8 Years of Motherhood! What a Journey…
Eight years ago, I was celebrating “Mother’s Day” for the first time … I was about to give birth my first child! and as everything in my life (at least until then) I was determined and ready to take on the big role… after all what could I get wrong, right?
I was totally convinced children have to and will adjust to your routine and lifestyle if you teach them from day 1! I remember telling to my friend Millie (she had 2 back to back toddlers at the time) my kids will get use to sleep with noise, they will have to get used to going with me everywhere (gym, grocery store, shopping, doctor appointments, restaurants…), my kids will never do a tantrum in the mall, and on and on… and Millie just looked at me with a candid smile… I still don’t know how she managed to listen to the fairy tale story without laughing until she peed in her pants!
Another beautiful theory was the perfect and uninterrupted professional career plans… Yes, I had everything very well laid out in my mind… My son will be born, I will be with him while I work from home… after all how hard can be doing both if a newborn just eats and sleeps, right? (I used to think it couldn’t be harder than those years when I had to wake up super early to go to the gym, go to the office, go to business school until 11:00 pm and then have to study until late night… that was tough, so I must be ready to be a mom) LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL… I was so “cute” LOL, young and NAIVE!!!
Then the big day arrived! My son was born… beautiful delivery (that I really enjoyed, believed or not) so my first suspicious about motherhood complexity was already proved! It was not hard at all!
That fairy tale last about 1 hour… when we got the news that “something” was not quite right… wait, wait… did I miss that chapter in the parenting book or what? that was not part of my plans! To make a painful, very painful story short… My son was born with an Esophageal atresia (EA), a congenital defect. This was never detected during the pre-natal care. There are also several types of potential challenges. In most cases, the upper esophagus ends and does not connect with the lower esophagus and stomach. Most infants with EA have another defect called tracheoesophageal fistula (TEF)… We got both, the EA and the TEF.
And just like that I was initiated in my motherhood journey, and learned very quickly the saying “If you want to make God to laugh, just tell him your plans” is painfully true.
My professional aspirations took a long sabbatical, my main goal became not to have the perfect child but to do anything possible to keep him alive and recover from this… experiencing the deep pain of having to kiss my newborn and say our prayers before he went into the operating room taught me what true love feels like. Having to wait 9 long, long hours to hear from the doctor that the surgery was a success taught me what faith and patience looks like…
Today, after the surgery and multiple follow on procedures – and a lot of gray hair! I can look back and smile… Smile because we made it through our challenge… smile because now after years of total dedication and hard work I can say that it is possible, I can also tell you every Mom has their own story, which is special and unique and not laid out in some parenting book. I can tell that “eventually” plans come together or evolve into something more powerful.
7 years went by and my professional plans came back to the forefront, I am doing what I love to do!… I can proudly say that in 7 years never missed any important day or event at my children life, until Thursday of this week!
My son had his Spring Concert, he had to wear a white shirt and khaki pants and I believe he had to bring sunglasses for the show… Guess what? the dedicated mom that never missed a thing did not know about the concert, neither the dress code or the accessories… until I picked up my son at school and he let me know his disappointment.
After mentally torturing myself for a couple hours… I realized that the challenges will be different in this stage of my motherhood journey, that the perfect balance will not be as perfect as I “planned”, that I have to focus on what I can control and let the rest go. The most important thing is being a positive and happy role model for my kids… and try to do not miss important events at school 😉
To all the mothers out there… the stay at home, the workers, the planners, the book parenting lovers, the strict ones, the relaxed ones, the moms to be…
Happy Mother’s Day!!!