Some women grow up playing with dolls, always imagining themselves as a wife and mom. I’m one of those girls. It’s always been something I’ve wanted to do. I’m very nurturing by nature. I mean, what other job is more nurturing than being a mother?
I’ve always told my own mother, “If I can be half of the mom that you were, then I would be doing pretty good”. Throughout our entire childhood she was completely devoted to us. She was a stay at home mom for a time. Eventually she did have to go back to work. Even then, she always gave her all so that we could thrive. Our family fell on hard times at different points in time, and she was always the glue that held us together. I’ve always admired that quality in her. She’s the kind of mother, that if I had any questions, doubts, or fears I could- and still can- confide in her. She has a way with words and comfort. She always gives the best advice and I never have to doubt or worry about it. If I can be that for my own children, for Felix, if he knows without a doubt he can come to me about anything and have the confidence in me that I have in my own mother. That would be amazing! I’d be on the right track.
When my husband Terrance and I were still dating we talked about kids. We discussed and agreed upon a five year plan. We didn’t intend to start a family so soon. We ended up getting pregnant four months after we were married. Felix was definitely a surprise!
When I took that first pregnancy test and saw that word "pregnant" blinking on the test I had a rush of emotion. I immediately called Terrance and burst out into tears saying, “ I’m pregnant”. He replied, “Don’t move, I’m coming home”. He came home so quickly that I was still in the bathroom when he arrived, still staring at the pregnancy test in shock. He came in bathroom, wrapped his arms around me and said “We’re going to be fine, this is good”. Never once did he have any negative feelings about it happening so soon. Then, of course, the next person I called was my mom. Felix was a surprise, but a happy one from the very beginning.
I had a dream pregnancy. It was pretty easy for me. I wasn’t sick a lot. Didn’t gain a ton of weight. Had plenty of energy. I got to work right up until I delivered. My delivery was perfect. He was healthy the whole time. If I do get pregnant again I’d want it to go the exact same way, because I enjoyed it very much.
When I was nearing the end of my labor, I had Terrance, my mother, and sister by my side. The room was emotionally charged. Felix came, they laid him on my chest to do skin to skin, and the world stopped. This little person that had been growing for exactly nine months, that I had talked to and nurtured in the womb was here. It was such a surreal moment. Almost like a movie where everything just starts floating in the background. I was so hyper focused on him.
Then I looked over at my husband. He had his hands on his head, freaking out, and the first thing I said to him was “ I love you so much!” My sister inadvertently caught that moment on camera. She was recording on her phone, and she caught that little moment. All of the anticipation finally peaking, it’s such a big deal. It was the moment when our hearts completely opened up. Spaces I never knew existed. I don't think I could have ever anticipated how happy I could be with Terrance and Felix. Through all the tears, the laughter, the diaper changes, the stress, everything. Even in the moments when you have a sick kid, up to your eyeballs in crap, I still wouldn't trade it for anything. Without the bad you don’t have the good, without the stressful you don’t have the happy, so I take it happily as one big package deal.
Motherhood has been a constant adjustment. The schedule, the sleep deprivation, all of the things you experience those first few weeks. No one can prepare you for it. People can tell you about their experience all day long, but you have no idea until you live it. All of it was definitely a challenge. That’s for sure. The first few years we’re constantly adjusting to his new patterns or behaviors. As women, I do think there is something God given in us, after having a baby. That helps us cope and adjust. I believe we were created to make babies and naturally our bodies adjust. It has to, to keep up, to survive.
The first two months at home, after Felix was born, were tough. One major thing that I feel very defeated at is breastfeeding. My goal was to do it for a year, and I barely made it three months. I feel like I gave it a valiant effort. I tried everything. He latched on very well, I just didn’t produce enough milk to keep him satisfied. Then I couldn't pump any milk. Once I went back to work, it wasn't enough. Eventually, I had to supplement formula. Once he got formula and bottle, it was a downhill slide. I’m proud that I made it as long as I did, but I still feel very defeated I didn’t reach my goal. Breastfeeding my child was something I really wanted to do.
The thing I struggle with the most as a mom, is always being full of self doubt. Am I doing enough? Am I enough? That is the main thing I struggle with. I’d also love to be a stay at home mom, but it’s just not in the stars for us right now. I wouldn’t say I feel any guilt for having to be a working mom, I know I have to do what I need to, so I can take care of him. I just wish it was different. I miss him so much during the day, I feel that tug and struggle of wanting to be with him. When I know he’s with my mom or my friend Malerie, I know he’s well taken care of. But my mind wanders while I’m away. I’m hoping he’s not doing anything new that somebody else gets to see before me. I just miss him terribly. Aside from being a working mom, which is a necessity for my family. I do struggle with: am I feeding him the right food? Am I stimulating him enough? Do I read to him enough? All of the things that run through my mind. Am I doing the best things for my child? Am I giving it my all? There are so many times when I’m tired, come home from work and I don’t feel like I have the energy to fix dinner or just the day to day things that need to be done. That’s when those feelings creep in, and I feel like I could be doing better. All the while, praying that I’m still doing okay. This is my biggest struggle as a mother. Am I enough? Am I doing enough?
Isn’t it weird how it’s always harder to compliment ourselves? Honestly, I’m the most proud of the way Terrance and I work as a team to take care of Felix. I love that he is able to have both of us in his life. In a loving relationship. Terrance and I are happy together. I think that’s a part of the reason why Felix is such a happy baby. I am really proud of that. I’m proud of my son too. Everything I would want my child to be, he is. Including wonderful, smart, energetic, loveable, kind. I don’t know how much I have to do with that, but I’m proud of him. I’m proud of the tiny person he is and who he’s turning out to be.
I think I have a huge responsibility in raising a boy. Because I’m raising someone's future husband or boss. A man in this world has a huge capacity to do a lot of good or a lot of bad. I want him to grow up to be a man who people love and respect because he’s a genuinely good person. And treats everyone else with love and respect. When he’s married and has a family of his own, I want him to be a man his wife and children can respect as well. Because the treats them that way.
I feel like I have this relationship with Terrance, he loves and respects me. Treats me better than I think I deserve. Felix has the ultimate example in his own father. As well as our relationship. As many crappy examples as there are that he’s going to be exposed to in his adolescence and lifetime, I feel like we’re super blessed to have the best example right in our own home. Terrance is so gentlemanly. He still opens the car door for me, upholds those old school values which I feel are lost in our generation. I feel like we’re accomplishing this by example and teamwork.
These are the best moments of my life. Having Felix, becoming his mother and these little moments spent with my family in our home. Seemingly small moments. These are my absolute favorite. I love being a mom, I love being his mom.