Thursday, November 13, 2014

How being a mother has changed me...

I am a planner, a list maker, and at times a bit of a perfectionist.
I dislike disorganization and love following a schedule.

However 6 1/2 months ago, my life changed.
My world changed.


I really had no idea.
I imagined Jack and I with this perfect little family and our perfect
little son.  I imagined an orderly home with a happy and content baby
who would not interrupt my schedule.
Boy, was I naive!


I will never forget the first night at home.
It was well past midnight, and I was sitting in the rocker with a crying baby.
I was trying to feed him and was not having any luck.  
He was crying so loud and I did the only  thing I could...
I cried along with.
I hugged him to my body and cried out to God,
Please make him stop.
I don't know what I am doing.
Oh God, I don't know how to be a good mother.
I can't even comfort my own baby.
Please help me.


That was the first time I realized how completely helpless I was as a mother
and how very little I really knew.
It also was then that I developed a new found appreciation for my mom.


The weeks following I struggled with balancing a home, baby, and husband.
I felt like the only one I could devote my time to was the baby and I had laundry to do,
dishes to wash, and dinner to make.
I felt buried and unable to keep my head above water.


I wanted to make something special for my husband for dinner,
I wanted to crack open my day planner and schedule my week,
I wanted to shower before noon, and not walk around feeling like a zombie.


But most importantly I just wanted to be a good mother AND a good wife.
I felt like I couldn't do both.
When I couldn't dry Keegan's tears I would cry and feel utterly helpless.
This continued for a couple of months and then one day, it was like
the heavens opened and I heard God speak to me...


He said,
Nicole, you don't have to do this alone.
You don't need to be a perfect mother; just do your best and leave the rest to me.
Don't get so bogged down with the little things.
You won't always have a tidy house, perfectly fixed hair, and a month's 
schedule planned in advance.
What you do have, is a husband who adores you and a 
healthy baby who will be past the crying, fussing stage before you know it.
Enjoy these moments.
Cherish the late night snuggles.
And most importantly bring your problems to me.


And so I decided that from then on, I was going to try with the Lord's help
to not let a crying baby get me down.  To not let disorganization, or even planning
meals weigh me down.  Even if I couldn't "fix" a crying baby, or figure out why he was 
spitting up, I would not let it get me down any longer.


Being a mom has made me less organized and a whole lot less of a perfectionist.
However, being a mom has also made me more like my mother I like to think.

If you were to ask me to describe my mom in one word, it would be
unselfish.


Everything my mom did was for my sisters and I.
She went to work to help put us through the Christian school.
She made us our favorite meals, and threw us awesome birthday parties.
She put our needs above her own and was always sacrificial in her time
whether helping with school projects or 
listening to us practice speeches and reports.


I find myself going straight for the baby section every,time I am in a department store.
Gone are the days of looking through clearance racks of clothes for myself.
I, instead, am thinking,
What does Keegan need?
What would Keegan like?


Even when Keegan sleeps through the night,
I still wake up and find myself tip-toeing to his room where I will
watch him peacefully sleep.
The times we are apart, I scroll through my phone looking at
pictures of him or watching videos of him cooing.


Some days, when the dishes are piled high, and the laundry needs
to be folded, I push them aside and read a story to a baby who insists
on "reading" along.  He does not seem to mind my off tune voice
and so we sing songs and play peek-a-boo.


Being a mom is making me more unselfish.
Being a mom is making me a better person.

Motherhood is hard.  Way harder than I ever imagined.
But there is this little boy.


This little boy who from the moment he entered the world had my heart.
A little boy who is growing every day.  Growing to some day go out on his
own, marry a wife, and make me proud.


So for now, I will let the dishes wait, 
set my day planner aside,
and hold this precious baby of mine.
After all, motherhood has changed me and I am rather glad.

[photography credit: Britton and Erika Felber]

8 comments:

  1. Beautifully written, my daughter. Hope you know just how proud I am of the little mommy you have become. When I see you with your little one, I swell up with so much love...Your words brought back so many memories of my early years as a young mother. I thoroughly love being your mom. Motherhood is definitely one of the most rewarding and fulfilling part of woman's life. What an honor to raise three lovely daughters for the Lord...I enjoyed every, single moment. Exceedingly and Abundantly...~Mom

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  2. This is so true, Nicole! Even with #2 I would get so frustrated in those early days and weeks! I thought Eric would never sleep through the night or take a nap longer than 45 minutes! Being a mom has changed me so much too --I guess God had a lot of chipping away to do at my self-love. And it is true that God will help when we go to Him -with a verse, a comment from someone, a piece of advice from a book- He gives all the practical wisdom I need and grace for each trying moment. God is so good! And I wouldn't rather do anything else in the world...I am so thankful for my kids and that I have the blessing of being a Mommy!

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  3. I love you, Nicole.

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  4. You made me cry while reading it! I truly look forward being a mom one day! But having the same issues with organization and etc, even now it's a huge huge encouragement to read it and such a blessing!!! Nicole, I truly love your little family, and your family!!! Such a great example jn many ways!!

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  5. I am so very grateful for your words, your wisdom and clear love you have for the Lord.

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  6. You're such a sweet family.Keep up the good work Nicole!

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  7. This post touched my heart in many ways. You are really grown up Nicole, and a beautiful wife and mother. Beautiful pictures of a beautiful family.
    Love you guys.

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