When I took a pregnancy test in May of 2005, I was sure the double pink line was faulty. The first person I called was the 1-800 number on the back of the EPT box.
‘Uhm…so there is kinda a really light pink double line. What does that mean?’
‘You have indicated a positive result.’
‘Yes, but the second is really light pink.’
‘Ma’am, you have indicated a positive test.’
‘Are you sure? Am I pregnant????’
‘I can only confirm that you have indicated a positive test. You should contact your physician.’
And in one fell swoop, I became a mom.
Suddenly, not being able to stay awake through lectures at school started to make sense. I thought the exhaustion had been coming from driving 2 hours (one way) to attend full-time graduate school, reading endlessly, and working on my clinical hours were the reason I felt narcoleptic.
Turns out, growing a human takes it out of you.
For the first 9 days, I didn’t eat pizza. Or anything medium rare. I felt an incredible need to eat copious amounts of spinach. I stopped drinking caffeinated coffee. I started taking those terrible pre-natal vitamins (the true culprit of morning sickness). I added to my list of reading, What to Expect When You’re Expecting and The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. I started having those crazy pregger dreams where my baby would come out with teeth or as a 2-year old.
Because I lean on the anxious side, my obsessive thought patterns tried to run a bit rampant during those 9 months. Praise be to God who created the earth that I have friends. Poor veteran-mother-Mendy was trapped in the car with me on all those drives to school. She answered all four hours worth of questions. So did my mom. So did my neighbor.
This motherhood journey is tough. I am constantly evaluating my parenting methods. Although the even-tempered ‘calm with explanation’ sometimes is replaced with ‘frantic with threats’ (but only when we’re late for church, of course). And then I’ll feel like such a failure as I explain to a friend,
‘I’m ruining their lives…’
‘No you aren’t. You’re offering varied life experiences so nothing surprises them later on,’ Adair will respond.
‘You probably are. Just write this down. It will be much easier for the therapist later on,’ Mendy will say.
Or, on especially daunting weeks…
‘I can’t remember when I last showered,’ I’ll admit.
‘Oh, me either,’ Kelly will reassure.
Thank God I have support. No one should mother alone. The job is too big. The responsibility too great. The sleepless nights, constant demands, endless laundry, insatiable appetites, and the calendar could conspire to take down even the strongest of women.
Not to mention the fact that we stand in the midst of a war that has been waged for their very souls. For crying out loud.
But God made it so that generations are not isolated, and we can call on our mothers before us to guide us and give wise counsel. God made it so that we live in clusters and we can call on our friends to figure out how to count by base tens in 2nd grade math (because what in the world??). God made it so that we would have a helpmate in parenting and so he gave us a husband to handle all of the energy that comes out of their inexhaustible bodies.
God knew we were at war, so he gave us an army.
If you wish me Happy Mother’s Day this Sunday, please know that you are recognizing my entire army of people. I stand on the front lines of this battlefield with a battalion that is prepared to face anything that may come its way. I can’t imagine having to go to this war alone. There is just no way.
Today I honor my fellow soldiers: Thank you. You are in the trenches with me and you lighten my load and share my burden. Thank you. Thank you to the teachers, the prayer warriors, the moms, the dads, the aunts, the great-aunts, the sisters, the cousins, the counselors, the coaches, the brothers, the friends, the grandparents, the church family…the list is endless. Thank you for enlisting in this war and standing with me. Thank you for shoulders to cry on, hands to help me, the reality checks, the perspective checks, the prayers, the calls, the teaching, the laughter, the comfort, the support, the understanding, the love, and the coffee breaks. Thank you so much for the coffee breaks you guys. You are one amazing army.
Be blessed today.
Happy Mother’s Day