Our Connection

IMG_7529

I love this picture of us! Our hair is greasy, but those smiles are genuine. We had just recovered from being sick all week and I took Abigail outside to get some fresh air. That smile melted my heart, as it always does!

From the moment that seven pound bundle was placed on my chest I knew my life would never be the same. I was never one to dream about having kids. I never planned to get married really. But God had other plans for me when I met my blonde headed lover. I knew I would spend the rest of my life with this man about a month into dating him. And my man wanted kids. He was the dreamer of the family in that department. So a kid a got! And what a special addition she is to in our lives.

I had no clue what to do with this bundle. Abigail was born about 30 minutes before shift change so after the nurses had us all cleaned up they just left us. Jordan left me to go tell our family all the details and it was just me and Abs for a while in a room alone. I figured all the books said babies are hungry so we tried the whole eating thing and I had no clue what I was doing and literally no one to help me. I barely knew how to hold an hour old baby much less how to care for her needs. So while we had a few minutes alone we simply looked at one another, both trying to figure the other out.

I knew this baby would change my life. She would alter my dreams and my schedules. I still felt wholly unprepared to be a mom, but ready or not I was a mother and there was no turning back. Abigail was the easiest baby ever and for that I am thankful, and oh so very spoiled. Even as a newborn she rarely cried. I had no clue how to breastfeed, but she was a champ. I always say she did all the work, I was just there to hold her. She slept well even early on and she really wasn’t a cuddly baby. We would place her on the floor and do chores or cook dinner and she was as content as could be.

IMG_7530

Those fingers wrapped around mine…it’s a small connection but it means so much!!

When Abigail was about three months old we moved about 45 minutes away to be closer to my family. I helped part-time with my family’s business and my mom and grandma would often keep Abigail and just let me nurse her when she needed to be fed. This was our routine until my husband and I decided to move closer to his family and be nearer to a larger city with more job opportunities and opportunities for Abigail. We made our second move when Abigail was about 1.5 years old. It was then that I became a full-time mom.

Some people would argue that breastfeeding Abigail for a year is what connected us. And while it might have, I also believe if she had been given formula it wouldn’t have been any different. I truly believe our connection started when we made this move and I became the one person Abigail sees most often. I’m the one who wakes her up in the morning and puts her to bed at night. I take her to all her therapies and doctors. We go on errands and to the park. We play and exercise and do everything together.

This connection we have formed is deep and it is strong. When I’m in the room she wants me. She may hug others and laugh for a little bit, but she eventually tires of them and wants her mama. But lately I have noticed that we even reflect each other’s emotions. If I’m feeling sad or mad or upset I have realized Abigail’s isn’t herself. Just yesterday I was running a low fever and not feeling 100% and Abigail was fussy all day. There has been a few times where Abigail has choked very badly on food and I get scared so I end up scaring her and making the situation worse. Thankfully Daddy has always been there to calm us both down. But I have noticed this emotional connection we have lately, and it’s amazing to me that she can pick up on it.

I guess when you spend the amount of time together that Abigail and I do you are bound to learn the person. And Abigail know each other pretty well. Even though she lacks all forms of communication, I can usually figure out what she wants. She has her own way of communicating and I am thankful that we have such a bond that she trusts me to care for her in every way. I don’t know what her future holds, but discovering this deep connection with my daughter gives me confidence that we will be okay no matter if she can never walk or talk.

Just three short years ago I would have told you I would never be a mother, much less a stay at home mom. But now I am a mother to the sweetest girl in the world. And our mother/daughter bond is unbreakable! I want to be the best mother I can be for Abigail. I want you to know I love her and that I’ll always be there for her. And I pray this special bond we have formed continues, no matter what this life may hold for us!

IMG_7536

Labor of Love

img_5143

I was never one of those girls who dreamed about getting married or having kids. Honestly, my sophomore year of college I would have told you that I was quite content being a single lady in love with God for the rest of my life. But then the next year a man would step into my life and change all that. His name is Jordan, and we have now been married for almost three years. Within two months of dating we both knew we would be married to each other.

He wanted kids right away. I wanted to wait. Having kids was something to do eventually, but I didn’t know a thing about babies or children and having one of my own did not sound appealing. But with some compromise, we decided to have a child six months into our marriage.

Well two months after Abigail was born the craziness began. We knew then, and in the months that followed, that our little girl was not going to be what they call ‘normal’.

I wanted to be a stay at home mom for my child’s sake, and especially for Abigail’s sake. I am blessed through our family and my hard-working husband to be able to do just that. Some days I sit back at my freshly vacuumed home, watching my sleeping child beside my handsome hubby and think I have got it all and I am so blessed. Some days I look at the mounting to do list, my child who needs me so much, and my husband who works hard and wonder how we will ever make it. But that is life – living each day in faith and knowing in the end I love my family and God loves me.

Being a stay at home mom requires a lot of different things. I thought about these eleven things being a stay at home mom means to me.

1) Full-time maid – mopping up spills, wiping dirty faces, picking up toys and lost Cheerios, doing laundry, sweeping and vacuuming, wiping snotty noses…all the not so glamorous things.

2) Creator and entrepreneur – coming up with new activities, creating moments to remember, capturing each moment, and often actually running a side business

3) Being Patient – living in the moment, hour-long lunches, one more book or one more minute to play, getting dressed for two and fighting to get that little hand in the even littler hole

4) Being Selfless – watching Mickey Mouse when you want to watch your own show, one more push on the swing instead of finishing that paper you were working on, it means one more peekaboo instead of one more Facebook scroll

5) Being Organized – keeping up with appointments, schedules, bed times and snack times, making and sticking to grocery lists and budgets

6) Being present – remembering they are only little once, and this could be the last goodnight snuggle

7) Being a wife first – in the midst of being a full-time nanny, housekeeper and business woman this often gets forgotten. I am called to first be my husband’s help-meet; to encourage and cheer him on. I’m just glad he loves me in my ponytail and t-shirt.

8) Being a Teacher – teaching them about life, relationships, skills, how to learn and explore and dream

9) Showing Love – I will never know God’s love for His children, but having a child does teach you more about unconditional love then you will ever know.

10) Asking Forgiveness – yes, you may have to seek forgiveness from your family, but I mostly mean forgiving yourself. Not beating yourself up over mistakes. Those moments you cop-out to have a little me time. Some people call it pseudo parenting. You may call it bathroom time. Taking time for you is not a sin. Do not beat yourself up over mistakes. Seek forgiveness and press on!

11) Being a Role Model – those little eyes are watching every move you make, every word you say and everything in between. We should be modeling godly marriages, right relationships, communication, time with God, and basic morals and manners.

It is truly a labor of love. Being a stay at home mom is a full-time plus overtime job. But every moment is worth it as little children are only little for a little while. So to all stay at home mommas may you learn to love the labor that you do every single day!!