Being a Mother

May 08, 2010

There was a time in my junior high and early high school years when I thought I had decided I didn't want to have children.  Motherhood seemed like it would be such a hindrance to my plans to take over the world.  Looking back, I can't believe I ever entertained that kind of thinking.  Being a mother is a blessing unlike any other.  While Jamie and I always knew we wanted children, we never actually planned one of my pregnancies.  All three were surprises and all three are examples of God's perfect timing.

So, I'm trying to decide which direction I want to take this post.  I could go on and write about how the timing of each pregnancy was right on.  I could write about things I've learned being a mother (very popular in the blogosphere right now).  I could change direction and write about my mother...tomorrow : )  I think I'll go with what I've learned in the last 13 years.

Oh, sweet baby!  Parker Jane Battles changed my life immediately and immeasurably when she joined us live and in person on May 21, 1997.  She has taught me that you do, in fact, pay for your raising!  I could never have imagined another human being could walk this earth and be almost identical to me in every single way.  She is as strong-willed as they come which is both a blessing and a curse.  She is talkative and funny and smart.  (All my good qualities!)  The problem with having a child as much like you are is that you also see your faults in them.  One of those problem areas is that she has to learn by making mistakes.  Period.  It isn't really enough to warn or caution her about something; she has to experience it and learn from it.  I wish I could save her all the heartache that stubbornness is going to cause as she grows up.  On the other hand, when she learns a lesson, she learns it.  I've learned countless other things from PJB as well.  She has a confidence that I never had as a middle school kid.  Park has also confirmed to me that the psychology of birth order is correct!  In fact, all my girls fit their order.

This is that sweet baby 12 years later.  Be still my heart! 

Oh, sweet baby #2!  You've seen this picture of Molly (obviously I need to scan more of her newborn shots).  Molly Seven Battles is our special miracle.  On January 25, 2000, we didn't quite know what to expect.  We'd met with doctors and we understood the protocol that would be followed for her birth, but we were filled with anxiety and nervousness.  How faithful God has been!  Mothering Molly, at least early on, has taught me more about faith than anything else.  I've also learned how strong I am.  I've surprised myself.  Molly has taught me how to be patient, how to be empathetic, and how to push.  Right away she taught me that she would have to be parented differently than Parker, that one-size-fits-all parenting was not going to work here!  So, I guess I've learned flexibility from Molls as well as fairness.  Fairness isn't sameness is a common quote in our house (and in my classroom).

So, here she is now in a rare moment of sisterly love!  One of the blessings of having all girls is knowing that they share a bond for life!  Right now that bond isn't obvious every day...but, I have faith that it will be strong and unbreakable as they grow into young women.

Oh, sweet, sweet, sweet baby!  There's something about that last (knock on wood) baby that just makes it even sweeter!  On August 30, 2006, Lilah Grace Battles debuted and has filled the role of family diva ever since.  Lilah was an absolutely perfect baby.  Jamie and I joke that if she'd been first, there might have been 20.  We couldn't have known how things would change when she hit 2 1/2!  Li is every bit the baby of of our family.  Having Lilah as a daughter has taught me several things, the most important of which is pay attention.  Every minute.  Of every day.  Someone must be watching this child.  I still have the remnants of her escapade through the kitchen with a Sharpie on my wall, my dishwasher, my oven, and my sink.  They're fading...  I have walked into the kitchen to find a dozen eggs broken on the floor.  (You don't ever want to clean that up, trust me.)  Many times I've pre-heated my oven and noticed an odd smell a few minutes later -- once it was plastic food from her kitchen set; another time it was an egg she'd cracked and put in a glass.  Lilah has definitely taught me I can never let my guard down!  This applies not only to her, but I suppose to all my girls. 

This picture expresses Lilah on so many levels!  A little disheveled, smiling... 

I'm so blessed!  I'm not a perfect mother.  I've made more mistakes than I'd ever want to admit.  I've had to ask forgiveness from my girls for my actions or, in most cases, reactions.  I've been frustrated to the point of tears, of anger, of defeat.  Being a mother is not a task for the faint of heart.  There are no do-overs, so the pressure to get it right the first time, every time, is overwhelming to me.  Thankfully, God blessed me with a nearly perfect mother of my own who I go to for guidance, advice, or venting.  My mom requires an entire post of her own, so tune in tomorrow!

I'll end this post with one of my favorite snapshots.  It's the first one taken of my three girls together.  Oh, sweet girls!  I hope you all enjoy a very special Mothers Day this year! 

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  1. Thanks, Becky -- I loved writing it. Happy Mothers Day to you!


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