Sunday, May 8

Mothers Day for real women, not the ones in the movies

A few weeks ago I was asked to give a talk in church for Mothers day.  I hate giving talks in church, which is why I have not done it in almost 8 years. I get very nervous, I never feel like I can work the audience like I can in a smaller setting and, lets face it, some of my stories would make anyone listing blush of demand my head on a platter.
So I avoid it at all costs.
When I was asked to give the talk, the man who asked me said,"we want it to be a message of hope"
I almost laughed out loud.
You want ME to give hope to mothers??? hope that what, one day we (as women) will be dead and actually get a full nights sleep??
Hope that if you keep working yourself to the bone you will win a trip to a rubber room with a pretty white jacket that ties in the back??

Honestly, I could not for the life of me think of what I might say to women on this very special day that would make them feel hopeful. Mostly because right now I am not too sure I feel very hopeful, so I declined the request for a talk.

Then I got to thinking about what I might say to a small group of women. The women in the group I was imaging was a diverse group, all in very different stages and seasons of life. I thought about the different seasons I myself have been in and what I might have loved or desperately needed to hear then.

So although I am not going to give my talk in church, I thought I would share my thoughts anyway.

I thought the best way to do this would be a letter to myself right before I became a mother...

Dear Joelle, 

Any minute now you are about to embark on the most horrible and wonderful day of your life: the day you give birth to a baby boy and become a mother. 

There are a few things I would like to share with you that I think you might find helpful over the next few years....
Don't panic about  leaking from everywhere. In a few days you are going to feel like a sprinkler and everything is going to be sore. Even places you would never have imagined could be sore will be. Don't worry. Just take the Tylenol the nurses give you and don't be a martyr. 

Ask for help with the breastfeeding thing. For something so "natural" it is going to be the single hardest thing you have ever done. But you will get it, and you'll be good at it. So just relax. 

Be patient with yourself. There is no need to be able to do everything "right". 
Get lots of sleep, the laundry will always be there. 
Ask for help!
Order in pizza, no one cares if you made dinner, neither do they expect you to. 
Ask for help.
Its OK to cry, and if you cry alot that is OK too. This is new. 
Don't worry about how you look right now, you just made a little person.

In a few months you are going to find out you are expecting again (close your mouth dear...ya, I could hardly believe it when I lived through it either) Its okay. 

having two is really hard, but you'll make it through.  
Ask for help.
then number 3
ask for help.
Then number 4, this one does not make it, so allow yourself to cry. Its ok. You don't need to be strong for anyone.
Then number 5

Soon the years will be almost 10 and you will be a very different woman. 
Be kind to every mom you meet, some might be having a really rough time of it. 
Smile at everyone. 
Let them know you find it hard too, there is strength in numbers

Continue to be patient. 
Ask for help.

I would give myself a hug, and maybe cry a bit. I know what she is in for and it is not going to be easy for her. 
But I would tell her she will do great, and that it is the best job she has ever had. 
And one day when you just had your yearly pap, and your daughter opened the door half way through and everyone see's....then she dumps out all your nail polish....and gets you escorted out of a play place for stealing ice cream, and you want to pull your hair out and cry...she will sing you are my sunshine, and your boys will tell you that you look beautiful to them and your heart will melt and you will keep going. 

Happy Mothers Day Everyone!


I would also like to wish all my friends who are not mothers themselves a very Happy Mothers Day. It takes a village and I do not believe you need to conceive a child to be a mother, there is a little crew of babies I did not push out, but love just like my own, so to you ladies I am blowing you a kiss too!


I am grateful for a wonderful weekend away with good friends!

I am grateful for a fantastic family. I have great kids!

I am grateful for feeling clearheaded, and a little more sure then yesterday!