Today's guest post is by Lacy from Living On Love. Thanks, Lacy!
Being a young mom was always at the forefront of my mind. Not because I thought I was supposed to be, not because I thought it was my job as a woman, but because I wanted to be a mom. From the depths of my dreams and secrets of my heart, being a young mom was priority. Lucky for me, I married the best man a girl could ask for. He has a heart as big as the moon, and what’s more – he wanted to be young dad. In fact, when he was a kid and people asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up, he always said, “A dad!” Everything else was up in the air.
We had several logical reasons for wanting to be young parents, like having more energy to play with our children, (hopefully) not having to worry about fertility problems, our children enjoying their grandparents and vice versa, being able to enjoy our future grandchildren, an early empty nest, freedom in our 40s and 50s to travel the world/watch our kids grow, etc. But the real reason is because family is such a wonderful, beautiful thing. Why wait? Yes, we both work. I’m a teacher and my husband is a social worker. We’re both deeply passionate about what we do. But building my career just didn’t compare to my desire to build a family, no matter how bad my feminist streak fired inside of me! Many 20-somethings spend their years living a post-college party life. They explore Europe. They go dancing. They stay up late eating really good food. They see the world. Many think that if they settle down, get married and have a family, all of that will be lost. For us, those things have only become more valuable, more wonderful, more memorable, because the three of us have shared those moments together.
When I was 23, we decided to start our family. By 24, I was a mom. We read up on getting pregnant and planned to try for at least 6 months, possibly more. Not planning on it working the first time, a little babe was on the way after just one month of trying. (Beginner’s luck, I guess!) That year alone was crazy. I was a full-time teacher and a full-time graduate student, trying to balance the two while battling the (awful) symptoms of pregnancy. (Imagine a teacher running out of her classroom to vomit. Yes, very nice indeed.) 41 weeks later, after 18 hours of labor, a beautiful baby girl was laid upon my chest in all her sticky newness – the most musical day of all. Now, my Adair Lynden is nearly 9 months old. She’s a tiny person, full of sunshine and light. I know her well, but it pains me to think I did not know her even a year ago.
Or maybe I did. I dreamt of her all my life. I couldn’t wait to meet her. I couldn’t wait to show her the stars and the mountains, the trees and the sea. I couldn’t wait to sing her sweet lullabies or rock her to sleep. I couldn’t wait to comfort her when she needed me most. I couldn’t wait to nurse her first sunburn or soothe her first broken heart. I couldn’t wait to explore the world with her. I couldn’t wait to see her follow her heart and fall in love with her maker. Now that she is here, my heart is constantly overflowing with love and delight and adventure. It is what I dreamed of, but infinitely more wonderful than I could have ever imagined. While we only have one baby, the thought of another (or several more) gets me so excited. A few weeks after our girl was born, I told my husband, “This is the coolest thing! Let’s do it as many times as we can!” Being a parent has to be the most wonderful thing. Even on the hard days, my heart is full.
Many women feel like they have had to give up their hopes and dreams upon becoming a parent. Travel plans, career goals, years of self-discovery – all of that gets thrown out the window. That was probably my biggest fear before I was pregnant. Even though I know that’s not me and that’s not what I want, what if I find myself there anyway? Those thoughts raced through my mind regularly, but I finally decided that it wouldn’t be me. It couldn’t be me. My husband and I decided that we would take our children with us on the life we’ve dreamed of together. Traveling through Europe? Let’s do it with the kids. Backpacking Yellowstone? The boys will love it. Driving in the country to a beautiful sunset? Already our Addie’s favorite thing. In the past year alone, we have taken our girl all over – seeing the world, doing the things we always did before she was here on earth. Just the other day I read a beautiful piece of writing from a woman confessing the realities of becoming a mother. She feared that once she had her baby, her life would be over. But what she found was that her life was just beginning. I couldn’t agree more. Like my mother always told me, “Love makes the world go round.” My world is spinning, everything where it ought to be. There is hope in a newborn baby. There is rebirth of the soul in the birth of a brand new person. There is joy unimaginable.
Thank you, Lacy, for sharing your perspective. You can check out more of Lacy and little Adair at her blog, Living on Love. If anyone else would like to share their story, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!