It takes a village to raise a child. I’ve heard this quote for years and I never really understood the depth of this statement until I had my own child. I could not agree with this statement more…well,maybe not so much a village but at least Mama, Daddy and the Abuelos!
I have been so blessed to share the birth of my first-born with my parents as well as his first six months of life. Because of my parents’ job I never dreamed of being able to enjoy this time with them. I am not sure how I would have survived without them, I will cherish the memories we have made for a lifetime. Unfortunately, as life would have it, they had to go back to their home in Spain and I have been left here to try to figure out this thing called mothering on my own. Okay, Okay…I’m not really on my own, but that is the way it seems from where I sit right now, sulking in my physical loneliness.
I have had plenty of support from people other than my parents. The first few months of Liam’s life were pretty rough emotionally and physically for this new Mama (as it is for so many new mothers). But, I didn’t feel comfortable sharing my true feelings with anyone besides my immediate family. Even though no one else outside my family knew how I felt I received many encouraging e-mails, FB messages, and texts from other mothers, some that I barely knew. What a blessing! How did they know? I have felt this sense of comradery with these amazing moms, a connection that will never be broken. I feel as though there is this unspoken, universal understanding between us moms. I cannot explain it and you cannot understand it unless you are a mother. Something changes inside you when you become a mother. I see the world and those in it differently.
Going back to missing having my parents around. Here is the funny thing: as a young adult I looked forward to the day that I was independent and self-sufficient. I worked throughout college and nursing school to get myself to this point. I remember longing to be out from underneath my parents. In fact, God personally told me my senior year in high school that I should move back to the U.S. and finish off my high school years there. (It had nothing to do with the fact that there was a boy that I was infatuated with, nothing at all, it was 100% Divine calling.) To this request my parents said “we know for a fact that God wants you with us” and maybe a few other choice words. Well, ten years after high school and I have accomplished the goal of being independent from my parents. I am a nurse who could and has survived on her own. Here is the dilemma: I don’t want to be independent anymore. I need my Mom and Dad around. More importantly, I WANT them around and I think they feel the same way. Independence is not all that it is cracked up to be. I have felt the loneliest when I was the most independent.
So where does this leave me? Well, first of all, I know that Mason and I are not on this journey of parenthood alone. We have the wealth of knowledge from our parents, plus their love and support. This in and of itself is one of the biggest blessings and is completely invaluable. Mason and I have been raised by amazing parents who are still teaching us so much. Secondly, God has blessed us with dear friends. Several of our closest friends have embarked on this journey of parenthood at the same time as us. Friendship is priceless to me and going through all of these stages with some of my closest friends is something that I will always cherish. My friends who have virgin uteri are my link to reality and to a life that I sometimes find myself missing. And finally, there is this thing called the internet. There should be a warning sign out there for mothers searching the web. Just to give you an example, when Liam was first born he had a “rash” for several weeks. After researching on-line I was led to diagnose my son with some sort of flesh eating disease that would scar him for life and lead him to a life full of drugs and unhappiness. Ends up he only had eczema.
Besides realizing how much I need and want others speaking into my life I have also realized a few things on how I would like to raise our children. I would like to instill in them a sense of interdependence…hopefully between themselves as siblings and between us as their parents. I also want them to be raised with a deep connection with their grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. I hope they see through our relationships how important being a good friend is and how important friendships are in life. Now to only figure out how in the world to instill these and many other invaluable concepts in Liam’s little life…I am going to try my best Little Man. You are such an amazingly adorable little sponge. I pray that God will teach me daily how to be the best Mommy I can be for you. You deserve more than the best. I am trying to become that for you.
OK, so now I think I have rambled on enough…I am pretty sure this post makes absolutely no sense. That is ok though, I think most of the post I write are more for me than you, the reader. I find that writing helps me to process my thoughts and feelings. I also write these posts in hopes that one day Liam and our other children will read them and feel an even deeper sense of connection to me!