You Are Still A Good Mother

You heard your infant whining over the monitor at six am this morning. She was ready for the day, but you ignored her so you could get the five extra minutes of the sleep you so desperately needed.

You are still a good mother.

You fed your toddler a piece of white, non-organic toast with off brand peanut butter for breakfast this morning because it was fast, easy and required no dishes to clean up. You don’t have the energy to scramble cage free organic eggs and cut up fresh fruit into little shapes like you have pinned on your latest Pinterest board.

You are still a good mother.

Your infant is crying, and you make her a bottle from water and powdered formula. When she was born you decided not to breastfeed.

You are still a good mother.

After breakfast you brought your toddler into the living room and let him watch tv, instead of doing sensory activities with him, or playing outside.

You are still a good mother.

It is a beautiful day out, and he asks to go to the park. You don’t feel like getting everyone ready, yourself included, so you tell him “maybe tomorrow”.

You are still a good mother.

When lunch rolled around, you popped a premade toddler meal that contains preservatives into the microwave and let him eat it.

You are still a good mother.

After lunch you try to put both kids down for a nap You are exhausted, so you decide to try to take a nap too, even though last night’s dishes are still in your kitchen sink waiting to be washed.

You are still a good mother.

Neither kid will sleep, and your toddler says he isn’t tired, although his attitude says different. You take them for a ride in the car so they will hopefully fall asleep. The money you spent on a sleep training course was a waste, because even though every mom in your Facebook mom group swore by it, your babies refuse to nap.

You are still a good mother.

You come home and let the tv babysit them again while you wash those dishes.

You are still a good mother.

Before dinner your toddler asks for a cookie for what feels like the millionth time. You finally break and give him two cookies to stop him from a tantrum, even though it means he will probably eat less of his dinner.

You are still a good mother.

You skip bath night even though both babies have food in their hair.

You are still a good mother.

You tuck your toddler in, forgetting to brush his teeth, and read him his nightly story.

You are still a good mother.

And of course, this isn’t what you do every single day.

You play with your kids and teach them. You take them to the park, feed them well balanced meals and give them baths.

But in a world filled with picture after picture on newsfeeds of other moms depicting the perfect lives; trips to the park, Pinterest perfect snacks and all- it is hard to not feel like a less adequate mom than them.

Remember this…

No matter how hard your day may have been and whether you feed your kids organic meals daily or whatever is on sale at the local market- if you bring them up knowing they are taken care of and loved…

Then you are still a good mother.

Finding My Lost Faith During Infertility

There is a John Lennon quote that says “Everything will be okay in the end. If it is not okay, it is not the end.” If you would have asked me a year ago if I believed in that, I would have said “no”.

My husband and I struggled to conceive for a while. The struggle made me bitter and depressed. I couldn’t watch TV (too many babies, commercials, etc.) or walk by the diaper aisle at the store without feeling a pit in my stomach. And Facebook- it was my worst nightmare. It felt as if every other day someone would announce their pregnancy or the birth of their child. I even had to “unfollow” some people because I couldn’t take it.

Don’t get me wrong, I was happy for them- I was just very sad for us.

I just couldn’t understand why I couldn’t become a biological mom. Was God punishing me? Was He mad at me for something? I told one of my friends how I felt, and she reminded me that God is a loving God, and doesn’t do that. I tried to remind myself of that, but it was hard. Maybe He wasn’t mad at me, but I’ll tell you what- I was mad at Him.

I constantly felt like people were giving me un-needed, but well-intended advice. “Just relax and it will happen”. “I have a friend who blah blah blah…” “It is all part of God’s plan.” etc. The last one really got to me. Why would His plan include not letting me do something that I was born to do?

One day I was talking to my former pastor. I’ve been open about our struggle, and she asked me how things were going. She talked about her struggles with trying to get pregnant, and miscarriage, and she said something profound. She said something along the lines of ” And then one day, I told God that I was ready to let His will be the way. This was in His hands, even if it meant that I would never have children of my own.”

She never told me that is what I needed to do. She just told me it was what she did. I wished I could do that, but didn’t think it’d be possible.

Time passed. So did month after month of negative pregnancy tests, two failed IUI’s, doctor’s visits, and countless tears. Life felt hard. All I wanted to do was sleep. I dreaded family parties, because I constantly looked around the room and reminded myself that I was the only one there who didn’t have biological kids. Even my husband was a dad.

Last fall, my husband and I were checking out a new church. I can’t tell you what the message was about, but I can tell you a specific verse spoke to me.

Whenever I found myself upset, I reminded myself of that verse. Then, a couple of weeks later, we went to a service at the church I grew up in. We had a guest speaker, and I couldn’t believe it, during his sermon- he read my verse! “Jesus replied, “You may not understand what I am doing right now, but someday you will.” John 13:7.”

Something just clicked. Those were the words that I needed to hear. Those were the words that helped me lay it all out on Him, trust in Him, and let His will be the way. I still planned on trying to conceive, and researching other fertility treatments, but I no longer felt hopeless. I felt a huge relief upon me.

Of course, I was still sad when I would get a negative test, but I no longer let the sadness take me over. I reminded myself of Jesus’ words. I had found my lost faith, and trusted that He had my back.

A month later, I received a letter in the mail from my insurance. My work changed their fertility benefits, and they now covered two rounds of IVF! We started our first cycle at the end of April 2017, and now have our 7 week old son laying next to me at this moment.

Getting to be Jack’s mommy is worth all of the pain and suffering infertility brought. I now know the reason He did what He did, and our little miracle baby will always be a constant reminder of God’s plan for us.