So much different than what I thought it would be. I would watch everyone else and say, "I am not gonna be like that!" Yet, here I am struggling and trying my hardest. It's not simple. I believe I went into marriage and motherhood thinking it was easy. I wasn't blind, but I was a bit naive.
Ruthie was a bit unexpected. We weren't NOT preventing, but we sure didn't think it would happen so quickly. I was super excited, but also scared. I knew we weren't technically "ready", but are we ever? Everything was new. It was so much fun to experience everything as a first. I remember having the feeling that everything was going to be perfect. Pregnancy, birth, and motherhood. Little did I know that I would end up with gestational diabetes, a failed induction, and FINALLY an induction that worked. Breastfeeding was a very rough start, and an even rougher finish. I wanted to go as long as I could, but with working, I couldn't make enough. I was devastated.
Three years later we find out we are having a baby boy! What a blessing! I was so happy to have one of each, believing for sure I would be pregnant again. I had gestational diabetes again, but birth was MUCH easier this time around. I went into labor on my own and I even went natural! GASP! I couldn't believe it! Randy was a hard baby though. He had acid-reflex and spit up EVERYWHERE. We couldn't go anywhere b/c he thought he had to eat every 1.5 hours. He was still a blessing. He came after we lost Eli, so it was nice to have something positive to look forward to.
Raising them is so much harder than I imagined. I believe it's better though. Raising them to honor and glorify the Lord makes it harder, but so much more worth it. It wasn't until Ruthie was almost two that we found our amazing home church. If it weren't for the church and our amazing God, raising our kids might be easier, but not in the long run. Raising them to please the Lord makes us double check everything we do. It makes us think about things in the long run rather than temporary pleasure. We put family first. We are centered around Jesus. We may get looked down upon b/c we aren't at the ball fields every night, or we don't have them in dance or t-ball (only b/c they didn't want to), but it allows us to put our focus on raising our kids in HIS name. I am not saying ball games are bad. I am just so thankful that we aren't going to any right now b/c it is giving us time to be together when it truly matters.
Raising them is so scary to me. I always tease and say, "I know Jesus won't make me raise teenagers. I know He will come back before I have to!" What I really mean is, I am scared to death. If I think it's hard now, man oh man do I have something coming. I am fully aware of that. It also excites me. In fact, fostering teens is on our hearts. We are not in a financial spot at the moment, and we don't think our kids are ready, but our hearts are. I can not wait to get signed up. In fact, knowing that fostering is something in our future allows me to be ok (somewhat) with the fact that we may not have another biological child. I get told quite often that they couldn't handle sending them back. I know that will be hard, but I also remember that one little family for a short time can make a whole world of a difference. If I think being a mom is hard now, fostering AND having teenagers will be tough. BUT, I know that I can do anything through Christ Jesus.
I am so grateful to be the mother I am now. I fail daily. I usually go to bed hating myself for the way I was. I struggle with being a patient mom. I am also the yeller....I hate to admit that, but it's something I am working on. It is the most rewarding job though. To go to bed and snuggle with them and hear the sweet simple words, "I love you Mom! You are the best mom ever!" makes every struggle worth it. Thank you so much sweet Jesus for allowing me to raise Your children.
This is the moment that will be forever burned into my brain. My heart is overflowing with love.