The most beautiful gifts and lessons of motherhood.
“Spring adds new life and new beauty to all that is.” – Jessica Harrelson
As we welcome the vibrance and brilliance of Spring – a season characterized by birth, growth, and a return home – I am grateful for the opportunity to reflect on the new life and the new beauty that has come to my home and blossomed into my beautiful family with the arrival of my third child this past January.
To borrow a quote that I have seen on a number of home decor signs, “I remember when I prayed for the things I have now,” because I honestly, vividly, do. Throughout my childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood, the only aspiration for my future about which I was certain, was that I wanted a family of my own.
Ironically, unlike a job, car, wardrobe, or house, the desire for a spouse and children could not be earned through dedication, effort, or hard work. Therefore, I prayed and I waited (not always eagerly or patiently, but I waited nonetheless)… and then it happened… I met my husband, and almost instantly, I intuitively knew that he was “the one”.
From that point on, my life has been an endearing compilation of moments lived in slow motion and hyper-speed all at once. Of all the roles that I have assumed over the years, that of a mother has been the most significant and precious.
It’s interesting how each of my pregnancies created their own unique identities and carved their own distinct positions in my heart and my memories. My first pregnancy was special as it was the first time for everything; my third pregnancy was memorable as it was the last time for everything; and then my second pregnancy was exceptional as we navigated a prenatal diagnosis of Down Syndrome and a congenital heart defect.
Society often refers to the miracle of childbirth, but as it is such a common phenomena, we often take for granted how truly remarkable is the female body and its experience.
Therefore, let us pause and take a moment to admire and celebrate the incredible nature and capabilities of the female body as the maker and giver of life.
But as we do this, I believe it’s equally important that we acknowledge with love, compassion, and the absence of any judgment, that the miracle of childbirth is not a universal experience for all of our sisters, as there are those who struggle with infertility, pregnancy loss, or just choose not to have children (ain’t no shame in that game, ladies). Likewise, I’d like to give a HUGE shout out to all our mamas out there who have chosen to step up and step into motherhood as a foster, adoptive, or step parent… you go, girl!
As I reflect on my journey into motherhood, I invite you to join me as I recount some of the lessons and gifts that I have received along the way and likewise encourage you to reminisce on the sacred journeys you have traveled.
Body Sync – Awareness and Appreciation
The aspects of pregnancy that I will miss the most are not having to suck in my gut (#liberation), the shameless indulgence in my nightly ice cream cravings (#freedom), and feeling the baby move (#priceless).
Never before have I been more intuitively body aware (except for when I went into pre-term labor…my choice to ignore the obvious and inevitable almost ended me up on the nightly news as one of those roadside deliveries, but I digress).
Ignoring, submerging, overcoming, or fighting my body’s urges and communications had become second nature; but, the instant that first over-the-counter pregnancy test revealed a positive result, everything changed.
Suddenly, my body was not my own, and I was responsible to listen and react not just for my well being, but for that of my child growing inside. This body intuition is something that I am striving to continue beyond pregnancy. It will require a lot of grace and intentional practice, but it’s an extremely important exercise towards my continuous evolution into the best version of myself.
To Everything – Turn, Turn, Turn
The Byrds were really onto something… “To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose, under Heaven.” The more life I live, the more I realize that our lives are but a series of seasons lived, much like the temporal seasons that mark the passage of time and experience throughout the year.
I am currently in a season when sleep and showers are rare commodities; the messy bun and sweatpants are worn on the regular; everything in and on my body feels a bit softer and out-of-place; and my wardrobe is daily accessorized by some combination of bodily fluids.
Age, experience, and wisdom have taught me to lean into this season – the good, the bad, and the ugly – for it is fleeting. I have always tried to embrace and appreciate my time with my children in this way; but, knowing this is the last time that I’ll experience this particular season, each moment passes with bittersweetness.
Heaven on Earth
There is nothing more beautiful than witnessing new life come into this world, and when you can be the catalyst… Heaven. On. Earth. Nothing compares to the sound of your child’s first cry, signaling his initial interaction with our atmosphere; the feeling of your child’s body pressed against your bare chest, her introduction to physical engagement on “the outside”; and the exchange that occurs when your eyes finally lock with those of your little one who you have been getting to know in the most intimate way possible throughout his time in the womb.
This pure, precious being – a unique combination of your genes and those of your partner – all packaged into this perfect little body, divinely outfitted with mind, soul, and spirit, and primed to live out her unique story.
What a magical time, filled with hope, joy, and inspiration.
The Ties that Bind
My life’s purpose has never been more visceral than in the quiet moments that I sit here snuggled up with my little one’s body draped across and clung to my chest. I feel his heart beat against mine. I hear and feel his breaths. I smell and kiss his tiny head… all of the noise around and inside of me silences… I am grounded in the peace and the beauty of our connection.
Much like patchwork quilts, our life stories are a unique collection of experiences woven together by the shared thread of human emotion. We are hardwired to live in community, to connect, and when we create the time and space to share an authentic exchange, the result is life giving.
In closing, I pray that after reading this piece you feel a renewed sense of pride, respect, and celebration for your female form – whether or not you are a mother – because we were architectured for greatness; encouraged to embrace whatever season of life you currently find yourself, for time is fleeting and this season will inevitably turn; inspired to appreciate the divinity that emanates all around us; and connected to our LUXYMOM®️ sisterhood by way of our shared human experience.