When I was little, I was unlike most little girls I know…I was never the type to dream about getting married or what my wedding dress would look like or that special day. Some would say I was a “tomboy” and I would agree. It may sound funny coming from a mommy of four but I cannot remember a single time I thought about having children. A lot of my girlfriends and girl cousins had baby names picked for their unborn before they were four years old and even talked about what their children would look like or be like. I always thought that maybe I was weird because I didn’t have these little scenarios playing in my head. To this day I don’t know why I didn’t but here I am, a mommy of four beautiful healthy children.
Two weeks before my 21st birthday I sat in a hospital room holding my now 11 year old son, Jarrett. This was not how I envisioned spending my 21st birthday which ironically I had dreamed about and planned. It is insane how in an instant or with one decision, life can change so drastically. The Butterfly Effect. At age 20, I was too young to understand the significance keeping this child and the great responsibility it entailed. Of course I have heard people use expressions such as babies having babies but it held no bearing to me until I was over 25, maybe even closer to 30. At 21, we truly believe we are grown-ups and we know who we are and what we are doing and this is far from reality. I would even go as far as to say this is delusional if we believe this.
I think of all the different things I wanted to be when I grew up. A doctor, a psychologist, a musician or all those in one but never dreamed of being a mom. When Jarrett was 3, I had my daughter Aubrey. 18 months later Bryce was born and then little Presley came along 3 years after that. I rewind these years back to the beginning and am in awe of how much has changed. First, I couldn’t imagine my life without them and wouldn’t change it for the world. Second, I cannot believe how much it has changed me and how much I’ve grown and learned. Would I do anything different? Only one thing. I would have waited until I grew up to be a mom. I was so young and it all happened so fast and I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I feel like it wasn’t until I was closer to 30 that I truly started to figure out who I am, what I believe in and how I feel about the world. It was unfair to try to begin raising children when I was still a child myself. After all, how can you raise a child to be a successful adult when you haven’t yet become one yourself? I lacked patience, self-sacrifice and understanding at that young age. Patience is such a key word. It holds so much of what it takes to be a great mother, in fact, it may be one of the most powerful tools a mother can possess. Without patience, you cannot be a good parent. It was a hard road to get here today with many, many mistakes and a whole hell of a lot of guilt but I can honestly say I have learned so much and can finally appreciate the magnitude of the blessings I have. The guilt and mistakes we will save for another day as they deserve their own blog.
However, I do not have a feeling of regret for the choice I made to have children young or for not becoming the things that I dreamed of being because I know now that I actually have become those things. A mom is a doctor when she fixes boo-boos, she is a psychologist when she helps her children deal with their problems and she is a musician when she sings her children to sleep at night. And that is just a small piece of a mommy’s job description. It is a learning process and the skills take honing like no other trade. So, now if you ask me what I want to be when I grow up, my answer would be, without any hesitation, a GOOD mom.