“This blog writes itself,” or so my 13 year old daughter claimed it would. Yet as I sat down to start writing, my mind got side-tracked to what we should have for dinner and, “Oh look, I have 7 Facebook notifications.” Hm, maybe writing is harder than I thought.
I’ve always wanted to write though. Even as a little girl I would set pen to paper to create a masterpiece which usually burned out by paragraph 4. So instead, I’ve spent my life enjoying and appreciating others whose talent to write clearly gets them to paragraph 5 and beyond.
Alas, here I am trying to write anyway, 30 years past when I originally started. My daughter is my encouragement and my cheering fan. She thinks I should write a blog because I’m “interesting.” What a compliment to have a teen daughter who thinks I’m interesting.
For so long, my biggest ambition was to be a mom. In my college classes they’d ask what we wanted to be and I always replied, “a mom.” After two years of struggling to realize this dream, we were finally blessed with our first child (that sweet 13 year old I was telling you about). 14 months later came another child. 18 months later, a 3rd child. Woah! I looked heavenward and wondered if all those prayers said during those two long years were being answered a little too quickly. With three kids under three years old, my whole life revolved around them. Sure, I made time to scrapbook here and there. I even started exercising, but I still focused on the kids. Which was my one singular ambition, right? I should have been over the moon, right? Well, yes and no. I started to realize that motherhood wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be (kinda like writing, except I couldn’t just stop after paragraph 4). I was beginning the most beautiful masterpiece ever, but it felt like sheer drudgery.
I remember a friend saying raising kids was like making a necklace one bead at a time. I responded, “Yes, but what if in 18 years I look back and realize I made an ugly necklace?” [Sidenote: I’ve been “necklace-making” for thirteen years and so far, they’re pretty spectacularly beautiful necklaces!]
Fast forward three years to baby #4. My life was complete. I had the four kids I always wanted. I focused on them but I also began to daydream about what I would do when the day came that my youngest went to school. I could volunteer at the hospital (holding preemies would be so amazing), I could go back to school for my Masters, I could become a Spanish translator, I could read a whole lot more.
But all those daydreams got filed away under the “not gonna happen for FOREVER” category so when the year before my youngest went to school, I panicked, worrying that I wasn’t going to remember what I wanted to do and I was going to waste my life away.
EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED
The most unexpected answer of what I was going to do came in the form of two of my children asking to be home schooled.
What? Home school? I always liked the idea but was sure it wasn’t for me. Plus, remember all those daydreams I had left to be fulfilled?!
Little did I know what an adventure was in store for me. Through home school, I’ve grown closer to my kids than I ever was before. I’ve rekindled my own desire to learn. I’ve watched my youngest blossom into an amazing reader. We’ve made costumes, and constellation night lights, and counted pumpkin seeds, and incubated chick eggs, and the list goes on. It’s been amazing.
And it’s opened my eyes to new ways to think and be and do. I started yoga and finally found my exercise niche. I lived, ate, and breathed home school and yoga. My life was complete, right?
One Christmas day after my youngest turned 5, I decided I wanted another adventure: another baby. How hard could it be? I already had all the kids at home anyway, what’s another?
I had all these dreams for how I wanted the birth to go and didn’t get to achieve a single one. She was breech and my choices were to deliver her at home unattended or have a c-section. I reluctantly and bitterly chose option #2. It’s 18 months later and I’m still not over it.
Giving birth to my first four kids was such an amazing experience, each one for different reasons. To tap into the divine and transform from one body to two is awe-inspiring. To guide a baby into this new world and hold and love him is a gift. Each of my births made me itch to be involved in the birthing world but how could I while homeschooling? So for a while I filed that under the “not gonna happen for FOREVER” category too.
This past winter, I started watching “Call the Midwife” and every episode I would nudge my husband and say, “That, I want to do that; be there, helping women give birth.” I knew I didn’t want to be a midwife though and that’s when I discovered doulas.
Doula comes from the Greek word for “a woman who serves.” A doula serves the parents-to-be by providing continuous emotional, and physical support before, during, and after labor. This was perfect for me. I could help women recognize the goddess in them as they transformed from woman to mother.
And I could do it now! I didn’t have to file it under the “not gonna happen” category. My husband has flexible hours. My oldest can babysit when needed. The kids can do independent school work while I’m gone. It’s perfect!
As a whole new world of possibilities opened up to me, I decided to add other interests as well. I began to sell Norwex and Jamberry. I got into essential oils and started learning how to make my own homemade natural beauty products. It was all amazing and empowering.
I went from a young woman in college only wanting to be a mom to this (slightly) older woman who became a mom and so much more. I found myself. I found I have hobbies and interests and desires I never knew existed. I found out I was pretty interesting. And my daughter agrees.
Oh look, I also found out I can write past paragraph 4!
Birth Boot Camp Certified Doula (BBCD)