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Surprise August 9, 2012

Expect the unexpected.   I think that phrase pretty much sums up motherhood for me.    It’s a roller coaster ride with twists and turns that you don’t see coming.  Each day brings new joys, new heartaches and new adventures.  The vision I had of motherhood is nothing like the reality.  I naively thought because I was around many children all the time before I got married that I had it all figured out. Boy, was I WRONG.  I have been pleasantly and at times, not so pleasantly, surprised.  I have narrowed my surprises down to a list of ten.  If you are so inclined, please share with me your own surprises.  I love to hear other mother’s, actually, other parent’s stories.  It’s comforting to know I’m not alone on this crazy ride.

  1. The first surprise was the absolute and all-encompassing love I feel for my children.  I expected to love them, of course, but I didn’t expect my heart to feel as though it would burst just looking at them.  I would stare at them when they were babies and cry because of the strength of my love for each one of them.
  2. The next thing that shocked the hell out of me was that you can love more than one child with that fierce, powerful love.  When I was pregnant with my second child, I would call my mom and cry because I was sure I would never love him as much as I love my daughter.  My mom assured me that would not be the case, but I don’t think I believed her.  Then I took one look at his little scrunched up newborn face and my heart swelled just as it had with my daughter.  I was once again, in love.  I fell in love two more times after him.
  3. My next surprise was that even though I love and adore all my children, a couple of them have personalities that just mesh better with mine.  The same is true for my husband.  I felt badly about this for a while, because I wanted everything to be equal all the time, but just as I am a person with a distinct personality, so are they.  I am okay with this fact now, but it took me until I had my fourth, to be okay with it.
  4. Parenthood is exhausting, especially in the beginning, and I still can’t believe what I can and could accomplish on 2 hours of sleep.  I can make 25 cupcakes for a class, clean the house from top to bottom, help with multiplication homework, plan a party, and so on.  It kind of makes me feel like a rock star.
  5. Before I had kids, I heard about the “mama bear” instinct.  I didn’t fully understand the truth and strength of this instinct.  I have been a ” mama bear” a few times and let me tell you, I think I could rip off someone’s head with my bare hands or lift up a ding dang truck. When I feel like my child is hurt or has been wronged it is a visceral reaction.  Look out.
  6. I loved my husband before we had children.  I mean really loved him in an eye rolling, gag me kind of way, but watching him become a father has made that love even stronger than ever.  Watching him walk around the house singing to a screaming newborn, play countless games of catch or comfort my daughter as she cries because her feelings have been hurt, is a beautiful thing.
  7. The next surprise is actually a big one for me. The fact that I can take care of a child that is puking and not pass out or puke myself, is flipping amazing to me.  I had a serious issue with vomit , growing up.  I can honestly say, of all the things I worried about when I thought of being a mother, the fact that I would some day have to take care of a barfing kid scared me most.  Well, now I have been puked on, caught puke in my hands and even had a kid puke in my mouth.  I have conquered my fear.
  8. Before having kids I had a so, so relationship with my body.  I was always trying to “improve” it somehow because it wasn’t good enough.  When I looked in the mirror, it was the flaws that I saw. Now, after being pregnant four times and breastfeeding four babies, I have accepted my body how it is.  I marveled at how huge my belly and breasts got,  but not in a negative way like I thought would be the case.  I carried four tiny humans in my body and I nourished them with it too. So what if my butt is not as high? So what if my boobs have to be tucked into my bra?  So what if my kids say my belly is “squishy” and “comfy”?  I truly don’t care anymore.  It’s a welcome surprise.
  9. I had a miscarriage 9 years ago and I’m surprised at how much it still hurts to think about.  I thought that with time,  I would forget that pain of losing “what was to be”, but each year on the day that I lost the baby and the due date of that baby, I am sad.
  10. Finally, I’m surprised at how ding dang hard it is to be a parent.  It doesn’t get easier, the difficulty just changes as the children grow.  My heart is broken on a daily basis. I’m constantly worried about these four little people I have been blessed with.  There are some days I can’t form a complete sentence because I’m so overwhelmed and exhausted. But, I love it.  I really ding dang love it.
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7 Responses to “Surprise”

  1. dingdanghusband Says:

    I love you, and this post is great. But, my recollection of you “helping” with multiplication homework isn’t too pretty! Just sayin’.

  2. Martha Says:

    Love the post!! My biggest surprise has been the whole teenage thing (I have raised 4 of them) – while the difficulty of it is of course suprising, the big surprise for me has been how much I love teenagers and helping them get through all those learnings that life will inevitable deal them!! To see them come out the other side headed to college and on to the big wide world as amazing adults is the most rewarding thing about parenting ever – and my biggest surprise!! and the gravity of how much they need us as parents during this time is surprising as well….

    • ddl6 Says:

      Martha, how refreshing to hear something POSITIVE about teens! It’s always so scary the way people talk about those years. I’m nervous about them, but look forward to it. Love, love to hear from parents who have been there and…….survived! Thanks for sharing:)

  3. EHicklin Says:

    Claire,
    My husband and I LOVE your posts! No pressure, but it is something we both look forward to! (And so does brother, Don!).
    We’ve been trying to have a family of our own for 2 1/2 years…and have lost two along the way. I know there is an ultimate plan (and recent events in our family’s life has confirmed this), but it’s still so hard every year, 4 times a year. It gives me such comfort to see how you and Pat now have four awesome kids but also suffered a loss along the way. I’m so sorry for your loss and I TOTALLY GET how you feel. I, too, thought it would get easier as time passed…but it doesn’t. I appreciate that you are so open in your blog to talk about it…as that is one thing that bothers me sometimes that people don’t want to talk about it. I’m sure our babies are playing in heaven together!
    We will continue to LOVE your posts and learn from them. You have quite a talent: 1. as a writer! and 2. as an awesome mother to your kids. It’s so evident in every post!
    Thanks for the continuous laughs and honest posts!
    Love, Cissy

  4. ddl6 Says:

    Oh, thank you, Cissy! I really appreciate y’all taking the time to read it! I love hearing that people like it and don’t think I’m a complete idiot;)

    I am so sorry to hear about your loses.It leaves such an empty place in your heart, to lose a pregnancy. I absolutely agree, people don’t want to talk about it. I almost felt ashamed when it happened because people would kind of brush it off, with the whole “You can try again.” I felt I shouldn’t be as upset as I was because I had a daughter. Well, when you find out you’re pregnant, that baby becomes a part of your future. For three months, we planned our future with that baby in it. Please call me anytime you want to talk. I didn’t have many people who could understand what I was going through, but two of my aunts were really supportive and I will always remember that. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers:)

    Thanks for reading and I promise I will try to post more 😉 The kids have been home for 10 weeks of summer and I think I may be officially batshit crazy! Thanks again!


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