Mother’s Day has come and gone again, and for some reason each year I just feel more and more content and happy with our life that we’re building. I’m not sure exactly why I feel more content and happy with each year, but it may have a lot to do with the growing sense of gratitude of living this life getting to watch our children grow, love my amazing husband, and maybe just getting a little bit more mature.
I still have sin! Definitely have to work on things at times, but in this area of mothering, even when it’s really especially hard with lots of tantrums or just stubborn behavior and lots to do, I can still see the end result in mind, especially at the end of the day (happy adults that know they were truly loved – no, adored!) and it somehow gets me through those tantrums.
Motherhood is hard at times. Life in general has so many unexpected things come up and little struggles or trials, to me, mothering my kids just falls in line with normal everyday things to face. There are many ups and downs with small children when they’re teething or in a tantrum phase, but I think it’s harder if you don’t really understand the fact that it is going to be hard to begin with.
There’s a new disturbing trend of moms on social media complaining about Mother’s Day, using it as an excuse to say how unfair it is that even on that day where they’re supposed to be honored, they still have to take care of their children (wipe noses or change diapers), or clean sometimes. From reading several of these kinds of posts and videos for 2 years (posted the week before to prep women to feel jipped), it’s clear these moms don’t understand that life is just hard. Mother’s Day doesn’t always go perfectly or smoothly, especially with small children – and it comes across as insanely immature of an adult woman who doesn’t understand this reality. Or one who understands it, but still acts like it’s not fair and has an online virtual pity party about the duties of being a mom.
From one of my favorite books that my parents had loved when I was growing up (and got me reading before I was a teenager:
“Life is difficult.
This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult – once we truly understand and accept it – then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.
Most do not fully see this truth that life is difficult. Instead they moan more or less incessantly, noisily or subtly, about the enormity of their problems, their burdens, and their difficulties as if life were generally easy, as if life should be easy.
They voice their belief, noisily or subtly, that their difficulties represent a unique kind of affliction that should not be and that has somehow been especially visited upon them…. I know about this moaning because I have done my fair share.
Life is a series of problems. Do we want to moan about them or solve them? Do we want to teach our children to solve them?”
-The Road Less Traveled
So back to motherhood… yes, it’s hard, but it’s also so beautiful and I think, really grows us as women to have to go through the struggles of mothering. Anything hard generally (in my opinion) helps us to grow and mature. At least it can, if we accept the struggle and go through it trying to learn from it and become better. Unfortunately, as The Road Less Traveled points out, many people don’t allow problems and trials in their life to grow and mature them. It’s easier to complain and have self-pity for our own struggles.
I love this quote from the 1800’s by Anne Pratt about the virtue of seeing life optimistically as a wife and mother:
“Every one must have remarked how pleasant is that household in which a cheerful spirit of energy is cultivated by the mistress and mother.
It is a pleasant thing to dwell with one who is not troubled by trifling annoyances,
who is skilled in looking at the bright side of things, and hoping for the best;
with one who believes that all the ways of the Lord are right,
and who attaches a deep importance to duty.
Such a one will work willingly, in the belief that God has appointed both her lot and her duties,
and it is surprising how many obstacles are met and overcome by such a spirit.”
~ Anne Pratt
In my life, it IS surprising how many obstacles we’ve overcome together, my husband and I, due to having such a spirit of adventure, optimism and gratitude. In really hard times, it’d be easier to complain or fight or even blame each other, but instead we work together as a team to solve the problem and learn from it. It really makes all the difference!
This is just an update on the pregnancy, but since it’s a “motherhood” post, I thought I’d squeeze it in here.
So because our first child was an emergency c-section, and afterwards we decided to not try a V-BAC, this will be my 3rd c-section. We’re so lucky these days, even to be able to have c-sections! I recently heard that death during childbirth affected 65% of women during the 19th century. Obviously the risk is far less for us now, but still, having had repeated c-sections, medically we know each time the risk increases. Then there’s always uterine rupture or tears where the scar has been cut and re-cut – these also increase with repeated pregnancies unfortunately.
Last time around I remember trying to prepare Patrick for if I was to die in childbirth during the c-section – I know it’s a slight chance, but you never know what’s going to happen and since there was that possibility, why not mentally prepare for it? I wanted him to know that I wanted him to be happy and to remarry. It’s been the same this time, except I’ve been having very strong pains where the old c-section scars are, which my doctor thinks is scar tissue stretching (little tears), and probably not “windows” which are where the uterus is so thin that you’re actually able to see things like the baby’s hair. Windows are supposed to be painless, so the pain I feel at times is probably just stretching (hopefully!). The risk of uterine rupture is still there though, even though it’s still likely very small.
Anyway, we really want at least to be able to have one more child after this, but unfortunately it depends on the state of my uterus – sometimes they can apparently become “paper thin,” or if they see windows when they open me up, or little tears, etc. They’ll likely then advise me that I shouldn’t attempt another pregnancy. 😥 We’ll see, many women are able to have up to 5 or 6 c-sections… but it all depends on that particular woman’s genetics and her unique uterus thickness, strength, and elasticity.
Again, we’ll see.