Monday, May 6, 2013

By: Michelle

This last and final post is by my friend, Michelle Pearson. She has a really great blog that is honest and real and gives tips and tricks on motherhood - particularly being a NEW mom as well as being a mom with multiple children. If you're not already following her youtube channel, you need to fix that ASAP! Her children are adorable, to boot.

Read on, friends. And bid adieu to Motherhood Month. Thanks to all the wonderful mothers who contributed this month. You all are amazing.

ps - We had a special going on during the month of April - Kids eat for $1 on Tuesdays. It's been so popular that we're going to keep it around for the summer! Hooray! Spread the word, y'all. 

What Motherhood Means To Me:

Before I became a mother 2.5 years ago I thought I knew what life was all about. I
had travelled the world, finished college, and served on a mission in Ukraine.
I thought I knew what love, sacrifice, and hard work meant.
Little did I know that my understanding of life would drastically change once my
first son came into my life.

When I first became pregnant it was the strangest feeling. I already knew I was
pregnant before any test or symptom could tell me so. I instantly knew that there
was life inside of me and I felt happy to know that I had a little spirit waiting to come
into this world.

My first pregnancy was not easy. I gained over 60 lbs. and felt miserable, hot, and
achey most of the time. No matter how I looked or how I felt I always knew that
what I was doing was worth it. When my first son Will came into my life I knew
I would never be the same. I was filled with love the moment I saw him.It was so
humbling to know that he needed me for literally everything. I loved those countless
nights when it was just the two of us and our rocking chair. I would sit there and
try to remember every detail. I wanted to remember how he smelled, the sounds he
made, and how happy I felt holding him in my arms.

I absolutely loved watching him learn to sit up, roll over, and walk around our
apartment. He was not the greatest sleeper, always wanted to nurse, and hated
the bottle. This made it hard to have babysitters and others take care of him. I did
however secretly love that he needed me so much J I loved watching the way his
big brown eyes lit up whenever I walked in the room. He made me feel like I was the
most important person in the world. . It was so fun to watch his personality develop
and see that he was stubborn just like his mommy. J

When Will was almost 2 years old my second son Max was born. Just when I thought
I knew what motherhood was about Max taught me even more. His bright red hair
shocked us all and made me smile every time I looked at him. I never knew I could
love someone so much.
His calm demeanor and easygoing personality brings such a special feeling and
spirit into our home. I look at him every day and wonder how I went 28 long years
without him in my life.

Now as I watch my two boys grow up I realize what motherhood is all about. It’s
about love, forgiveness, patience, service and sacrifice. We love those that we serve
and our children are no exception.
Motherhood is why we are put here on this earth. I truly feel it is the most important
job or calling any woman could receive. Motherhood is hard and will push you out of
your comfort zone. There will be times when you have no idea what you are doing
and you will wonder how Heavenly Father entrusted these little spirits to you. There
is however no other role on this earth that can give you so much joy and teach you
so much about Heavenly Father’s love for His children.

I still don’t know everything about being a mother but I look forward to the future
when I can have more children. I know that motherhood is a never-ending learning
process and it is preparing and shaping me into the person Heavenly Father wants
me to be. J

-Michelle Pearson

By: Lindsay Jones

The next post is by my friend Lindsay. We've known each other since Junior High! I love long friendships like ours. She's got the most adorable little darling, Kennedy. 

Read on for her love of motherhood.

Being a mom means everything. 

It means giving up many dreams because all your dreams already came true. It means sleeping half way off the bed, s

o a sick child can sleep comfortably. Being a mom means bodily fluids you never knew existed. It means seeing glimpses of Heaven everyday. Being a mom means "playing dolls" in REAL life, everyday. It means having weekend plans for the rest of your life. Being a mom means humility. It means thinking about food choices you never thought twice about before. It means planning for the future, forgetting the past and savoring the present. Being a mom means trying to model everything you want your child to be. It means putting band aids on fake "boo-boos" and cleaning off toothpaste on foreheads. It means strengthening your faith by following the lead of a steadfast and unfaltering two year old. Being a mom means laughing at every little thing your child does. It means tripping on toys and playing make believe. Being a mom means sleeping in is waking up at 7:00. Being a mom means a new motivation. Being a mom grows your respect for your parents. Being a mom is joy. It is really hard,

But being a mom is everything.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

By: Mari

Today, my friend Mari is sharing how she feels about motherhood. I've known Mari since my very first fall semester in college. I'll never forget a conversation we had we went out to dinner one night about our dreams of finding real success and totally believing that each other would find it.  She's the creator of Autumn Dame, a darling etsy shop with handmade goodness. This girl has amazing, effortless taste (always has)! Read on to see her darling newborn William.
What Motherhood Means to me...
My name is Mari Spiker. 
I am 27 yrs old.
I am married to a handsome, hardworking, and loving man.
We have been married for 6.5yrs & live in the beautiful Newport Beach, CA.
I enjoy spending time with our two families above all else.
I have a deep love for the autumn season.
I am spoiled with the most beautiful and wonderful friends in the world.
I love to indulge in terrible fashion television, Haagen Daaz milk shakes, and shopping.

20 days ago I became a mother.

Instantly my life has been transformed into a richer, fuller, and happier existence. How I viewed myself changed. How I viewed the world changed. Everything changed.

This child had lived in my dreams my entire life. The idea of becoming a mother seemed surreal. I have the greatest example of motherhood in my own mother. She has made being a mother seem like such an honor. Being her child I always felt loved, supported, and encouraged. Life with her was full of magic and she had a way of making the hardest times seem wonderful.

As a girl you "know" you will be a mother, but you can't imagine seems so far off in the future. As a young married woman at 21, my focus was to support my spouse through law school and then we could start our family. As with almost everything else in life, nothing goes to plan. Our story of infertility is not uncommon. Sadly, many face this trial. We struggled for over 3yrs and it felt hopeless. During this time, I felt as if my heart had broken. That "off in the future" feeling I had as a girl had turned into a desperate, suffocating reality that I may never experience the thing I desired most. So, as you can imagine the emotional roller coaster coming to an end the day we found out we were finally expecting. Those 9months were full of ups & downs, but man how they flew. My excitement and anticipation only grew.

On April 1, 2013 my dreams came true and I met the other love of my life.
Our son, William.

The moment I held him in my arms I felt as if my heart might burst. I had been so excited & thought about holding him for so long--but I had no idea how this boy would make me feel the moment I met him. My sweet angel. My little miracle. I thank the Lord every single day for this blessing.

My experience with motherhood, tho very brief, has meant more than just joy. More than just sacrifice, sleep deprivation, or an entire life transformation. Motherhood means everything to me. This child has made my heart whole again.

I look forward to this new life of mine. I have never been happier or felt more complete. The adventure & the dream have begun! I hope I can give him a life like mine--full of wonder, magic, and love. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

By: Elle (of Solly Baby Wraps)

Today, my friend, Elle Rowley has contributed to Motherhood Month. She's the genius behind Solly Baby Wraps. I could talk for hours about how amazing this wrap is and how it's so far above any other infant carrier on the market. Elle and her product have been featured in so many places [check out the many places here]. Not only is Elle a driven business woman, she's also an effortlessly beautiful and savvy mama that eloquently and honestly writes about her life as a "Mamaprenuer" (love that phrase, Elle). Blog found here.

Lucy and I were lying there together on the intricate quilt Jared’s great aunt made, the kind I will never be able to make, crying like babies. I guess it’s important to note that she was a baby, a three-month-old with colic to be exact, and I was a 25 year-old woman who was supposed to be her mother.

Only I didn’t know how to be.

Which explains the crying. (Hers and mine.)

I finally got on my knees and whispered a prayer for help. The kind of prayer you don’t forget, the kind you feel like your whole life depends on. I pled that I could be the kind of mom that little girl needed instead of the weak, tired, frustrated, ball of tears that I was. I prayed for strength and for patience and understanding. Then I offered up everything. I said I would do and be whatever God wanted me to be if He would help me do this right. This was one thing I just couldn’t screw up.

I wasn’t transformed into Mrs. Brady, but I felt peace and warmth, and the feeling that it was going to be okay. More importantly, I felt that I was enough and that, even with all of my imperfections, I was supposed to be Lucy’s mom. That confirmation carried me through many moments of feeling inadequate and unequipped as I watched other new moms take on the role effortlessly and led to me becoming a much better, happier mother.         

I used to be ashamed of that memory, but now I feel proud. In a weird way, that is what motherhood is to me. Not the fetal-position-crying-with-your-baby part, but the striving to be better part. To me, motherhood is about learning to love more, being humble and honest enough to admit when we need help, with the added bonus of finding that we unearth our best selves as we kindle these new spirits and teach them . 

It's really such an astoundingly beautiful process that sometimes gets clouded in the day-to-day grind of nursing and dirty diapers and all of the seemingly mundane tasks that motherhood brings. So the next time you feel overwhelmed by your fussy baby or changing your spit-up covered shirt for the third time in a row begins to feel burdensome, think for a minute about who all of those "mundane" tasks are helping you to become. It will probably make you hold that baby a little closer and, who knows, it may even make that stinky diaper smell a little sweeter less stinky. :) 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

By: Heather

This next post is from my awesome sister, Heather. She's owned a super successful photography company that now is based in Philadelphia. She's got the most ADORABLE little red headed baby with the best little personality. I love that my Scout and her Madeline get to grow up so close in age!

Here's Heather's take on Motherhood:

What Motherhood Means to Me

My sweet Madeline came into the world November 29, 2011. She was 6 weeks early and it was a bit scary for us... praying and hoping our sweet girl would be healthy and okay. Our prayers were answered as Madeline breathed completely on her own and was a beautiful, 4 lb, 13 oz baby. We were in the NICU for 14 days but it felt like 14 years. She was only in there because she needed to learn to eat better on her own. My husband and I felt so incredibly blessed that we had a healthy baby girl. 

It wasn’t easy having our baby girl in the NICU. We wanted so badly to hold her and cuddle her all the time. It made me sad each time we went in and seeing her lying there with wires all over her little body. However, I felt so much peace and comfort knowing Madeline was in SUCH wonderful hands. I couldn’t have asked for more loving, caring NICU nurses. Again, Nick and I felt so blessed that even though we couldn’t take her home, she was safe and being well taken care of. 
I wanted to share a few thoughts from my journal during that time: 

“Some of the most spiritual experiences in my life have taken place in the labor and delivery room and the NICU. Each tender moment I have with that little one ~ I try to bottle up and remember forever. Even though I am sitting in a loud, florescent lit, machine filled NICU... I am behind a curtain with my sweet little baby girl, and everything else disappears. It's just me and her. I cherish these moments I have alone with her, just holding her close and kissing her. I love to nestle her very close to my chest... skin to skin. I sit in the glider and rock her back and forth, back and forth. Today I hummed a few lullabies and "I am a child of God" to her. She was listening. My eyes filled with tears the thought of her coming fresh from Heaven and into my arms. I felt the deep, deep love our Heavenly Father has for her. What a precious sprit she holds. She's so innocent and so pure.” 

“Today has been extra hard for some reason. I hate the thought of leaving her at the hospital. 
It makes me sad that she doesn't get a whole lot of "human touch" because she can't be over stimulated. 
I often wonder... " Is it my fault she came early?" 
I MISS her so much. Our home feels empty with out her. 
So much emotion. 

However, I know she's in great hands. I know she needs this special time to grow and get stronger. 
I know she'll be home soon. and I know she's supposed to be here at this time. 
She is a miracle.” 
And she did eventually come home. I remember sitting in the back seat with her on her first car ride home and just watching her breathe in and out. I couldn’t believe she was all mine and that we were actually taking her home! 

Madeline has added so much joy and light to our home. How on earth did we ever live without her? 

Motherhood is no easy thing. In fact, it’s difficult. It’s easily the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do... but you know what? It’s also the most rewarding. I believe there is no greater thing on this planet that is more important than raising children, nurturing and loving them. Children are so innocent and so pure. 
Madeline is now almost a year in a half. I can’t believe how fast the time has gone since the day she came into this world. She brings us more joy than I ever thought imaginable. I don’t think I truly understood what love meant until I had Madeline. I am her mother and I have a great responsibility to rear her and teach her! She already has taught ME so much. She is constantly wanting to learn and she is so curious about the world around her. It is so fun watching her grow and seeing her love for life. She reminds me to stop and enjoy the little things in life... whether it be smelling the tulips in the nearby park or stopping to listen to the trees leaves rustling in the wind. She has reminded me to see life through a child’s eyes: so curious and so eager to learn.  I’m 29 years old and she has reminded me to just enjoy the little things in life. What a blessing! 
There is nothing more important to me in this life than fulfilling my role as a mother. There is nothing more important to me than God and my family. It’s such a blessing that God has trusted me enough to send sweet Madeline to be under my care. I am her mother, and I don’t take that calling lightly. I really try to soak up each day I have with her because each day truly is a gift. I continue to pray that I can be a loving & devoted mother to her because she deserves nothing less. 

This poem describes exactly how I feel: 

Before I was a Mom,
I never tripped over toys
or forgot words to a lullaby.
I didn't worry whether or not
my plants were poisonous.
I never thought about immunizations.

Before I was a Mom,
I had never been puked on.
Pooped on.
Chewed on.
Peed on.
I had complete control of my mind
and my thoughts.
I slept all night.

Before I was a Mom,
I never held down a screaming child
so doctors could do tests.
Or give shots.
I never looked into teary eyes and cried.
I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin.
I never sat up late hours at night
watching a baby sleep..

Before I was a Mom,
I never held a sleeping baby just because
I didn't want to put her down.
I never felt my heart break into a million pieces
when I couldn't stop the hurt.!
I never knew that something so small
could affect my life so much.
I never knew that I could love someone so much.
I never knew I would love being a Mom.

Before I was a Mom,
I didn't know the feeling of
having my heart outside my body..
I didn't know how special it could feel
to feed a hungry baby.
I didn't know that bond
between a mother and her child.
I didn't know that something so small
could make me feel so important and happy.

Before I was a Mom,
I had never gotten up in the middle of the night
every 10 minutes to make sure all was okay.
I had never known the warmth,
the joy,
the love,
the heartache,
the wonderment
or the satisfaction of being a Mom.
I didn't know I was capable of feeling so much,
before I was a Mom.

~ Author Unknown 

By: Kim

This entry is written by my adorable friend Kim. I've known her and her family since I was just a few years in to my college life. I love her perspective and I love that yummy little boy of hers!

Whenever I would imagine what type of mom I wanted to be, I would always agree that I wanted to be just like my mom! The end.

It hasn't been that easy. You see, I'm like my mom in some aspects and not like her in a lot of other ways. I can never be a mom exactly like her but I can strive to have the same ideas and do the best that I can and use her as my role model. 

Thinking a little deeper here, I think that being a mom is the most amazing, challenging, gratifying thing that a woman could ever do.

One thing that I have to work on every day is patience. Sometimes, after taking care of Zac, working, cooking, cleaning, and having hardly any sleep, it is hard to be patient but you have to be that strong and loving mom that you were made to be!

Motherhood doesn't start when that baby is put into your arms for the first time. I think that it starts the moment you decide to have a baby, or the moment you find out that you are going to have one. That moment, you have just given everything to that little human. In a blink of an eye, your heart belongs to them, your body is now there's, you feel sick and tired and you sacrifice a lot far before you even meet them. I think that it helps appreciate those little munchkins, more than you can imagine, before they even get here.

I think that being a mother means unconditional love and sacrifice. The first time that I saw Zac and they put him in my arms, we stared into each other’s eyes and I knew that I had waited my entire life for that moment. We were instantly best friends and I would do anything for him. I felt like the nurses were going to have to pry him from my arms!

Soon after, you realize that you will never have a real good night sleep for a very very very long time, or ever again. Your body would never be the same. You would get less showers, get ready for the day less, exercise less, go out on dates less, and go anywhere less. You give everything 110% to your family and still find more in you to give and are happy to do it.

Motherhood is something that you have to work on every day. I felt like I put on the right prescription of glasses after having been blind. The world is brighter with children and it is up to you to keep them safe and raise them to be the best people that they can be. How great and completely scary is that?!  I can't think of anything else I'd rather do! 

Being a mother is so gratifying! When I walk into Zac’s room and he gets the biggest grin on his face, all of my other problems go away. When he snuggles up to me and hugs me with all of his strength, I know that this is what I was meant to do. When we play and giggle together, I thank God every day that he would entrust this little angel to me to take care of. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

By: Clydie, my mother-in-law

This next entry is by my wonderful Mother-in-law. She's the definition of selflessness and goodness. I'm so lucky to have the BEST mother-in-law on the planet

Being a Mom

It took me forever to become a mom. So many hills and valleys.  Instead of morning sickness (but just as miserable), I waited and watched for an adoption to come through. Then the blessed day came when I held my first son, two days old (I was 35). He stared at me so intently that I wondered if he recognized me.  Instantly and effortlessly we bonded. It was so natural, that I’ve been dumbfounded when people expressed admiration for my “learning to love” my adopted children. (As if I had to practice or develop that love)! We adopted a second boy nearly five years later. Another soul-thrilling miracle.

Mothering is exhausting, startling and incredibly soul-satisfying.

·        Lack of sleep
·        No real down time (sure, breaks here and there, but the role is permanent)
·        Worry (about their safety, their health,  their choices, their growth)
·        Realization that motherhood is not that simple and  that you haven’t been as perfect as you had hoped/imagined.
·        Vocabulary growth (stunned by some of the multi-syllables that come out of their toddler mouths)
·        Unexpected talents (like fearlessly retrieving stinky debris from a swamp, when other boys and men would not, building an “automatic bed curtain,” paddling a canoe and singing on stage)
·        Questionable experiments such as building explosives, operating a restaurant (out of our home)
·        Seeing your kids “make-it” in the adult world—managing heavy responsibilities
·        Receiving counsel and comfort from your kids, who are also your most significant friends
·        Watching your children become parents (which makes you a grandma even when you don’t feel old)
·        Being a grandma!!!
·        Just being with them
·        Finally understanding your own parents a little better…and maybe even God (a teeny bit).