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Finding Purpose as a Mom
Things were Good
I became a mom in the summer of 2006. My husband, David, and I had been together for over six years and it was important to us that we were legally married before we started trying to have a child. This is for no other reason than the fact that David came from a divorced family and did some mental math when he was a child that his parents got married at the end of February, and he was born in September. He always felt that his parents should have never gotten married and wanted to make sure that if something happened to us that she knew she was not the reason we got married (but that is a different hub). Our daughter is a Honeymoon baby which we took as a sign that we were right.
I had always envisioned pregnancy as this great miraculous time when I would get big and be happy and joyful. Reality, not so much with the happy and joyful pregnant woman, though I did get big! I was SOOOOOOOOOOOO relieved when our daughter was finally born. I was over being fat and wanted to sleep through the night again without feeling like my ribs were going to be kicked out at any moment.
Well, the kicking stopped, but the sleepless nights had just started. I worked from home with my husband and we fell into a routine. It did not account for much sleep, but it worked for us. We were making decent money, had bought our house and put pretty much our entire savings into preparing it for our family. Things were good.
Then things were bad
When our daughter was 2 gang violence forced us out of the home we had put all of our money into. We made a choice to lose our savings and save our daughter or risk losing her. It was no contest. By April of her 4th birthday things went pretty sideways for our family. I was diagnosed with a brain tumor (Glioblastoma Pliomyoxid Astrocytoma), the bank refused two short sale offers and foreclosed on our house, and I had to have a full craniotomy where they removed a golf ball portion of my brain which left me with the medical complication of dementia, amnesia, anxiety, depression, and confabulation disorders. It was a fun month.
These disorders make my return to the business world impossible.
Becoming a Mom
Let me be VERY clear about something at this point. When I got married my husband and I were business partners. We were very good business partners. I had zero intentions of quitting my job, I enjoyed working, I enjoyed my relationship with my husband, and we had created a schedule where we could arrange our work around our daughter. I sincerely intended to do it all, but in the span of less than 30 days those options were taken away from me. This feeling of not having a choice was one of the hardest things to accept but I have found ways to not only accept the loss but have found help through some of the darkest times I can imagine.
If I am being completely honest, which I will always do my best to be with you and myself, I was woefully unprepared and an unwilling participant in actually becoming a mother.
The Untold Pleasures of being a Mom
Being a mom means sleepless nights, long days, relentless laundry, never ending dishes, and toys scattered through the house. That is the reality. You can never back down from the job, you will forever be at someone's beck and call. You will receive very little gratitude for the time you put in, and when you do it will a brief moment in the middle of hours that have become years and somehow it will be enough.
Okay so that is not the most ringing endorsement for motherhood ever made, but it is honesty. As I have said before becoming a mother I was a business woman. A successful one by the standards I set (which frankly were the only ones that mattered). When someone was disrespectful, incompetent, or impossible they could find another job and things would go on. Motherhood is not that way. When they drive you crazy, you cannot fire them, they don't go back you just have to wait until that moment when they look at you and it all makes sense. Making sense is not really correct either. If you work at it, you can find a way to find peace and purpose in these moments, and if you really work at it while they are young, the hope is that as they become older the moments get closer and closer.
When Mental Disorders Destroy the Family
After my surgery I was diagnosed with dementia, amnesia, confabulation, PTSD, anxiety disorders, and many others. This led to my husband being declared my legal caregiver. Never underestimate the stress that your disorders place on your family. In my case they lay dormant for almost 7 years. Now we are near the point of never being able to work them out. Make sure that you get help not just for you but for your loved ones if you are ever in this situation, I will be writing a hub on it next.