Adventures in Motherhood

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It’s  interesting to think back to how life was without kids.  It was great, but VERY different.  Ever since I can remember, I have always wanted to be a Mommy.  When people asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, it was always a Mommy first and foremost.  In fact, I think at one point I announced to my Mom and Dad that I wanted 101 kids!  After I got my nursing degree, I loved working as a charge nurse in the Newborn ICU.  It was challenging, and so rewarding.  I got to play with adorable pint-sized babies 3-4 days a week, and leave it all after 12 hours.  Not that it was perfect, working Sundays and holidays was always terrible.  However, I don’t think I ever had a clue how hard it is to be a Mom!  It’s physically, emotionally, and spiritually draining at times.  I’ve heard it said a million times, “Nothing. No diplomat or CEO or billionaire philanthropist does anything that comes anywhere close in importance to what a mother does.  No trophy or status or honor of man begins to compare with motherhood in term of its eternal impact and glory. Period.”

Obviously I know this true.  I really do, but man it really was a lot easier sometimes being a nurse, and caring for everyone else’s babies.  Sometimes I just feel so unqualified for the job!  As a charge nurse, I just made sure that the babies’ physical needs were met.  I monitored their vitals, administered medications, performed delicate procedures, and met their basic physical needs. Yes, you could say I was a professional  diaper changer, and a real pro at all things baby.    Somehow, none of this seemed so scary as the responsibilities that came with being a Mother.  I supposed no one ever said being a Mom was easy.  This week has been a challenge to say the least. Yesterday was just another adventure in Motherhood.

I hate grocery shopping.  I really do!  My kids are not the problem.  It’s me.  I despise it!  Basically, we ran out of food and I HAD to go to the commissary to get food.  It’s not pretty when we don’t have enough food to eat.  Just trust me!  So I made my list, clipped my coupons, and off we went!  Being a germ freak (the nurse in me), I always sanitize the carts and put on a cootie cover. I had finished doing this when a man handed me about 4 books of coupons.  I noticed right away that there were several more coupons in the books for things on my list.  I am a sucker for saving a penny.  I spotted a table set up with cookies, cakes, and all sorts of valentine goodies, so I pulled the cart out and decided to use the table so I could clip a few more coupons.

Just as a clipped the last coupon, the table legs opposite of me collapsed. BOOM!  The entire table crashed down.  Cookies, cakes, and goodies went flying all over the place.  I was humiliated!  Several people gave me dirty looks, but an old woman in particular gave me the nastiest look.  Like I meant for this disaster to even happen.  Are you kidding me??  Just then Kennedy announces in her not so quiet voice, “Wow Mom, we almost had to buy all those treats! Way to go!”  Then she noticed the grouchy old woman that would NOT stop staring.  Kennedy responded to her, “What?  You know she was just trying to keep things interesting.”  This cracked the ice with the woman and she responded , “Well, aren’t you a cute little girl, and your brother’s pretty cute too!”  About this point I just wanted a hole in the floor to open up and suck me into it.  Unfortunately that didn’t happen, so I just had to listen to how much I had embarrassed Kennedy for the next 2 aisles.

It’s times like that when Satan tries to whisper in my ear that I am not good enough.  That being a Mom isn’t “fun,” going on little sleep is pointless, and no one appreciates what I do. He wants me to feel frozen, and so overwhelmed that I don’t know where to start.  He wants me to think that I have to be “Supermom” and that what I do is never enough.  It only takes me a second to realize what is happening.  I know those aren’t my thoughts!  I know that being a Mom is important, and I know that I am important.  My family needs me.  My Heavenly Father needs me.  He entrusted me with two very precious children.

Sometimes it bugs me when people say, “What do you do?”

I answer, “I’m a Mom.”

“Well, don’t you work?” is the response.

It’s like being a Mom isn’t enough.  I am an educated Mother.  I have a college degree, and I choose to be home with my children.  I am so grateful that I am able to do that.  I know a lot of Mothers that simply can’t because of various circumstances.  I know this must make their hearts ache. From the beginning, Brian and I both knew that I would be in the home if at all possible.  It certainly hasn’t been without sacrifices, but it has definitely been well worth it.  Nobody loves and cares for our children like we do.  I am so grateful for the joy that they are.  They love me unconditionally!

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16 comments… add one
  • Grandmama

    Well said!! We have all been there and felt that!! Just peek at those little ones when they are snug in their beds fast asleep and then you think – “Yep, definitely worth it!!”
    Then when they wake so full of energy at the crack of dawn… yikes!!!

  • Grandmama, actually they usually wake up BEFORE the crack of dawn :)…

  • Grandmama

    Don’t I know it!!!!!! 🙂

  • katie

    I needed this post! I have been having a lot of those moments lately and been feeling pretty discouraged with myself. Thanks for reminding me that I don’t have to be perfect! And I know you are a GREAT mommy and nurse! I’m thankful for you! And those pictures… to die for. I love the B&W with the pink ribbon. You are getting so good! Why don’t you just head on up here and take pics of my kiddos for me. 🙂 Love you bunches!

  • Beautifully said Natalie! We all have days like that, but I too am grateful to have been able to stay home with my girls. It doesn’t pay much, but the experiences are priceless!

  • Elise

    I needed this today so thanks for sharing! Beautiful kids as always!

  • Suzy

    Tearing up, before I go to church! Wow. You hit it on the head!! Thank you. It’s easy for me to get swept away in the mechanics. Satan works quadruple overtime on us moms for sure! The photos are INCREDIBLE!! I hate grocery shopping as well, it’s SO much work, before you go, while you’re there, and after it’s all said and done, putting things away…I certainly hope there is no grocery shopping in the next stage of life!! But I think you are an inspirational mom! Some days thinking about you and all you’ve gone through gives me strength to push ahead, through the not so fun times! Thank you!!!

  • Tara

    What a great post! I understand exactly where you are coming from and you have said it so perfectly. Thanks for being such an inspiration! I think you are a wonderful mother (perfect, if it were possible) and are doing an awesome job being a Mom! I hear you about hating grocery shopping, too! Thanks for this post! Love you!

  • Marianne

    Well said, Nat! I saw first hand that you were an awesome nurse, and I know that you are even a better mother!

  • Angie

    I’m glad I’m not the only one Satan is working on. I have to talk myself out of that a lot, or have Adam do it. I guess that’s why it’s hard when he’s gone because he’s the one who makes me feel appreciated. So, I appreciate what your doing. When I watch all these kids raising themselves…I remember that I know some pretty awesome moms who are raising awesome kids and that my kids will be okay as long as they hang out with those kids. THANK YOU for being a mom!!!!

  • Colleen

    Thanks for taking the time to put those feelings into words. I’ve have some days still, with my kids not at home, that I feel “no matter how hard I try it’s just not good enough”. I have gotten better at remembering that it only has to be “good enough” in the Lord’s eyes which always includes loving others as myself. I’m always hardest on myself! Sometime I think I try too hard! Is that possible? I have a couple of grocery store horrors that I can laugh about now. I wish I would have laughed about them then. I’ve gotten better about finding ways of enjoying the things I don’t like too do. (sometimes I put them off!)
    We are surely are thankful you take your job seriously as homemaker and mother. We are blessed by your loving care.

  • I loved your thoughts and like most mothers, I too have felt the same way! Everything I do is for my girls, and at times it can really drain you!!!

    Thanks for reminding me of what’s really important. I know I will look back on these days and be grateful for all the time I got to spend raising my girls- this is such a small moment in our lives! Embrace and enjoy it!!

    And that picture of Kennedy is to die for! Really she is beautiful!

  • Oh how I know those feelings! Amen to this post!

  • Shanna

    Oh Nat!! That sounds like a really hard day! I can’t believe people were giving you dirty looks. That could have happened to any one of them. I’m sure I’ll have some stories like that when I’m hauling more than just me around the grocery store:)

    I just want you to know that I think you are a fantastic mother. You are so dedicated and thoughtful about the way you raise your kids. I’ve learned a lot from your example through the years and hope to be able to implement many of the things that you do. Thanks for sharing this story to help me get prepared for what lies ahead. I too need to remember that I don’t have to be perfect!!

  • Emily

    Thanks for the much-needed reminder! 🙂

  • What a day! You’re a great mom, and who cares what all those people think of us staying home? There’s no place we’re needed more!

    Also, when you move to Japan, send me your mailing address, and I’ll send you my expired coupons! You can use expired coupons for 6 months at overseas commissaries!

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