Oh, how true that is.
The yearning of wanting to become a mom started pretty early on for me. I’m pretty sure it was around 10 or 11 years old and like any good sister would do, I practiced playing “mommy” with my baby sister, who was 6 years younger than me. I don’t really have any memory of playing with dolls, but definitely remember being play mommy. It was a role I was proud to play. It came natural and felt easy. To only know then what life would have in store for me many years later.
After coming into adulthood, becoming a mother wasn’t the first goal I had. Like many others I knew, some were getting married and having babies right away. I wasn’t sure this is what I wanted to be honest, as I had just come into my own and starting to “live” and I wasn’t ready to trade that it in just yet. Maybe it was me being selfish, but I knew I wasn’t ready and I knew that I would know when I was. Ready that is.
Many years later, after the hubby and I had already been married for 10 years, been together for over 15, devoted years focusing on our careers, we were finally ready. I was ready.
After welcoming our first child into this world in September of 2012, Harrison, my life was forever changed. I was finally a mom and this time it wasn’t pretending. I was a real bonafide mommy to a precious little boy who relied on me for life itself. It was a staggering feeling to know that I was now responsible for another little human’s life. Their health, safety, and happiness all rested on my shoulders and, at times, this was an overwhelming responsibility, not because I couldn’t handle it, but what if I had failed? How would I know? How does one quantify being a “good mom”, or a “bad mom”? I questioned this constantly in the beginning. I had the same insecurities as any other first-time mom, but me being me, I didn’t utilize any sort of network for help, concerns, or doubts. I had friends, but they each had their own lives and I didn’t want to be a bother. I didn’t necessarily feel that I had anything in particular to reach out to someone else for, but would I have if I did? I’m not so sure.
What I did have was my husband, Harrison’s father. He was my rock and my sounding board. He was learning right alongside me and we were both facing the challenge of being first-time parents together, and quite peacefully I might add. One hurdle that really threw me was the loss of my mother when Harrison was only 1 year old. It was sudden and very unexpected and it really affected me. No longer having the ability of calling upon my mother for motherly advice, I had to dig deep and find my own inner peace with motherhood, on my own. I wanted to be the type of mother that would make her proud, but I also wanted to be proud of myself.
Over the next few years I came into my own and felt that I was doing a pretty great job of being the type of mother that Harrison deserved, as well as being the type of mother that I was meant to be. I loved being his mother and truly felt that I was living out my purpose. My mother would be proud.
“Live the Life of Your Dreams: Be brave enough to live the life of your dreams according to your vision and purpose instead of the expectations and opinions of others.”Roy T. Bennett
By early 2016, we had welcomed Harrison’s baby sister, Gwendolyn “Gwen” Katherine. She’s named after two very important women in my life, my Great-Grandmother, Gwen, and my late mother, Katherine. The arrival of Gwen into our lives made my life complete. I had my perfect family of four and I was over the moon in love with our family. Of course, I was sad that my mother never had the chance to meet her granddaughter, as I know Gwen would be wrapped around her little finger, but every time I looked at Gwen I saw my mom and I knew her spirit lives on in her. That brought me peace. Still does.
I no longer had the doubts of whether or not I was a good mom, a bad mom, or just an OK mom. I was the mom that I wanted to be, and the type of mom that my kids could be proud of. I no longer questioned every little thing I did, said, or thought of. I figured many things out on my own, but also learned to trust others, and not be afraid to ask others for guidance. But more importantly, I knew what worked for us. I knew what our family needed and I was motivated and encouraged by them on a regular basis. We were our own little unit and nothing could have made me happier or more content.
So, here were are. Two kids, ages 7 and 4. Life is crazy messy and half the time I want to blast the radio so loud that it overpowers the arguing kids in the backseat, but hey… that’s normal. I know that now. I’m not meant to be the perfect mom, but I am meant to be the very best mom ever to my kids, and based on their overall demeanor, silliness, and the love they show for me, I think I’m nearly the best. I can live with that.
I still doubt myself and I still think I can do better, that’s again, normal. I know I can lose my patience, break consistency, not discipline enough, get off schedule, break plans, get them to school late, etc. The list goes on, but again, that’s OK. We’re alive. We’re healthy. We’re happy. And, we’re US.
We’re the Eldridge family and we’re a good family, and I’m a good mom.
Tell me about your journey into motherhood. Did you doubt yourself? Do you still doubt yourself? Let’s chat!