***I would like to preface this post. This is not a funny post. I do have a really good one with more text messages from Thing 3 (tonight she bit her sister....seriously????) that I will post next week. I am sharing this with you because I believe that it is easy to think that everyone is a better mother, daughter, or wife than we are. During the time of my struggle that you will read about, most people looked at me and thought that I had the perfect life. I had a wonderful husband (good looking too...see my first post), really cute kids, and was able to be a stay at home mom. I want others to see that we all struggle and that is ok. We need to celebrate who and what we are and what we have to give. Too often we focus on what we aren't and what we don't have to give. With this in mind close the page or read on. Dont't forget to use your 20% off coupon! Code is MOM20....
My mother died when I was 6 months old. Her name was Paula. She was in her early 20’s when she died. This is the only picture that I have with her. It is one of my great treasures. People who knew her well say that I am a lot like her. I look like her. We both loved short hair. My mannerisms are similar to hers. I am always proud to have people know that I am her daughter.
After my mother died we moved in with my grandparents. My grandmother and my aunts mothered my two older sisters and me. We may have lost our mother but we had amazing women that loved and sacrificed for us.
When I was 2 1/2 my dad got remarried. I was raised by a step-mother who taught me many wonderful things. She taught me to love being a homemaker. She taught me to clean and to cook. She taught me to love things that are handmade. She instilled in me a deep love of the Lord. In our home we were always taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ. She taught me to serve others. Though we are not close as adults, my daily life reflects each of the things she taught me. I will be forever grateful to her for the things she taught me.
When I was in college, I was a little bit lost and lonely. I met an amazing woman named Sherie. She loved me and took me into her home. She taught me so much about unconditional love. She showed me over and over again that you can love any child. She has three sons and no daughters. When we are together she always introduces me as her daughter. I am so proud and feel so loved when she introduces me as her daughter. I introduce her as my mom. Just as she taught me that you can love any child as your own, I have learned that you can love any woman as your mother.
I was blessed to marry an amazing man and start a family. After the birth of my first and second daughters, I battled post partum depression. In time it passed. My second daughter and my only son are 17 months apart. After he was born the depression did not go away. With the birth of each subsequent child it got worse and worse. Most of their early childhood was spent with a severely depressed mother. During this time so many kind woman stepped in and loved my children. Many of these kind souls were not able to have children of their own. They were willing to sacrifice and mother my children when I was not able to. I will always be grateful to these wonderful “mothers”.
Eventually I was diagnosed with PMDD. PMDD is a debilitating form of PMS. It is linked directly to your hormones and most medications simply do not work. After 7 years of battling this I decided to take my own life. I overdosed on pills and almost died. I was on a ventilator in ICU. The doctors told my husband that if I woke up they could not promise what he would be left with. Brain damage was a strong possibility due to the lack of oxygen to my brain. When I woke up I was fine. I know that God spared my life. The day after I was released from the hospital my youngest (that was 4 at the time) got a horrible stomach virus. I lay in bed and listened to my husband taking care of her. She was vomiting violently and crying for me. For a very brief moment I had a little vision of her being this sick and my sweet husband having to explain to her that her mommy couldn’t come help her. For so many years I had convinced myself that my children deserved more than I could give. They deserved a mother who was not depressed. In trying to take my life I was convinced that they would be better without my broken self. In that moment I realized that depressed or not, my children needed me as their mother. One month later I had a total hysterectomy. For over two years I have not struggled with depression. I am grateful every day for the chance that I have to mother my children.
Almost three years ago my husband and I had the opportunity to have a special girl move into our home. Her mother had died and her father has Alzheimer’s. I could not love her any more if I had given birth to her. It is such a privilege to be a special mother to this wonderful daughter.
My world is full of amazing mothers. I only have one mother that gave birth to me. However, I have a life full of amazing women that mothered me and loved me like their own. I hope that I can pay it forward and be a mother to many.
Happy Mother’s Day to all.