A Mother’s Choice: Taking responsibility for another life.

A Mother’s Choice:

Taking responsibility for another life.

 

 

 

I remember holding my brand new baby and loving her more than I knew I could love. I also remember being shamed by a nurse. She told me that I should think of the health of my baby; referring to my use of medication. A decision that was based on careful, meticulous, research. I had researched and pondered what I was going to do for MONTHS and this lady was going to chime in after knowing me for minutes. She had the nerve to tell me that I should do what is right for my baby. As if I wasn’t already? As if I hadn’t thought of it— I hadn’t thought of what was important – I didn’t care about my baby as much as she did? I was crushed. I felt so terrible about myself. Later, after some much needed rest, I felt weak because I had based my decision to stop breast feeding on the opinion of one nurse. By the time a doctor had quieted my worries and convinced me that it was OK to breastfeed, it was too late. I had dried up and was fighting it. I was advised, by a different doctor, to give up and formula feed because it wasn’t worth the hassle.

It is so sad to me, to see —what is all to common—one woman bringing another woman down. What is worse than one woman degrading another, is one mother degrading another. I have been hurt—and I have been judged. However, I have also been shown kindness and acceptance regardless of personal decisions.

There are so many decisions that we consider vital; choices that we have to make for our children. We consider them vital, but really what is most important is that we make them ourselves.We, as mothers, need to do the research and come to a conclusion, without considering the judgment of others! (Of course if the father is in the picture he should be a part of the process).

I’ve heard mothers ache over what others think of the way their children act, dress, speak and even the way that they look. Are they too skinny—to fat—to shy? It must be the fault of the parents. Is it really a fault, or simply a difference?

I decided to ask some mothers to fill out a little questionnaire. The questionnaire didn’t include any overtly personal questions. It was nice to see how much we have in common when we put away the predisposed ideas of what a child should look like and what a mother should be. I loved reading the answers from these amazing mothers!

I refuse to question myself any longer. I love my baby and I will ALWAYS do what I feel is best for her. Stressing over my decisions and feeling shame will never be what is best for her. Let’s lift each other up and take pride in what we have accomplished. Lend a hand or an ear when needed and learn from one another. You never know what you may learn if you leave your mind open.

Darlene Starr

How old were you when you got pregnant with your first child: 18

How old are you now: 53

How many children do you have and how old are they:

4, hmm–how do I answer that? Andy would have been 34, Ryan is 30, Aaron 28 and Jason 26

What was your biggest concern when you found out that you were pregnant for the first time:

I was still in school–college and wondered how this would have affected my life. Could I still go to college?

What is your biggest concern now:
That they remain happy. And drop the alcohol/tobacco! There is a genetic link between Andy’s cancer and their grandfathers’. But by now I have given to God–they know why and if God calls one of them home again–I know what is to come and that I will most likely survive it.

What techniques do you use to cope with the trials of motherhood:
knowing what is important—not much–and when to ask for help. Your child will not remember having a certain toy or dress or any material thing in year but will remember you spent time with them and listen. I very literally did not sleep the night for about 8 years–was pregnant or had a small child. Know that you will make mistakes!! Every mother does. And even so, you and she will be fine.

What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned being a mother:
things happen—just hang on. learn to let go of what you can’t change and really, plain ole love.

Funniest infant/toddler story:
The day that Andy thought it would be funny and hide from me while I was at the school very briefly. Ryan and Andy hid in the back of the van and would not answer when I called for them. I drove all over town looking for them! And this was the day that Otho was the only law around and i just seen him go through town. Got my worry meter up very fast! Should have seen their faces when I opened up the back of the van to see them there!

What do you take pride in:
That so far, all the boys have chosen lives that make them happy.

What would you like to say to struggling mothers who are ready to give up:
Go outside cry, find someone to talk to and arrange for your own time. You must have your own time. Its okay–don’t feel guilty. Know you must do this! Just breathe, step back, and know it will pass! Really before you know it she will be walking, then running, then off to school, then out your door. Motherhood is the hardest thing you will ever do. Hands down. Congratulate yourself on being honest and making it, though you feel overwhelmed. Its hard!

 

Maddy Folk

 How old were you when you got pregnant with your first child: 29

How old are you now: 31

How many children do you have and how old are they: 1, 20 mo

What was your biggest concern when you found out that you were pregnant for the first time: was I ready to be a parent. I had spent the last decade learning to manage my anxiety by managing my expectations. And here I was pregnant with a human, who would inevitably throw all my expectations out the window. Then I realized, ready or not, I could only do my best.

What is your biggest concern now: learning when discipline is needed and when it might be overkill. She’s been great, but is now hitting her toddler phase and finding new ways to challenge me.

What techniques do you use to cope with the trials of motherhood: taking time for me. Going to a gym with daycare. Communicating with my partner about my needs

What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned being a mother: things don’t matter as much as your think, and life is just hard. Quit expecting it to be otherwise and you’ll be better prepared.

Funniest infant/toddler story: yesterday she found her hairbrush and Started brushing her hair. I offhandedly mentioned that I wish I could get her to brush her teeth so easy. She pulled out her binky and she brushed her tongue ??

What do you take pride in: how independent my daughter is

What would you like to say to struggling mothers who are ready to give up: you aren’t alone. We all have these moments. They are nothing to be ashamed of. Breathe, put your child some place safe, like a playpen or a high chair and take a moment for YOU.

 

Katherine Leonard Bowler

How old were you when you got pregnant with your first child: 28

How old are you now: 32

How many children do you have and how old are they: 2 children . 3 and 2.

What was your biggest concern when you found out that you were pregnant for the first time: gaining weight

What is your biggest concern now: suffering lol !

What techniques do you use to cope with the trials of motherhood: I’ve been going through a tough patch with a 3 year old and 2 year old. They are not easy! So techniques would be, lots of edibles lol ? , taking small breaks from them .

What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned being a mother: patience!!

Funniest infant/toddler story: James peed in his mouth one time when I was changing his diaper !

What do you take pride in: having my family and us being healthy and happy.

What would you like to say to struggling mothers who are ready to give up: lately I’ve been wanting to give up . But I’m not a going to though …. some days are easier then others !

 

Evelyn Bowler

How old were you when you got pregnant with your first child: I was 19 

How old are you now: I’m 22

How many children do you have and how old are they: JJ’s 1

What was your biggest concern when you found out that you were pregnant for the first time:
That my baby would be born early because of how sick I am while pregnant

What is your biggest concern now: Not being the best mom that i know i can be.

What techniques do you use to cope with the trials of motherhood: I eat cookies while JJ naps lol

What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned being a mother:
I’ve learned to not listen to people. Me and Jordan know whats best for JJ and others can suck it up if they don’t like how we raise him.
Funniest infant/toddler story: Not so much funny but the best story i have is when JJ threw a huge tantrum because he just wanted to hug Jordan and wave bye to him.

What do you take pride in:
Being a mom.

What would you like to say to struggling mothers who are ready to give up: This too will pass. One day you’ll wake up and they’ll be grown ups and the tantrums and sleepless nights will just be memories

Anonymous

How old were you when you got pregnant with your first child:
I was 25 when I got pregnant with my first child, ended in miscarriage at 13 weeks. 26 when I got pregnant with Lilly. And 28 when I got pregnant with Oliver.

How old are you now: 29

How many children do you have and how old are they:
2 kids: Lilliana May Humphreys, 2.5 years old and Oliver Odell Humphreys, 7 weeks

What was your biggest concern when you found out that you were pregnant for the first time:
The first time I was so excited when I found out. It was very planned so we were over the moon. Miscarriage was a thought but a distant thought. After only a few weeks of being pregnant I started having problems, Random bleeding and cramping. That continued every so often for the next few months until I went to my normal check up and they could not find a heartbeat. I ended up getting a D&C. We found out that our baby girl had Down syndrome and that’s why she did not make it. After that we tried to get pregnant a few months later and got pregnant with Lilly. We were excited but cautious, very cautious. Just trying not to get our hopes up. I was almost in disbelief that it would continue until she actually arrived. At 14 weeks we had a very big scare and thought we had lost her. From then on we were constantly terrified of losing her. There was always a little bit of excitement, but the anxiety was overwhelming. Until about 36 weeks everything went okay. I ended up with preeclampsia and had to get induced. That was the start of Lilly’s journey.

What is your biggest concern now:
Making sure they don’t get hurt and teaching them as much as I can.

What techniques do you use to cope with the trials of motherhood:
Taking some “me” time. Whether it’s doing my nails, make up, watching a show, having a drink, a nice long shower or even cleaning. Talking to Trevor. And making sure I sleep.

What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned being a mother:
Play it one step at a time. Everything and everyone is different. One night they could sleep, one night awake. Go with the flow. Don’t stress about a schedule.

Funniest infant/toddler story: ohh I don’t know.. I’m sure I have many but my mind is blanking.

What do you take pride in:
Just being their mother. Knowing how I have taught Lilly to be kind, compassionate, caring.

What would you like to say to struggling mothers who are ready to give up:
Just keep going, it will not always be this hard and there will be breaks. And don’t forget to ask for help.

 

Rebecca Gray

How old were you when you got pregnant with your first child: 20

How old are you now: 67 How many children do you have and how old are they: 2, 45 and 35 What was your biggest concern when you found out that you were pregnant for the first time: That I would be able to be a good mom

What is your biggest concern now: That my kids are happy What techniques do you use to cope with the trials of motherhood:I meditated and prayed. Both my boys had their days and nights mixed when they were quite young.

What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned being a mother: What seems critical today will Pass

Funniest infant/toddler story: When I was an infant, I cried for the first 3 months; the doctor gave my mom medication to help me sleep- then she was sure she had overdosed me and was unable to rest anyway What do you take pride in: What would you like to say to struggling mothers who are ready to give up: let people help you and don’t feel guilty.

 

Patti Jaeger

How old were you when you got pregnant with your first child: 22

How old are you now: 23

How many children do you have and how old are they: 1 who will be a year old December 15th

What was your biggest concern when you found out that you were pregnant for the first time: if we would be able to get everything ready for the baby. Our house was definitely not baby proof and still isn’t completely baby proof lol

What is your biggest concern now: that I can’t help our daughter navigate her feelings successfully. I never want her to think she is helpless or cant use her feelings to express herself.

What techniques do you use to cope with the trials of motherhood: BREATHE. When Grace was littler it was so hard to tell what she was crying about and times when she would work herself up so much that I would have to leave her in her crib and go into our room and breathe and calm myself down. I realized once I calmed myself down and came back to her she would calm herself down too.

What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned being a mother:
nothing is forever. They grow SO fast and change SO much. Let them be in the stage they are in and don’t rush the little things.

Funniest infant/toddler story:
we were playing cards the other night and Grace was in her high chair playing with her cards. She was super focused on them. Chris was complaining about something kind of sarcastically and Grace looks up at him and just does her fake HA HA HA. I think we have our hands plenty full with this little sass pants lol

What do you take pride in:
Grace lol I love everything about her.

What would you like to say to struggling mothers who are ready to give up: no sense struggling alone. Giving your voice gives others around the idea that you need some support. I love hanging out with other mamas. You never know what you’re going to learn or how to handle situations differently.

Tiffany Quam

How old were you when you got pregnant with your first child: 29

How old are you now: 31

How many children do you have and how old are they: Just Wade and he’s 2.

What was your biggest concern when you found out that you were pregnant for the first time:
That I might have a difficult pregnancy since I’ve had diabetes for 20 plus years But luckily I had no complications and Wade was born healthy!

What is your biggest concern now: That I hope I’m making the right choices in how I raise him and he doesn’t grow up to be a dead beat.

What techniques do you use to cope with the trials of motherhood:
I don’t know that I have any techniques per say. I just feel like I’m winging it everyday.

What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned being a mother: That I need to work on my patience and not get angry when Wade is having a meltdown because he’s not like me and can’t say what’s bothering him so he only cries and throws a fit because that’s all he know how to do when he’s upset.

Funniest infant/toddler story: There are so many! But recently every morning when he wakes up he will come jump on me and yell “Mommy! Wake up!”

What do you take pride in: Knowing that despite what other people may think I am making the right choices for me and my family.

What would you like to say to struggling mothers who are ready to give up:
I would say that as much as I love my son parenting is really hard! You have to keep this tiny person alive and well. There are times when I want to cry and give up because I feel like I’m a bad parent but then Wade comes and hugs me, or says he loves me and it makes it all worth it Children will only be little once so don’t tell them you’re too busy doing something when they want your attention or want to play or snuggle. There will be a last time they will want to hold your hand or be held and nobody knows when that will be. I tell myself all the time that nothing is more important that my son and cooking dinner or studying or whatever I am doing in that moment can wait until later

 

 

Cindy Frazier

 

How old were you when you got pregnant with your first child:20

How old are you now:59

How many children do you have and how old are they: 4 I gave birth to, two others I claim

What was your biggest concern when you found out that you were pregnant for the first time: I was too happy to be concerned What is your biggest concern now: that I didn’t do everything I could have/should have

What techniques do you use to cope with the trials of motherhood: No techniques

What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned being a mother: There is NO perfect parent. Everyone makes mistakes, and kids turn out just fine in spite of it!

Funniest infant/toddler story: I guess my funniest toddler story, was when I had to take Lacy to the doctor because her face stunk to high heavens. Turned out she had shoved a foam curler up her nose so far you couldn’t see it!

What do you take pride in: What would you like to say to struggling mothers who are ready to give up:

Hang in there! Enjoy every moment, because they pass too quickly, even though it doesn’t seem that way at the time. I am so grateful that my kids all turned out to be independent capable adults, who are all very hard working good people. Hope this info helps! Enjoy your beautiful baby girl, and thank God for her every day!

 

Kasey Craig

How old were you when you got pregnant with your first child: 22

How old are you now: 29

How many children do you have and how old are they: four kiddos. They are 6, (almost) 5, 3.5, and 17 mos

What was your biggest concern when you found out that you were pregnant for the first time: I’ve always known I was meant to be a mom.. but with my history, I didn’t know if I was going to be any good at it.

What is your biggest concern now: Keeping my children safe.. I’m a pretty big worrier when it comes to my babies.

What techniques do you use to cope with the trials of motherhood: Sweets and soda And sometimes working out becomes a great coping mechanism.

What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned being a mother: Being patient and remembering that they are only little for a short time. My oldest is 6 now and I still sometimes have to tell myself that he is ONLY 6! He still has a lot to learn. Mistakes will be made.

Funniest infant/toddler story:
I have too many… my kids are hilarious.

What do you take pride in: oh goodness I guess I could say that I take pride in others knowing that my kids are loved and well taken care of. Even when they say I’m a big meanie

What would you like to say to struggling mothers who are ready to give up: Breathe. Everything is going to work out! Take time for yourself, you deserve it! You’re amazing and you are loved!

 

 

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