When I was in my twenties, there was a great deal of focus on finding love. My girlfriends and I spent so many hours focused on finding a man- going out to find a man, and if we did have a man… was he the right man? Maybe it was because of my southern heritage, but most women I knew then felt the same… finding a husband was some sort of ultimate goal. Careers were important as well, but getting a boyfriend and getting married were our other full-time jobs. That’s not to say that we didn’t enjoy and revel in our friendships, because we did, but finding someone to love felt like an ultimate prize.
When you find someone to love… it’s exhilarating. You are synched in a way that you cannot properly explain. Your world tilts on its axis and even the grittiest streets of New York seem rose-colored. While I was dating Bo and then newly married, I still always felt that I had to have some bigger purpose. Being Bo’s wife was wonderful. But I didn’t really feel any different from before…and I never felt defined by our relationship. I wanted a full and rich life and being a wife felt like just one component. Work was fulfilling in another way, but without a specific career goal at the time… it was not exactly everything to me either. You could say that I had it all from looking in from the outside, but I didn’t always feel that way. I knew that there was some larger purpose for me laying somewhere out there in the future.
When we decided to try to get pregnant, I was nervous. I had never been one of those women who had always exclaimed her intense desire to be a mother. I always thought I would be a mother some day, but there were other things that I wanted to do as well, and I wondered if that meant something. With my butterflies in tact, we started to try. If you know me at all,you know I don’t do things half-way. So, I decided that I would approach getting pregnant like most things that I wanted to achieve… with absolute determination bordering on obsession. Once successful, I focused my nervous energy on pregnancy fashion, cute little shoes and making lists of names. But towards the end, my worries interrupted my sleep. I wondered to myself if I’d even be any good at this thing called motherhood, considering I loved my time alone as well as uninterrupted sleep. Although I read the baby books, I felt so unprepared.
I’ll spare you another story about having bug. I think y’all know that tale pretty well now. So we’ll jump ahead.. talk about what it’s like for me now after 20 months of being her mother.
I think of myself now as two people. Before and after Landon. My purpose in this life feels very specific. Giving of myself to her and giving of myself to others through her. She is the greatest gift in my life. We all say this about our children, but I really feel this overwhelming sense of honor when I look at her. The profound statement that I’m her mother for a reason, rings true daily. It’s this very specific role of advocate & champion of her needs that fills my heart with purpose and love. She’s made me a better person. Reminded me of my faith and made me live my life out loud for all to see. In doing this, I’m reminded that there are greater things in life that what was once important.
What I’ve learned over the last six months, with what seems like challenge after challenge, is that SHE is everything. WE are everything. THIS FAMILY is everything. I’m here simply to do everything I possibly can to provide, protect, and push her to be her best self. If that means working again full-time; if that means calling coordinators or doctors 10 times a week or day; if that means running at 6:30 am so I have the best mindset to be her mother… than I will. And her sweet face, precious laugh, and wild spirit is my light in all of this.
Happiest Mothers Day to all you wonderful mommas and mommas to be.