December 5, 2018

Motherhood In Pictures: How Photos Tell Your Story As A Mother

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Motherhood In Pictures: How Photos Tell Your Story As A Mother

Do you have pictures that hurt to look at?

To the unsuspecting person, they are happy moments but you know the story or the moment behind the smile?

For me, I have a picture of my son, being dressed in his going home outfit.  It should be one of those Facebook posts that read: “Yay, going home today”.  Smiley face.

But when I look at that picture, I am flooded with memories.

Do you have any pictures that do that for you?

Related to pictures and motherhood:

Reality set in

It was a Monday morning at 10 am — two days after I had given birth to my first child.  My husband had just left to take our luggage down to the car and pull it around to the entrance to wait for me and our new son.

I was alone in the hospital room, putting on a onesie that in the store looked like the perfect fit.  But now, in reality was huge.  It had a million buttons and with a crying, baby I could not get them together.  I had this huge car seat sitting ready.  I had no idea what I was suppose to do.

Honestly, I was scared.  Scared to go home, scared to be alone with this tiny human.

I had just hung up the phone a moment ago.

Back to business mode

I had taken my first business call.  My head was going a mile a minute.  I had booked my first appointment for Friday at 10 am.

I had a fire that I needed to put out asap — and I needed to handle it in my business mode.

But I was a mom now: that confident, strong, take charge woman felt a million miles away.  Somehow, I had to figure out how to get the baby to stop crying, put him in a car seat, make my way out of the hospital, get home, fix lunch, and go back to work.

That day was three years ago.  Do I wish I could tell me then what I know now?

No.

While it turned out beautifully, Dear God, it was hard.  That Friday, I cried all the way to my first appointment.

The deal of working “referrals” only didn’t sound as good as it did when I was six months pregnant. I remember strapping myself into a corset, hiding the evidence of pregnancy. No one would hire me if they knew I had a newborn at home.

I remember that my husband had to drive me to the appointment because I couldn’t drive yet. I remember scoring the deal, and rushing to the car to see my beautiful baby worried it took to long.

Some people don’t even realize (pictures don’t tell the full story)

I remember that night sitting at the table with two feminists who regaled me with stories of their friends who lost all the baby weight in the hospital.  My boobs hurt.  It hurt when family hugged me.  My butt hurt, it hurt sitting on the wood chairs.

They hurt me.  They didn’t know it, but they did.  Because those feminist didn’t go back to work with a 3 day old baby.

Those woman got maternity leave.  Their weight loss shouldn’t be the reason they were strong wonderful woman.

What I know now that I didn’t understand then

Do I wish I could have told myself, that taking my 12-day-old baby to a new construction house strapped to me, worried about nursing schedules and electrical sockets at the same time, that everything will turn out okay?

No.  Because that day was hard.

I remember being up all night, wishing I could just nap with the baby.  I remember worrying that the machines cutting tile were too loud.  That I would trip on a board and fall.  I remember helping my client decide on what size HVAC and praying the baby would sleep for just ten more minutes.

I remember the day my husband sent the email requesting the transfer.  And I remember the email that said, request granted.  All the joy, all the fears in the world.

Do I wish I could have told myself that it would turn out okay?  No.  Because it wasn’t okay for a long time, it was just hard.

There were tears, fights, scrimping and saving.  There were goodbyes.  And there was closure.

There was a loss of a girl that I use to know to become a mom that I see today.

Courageous doesn’t even begin to describe us Mammas

If I would have known what it took to create the life that I have today, I may not of had the courage to do it.

I may have chosen to stay and get a nanny, or return to teaching and try day care.  I am so glad that I didn’t know.

Even more so — I am so glad that we just kept moving forward.

I had a mom tell me I was lucky a few months ago. I just smiled and said thanks, but in my head I was screaming.

Luck didn’t create this life. Prayer, tears, self-sacrifice, hard choices that happen every day, created this life.

Conclusion: What do your pictures say about you as a mother?

So the next time, you have a picture taken in a moment of great fear, don’t wish to know what the future holds.

Just know that you are strong enough to make it through.   And years later, when all those feelings return.  Look at that picture and be proud.

You survived.  You conquered.

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