, I’m grateful that Game of Thrones is on tonight and I will hopefully get to see someone cut in half or beheaded. That will really put a nice little cap on this week.