I prayed and pleaded and begged heaven for the opportunity of motherhood and even on my very worst day, I wouldn’t trade it. That said, let’s keep it real, shall we? Motherhood is hard work. It ain’t for sissies.
Last month I had one of those days where my husband was working late, a gallon of lemonade was spilled on the floor and someone had pooped in kids’ bathroom and instead of flushing it they used the toilet brush to paint the inside of the bowl brown.
The special lotion I had made (with extra oil) for my son’s ashy skin had been dumped in the bathroom sink and then smeared all over the mirror. Oil …on the mirror. Do you know how many paper towels that kind of clean up requires?
Upon arriving in the basement to grab an extra roll of paper towels, I saw that my big boys had opened 12 boxes of clothing they had outgrown (which was neatly folded and sorted by size) and thrown them at each other in some sort of war. They were all over the floor.
After putting the kids to bed, I sat down on the couch about ready to burst into tears. But they are my babies, my sweet-sweet mischievous babies and I adore them.
You realize that it’s a special kind of self control that keeps you from yelling at your pre-schooler when he dumps his apple juice on the kitchen table and floor (on accident or on purpose, I don’t know) and then jumps in it because he is mad that you aren’t cleaning it up and making him do it. Which leads to a time out in his room which he comes out of screaming bloody murder. So you have him serve the remainder of his time (3:30 of 4 min) in the bathroom downstairs by you so as to keep your napping baby napping as the pterodactyl screaming is getting quite intense.
Not to be out-smarted, he looks at you with his angry face and pees all over the floor. You then hear your once napping baby start to fuss and know you only have a matter of minutes before you gotta pull it together, so you close the door to the bathroom which houses the wet pterodactyl, grab your phone, sit on your front porch and call your mom on the other side of the country. Sometimes moms need a 4 minute time out too …but even then, they are still my babies.
Every late afternoon, I look forward to the text from my husband, my partner is this parenthood gig that says, “On my way home!” Here he comes, my hero!
My babies need this hero to come home every night. This hero wasn’t directly involved in the drama of the day or the disaster clean-up (aside from the texts he gets from me). He comes with fresh eyes. He comes ready to take the baton and take over with the babies.
Those babies who sometimes make naughty choices. They forget what it means to be a good friend and as a consequence I get text messages from moms on my street telling the tale of my babies forgetting that they are better than their actions sometimes give them credit for. My babies who often have to apologize to neighbors with “I’m sorry” notes and pay for broken windows.
But still, they are MY BABIES.
My babies that say, “Thanks for making me dinner, Mom” every single night. My babies who spell out my name on the fridge and then say, “This is for when you miss me while I am at school. You can think of me when you look at it.” My babies whose faces light up when they see me walk into a room or come and get them from school.
My babies. I love their curious, mischievous souls. I love their wonder.
It isn’t easy to be their mom, but it sure is worth it.
Lindsey Redfern is the creator and writer of The R House. It’s the story of her family who is living (and loving!) within three open adoptions. She offers help, hope and humor to others along the way. Married to a social worker (and foodie), she and her husband own an adoption consulting firm, The R House Adoption Consultants. She also creates sterling silver jewelry keepsakes and gifts of hope with her two best friends at The R House Couture.
Lindsey has seen first hand the heartache and joy that couples infertility and adoption. She chooses to seek the good. She has survived (is surviving) infertility, Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children (ICPC) issues leaving her stranded for 42 days on the other side of the country with her newly adopted baby, an 18-month contested adoption, several adoption scams, a failed adoption, a reversed adoption and lived to tell (write) about it. Although painful, the three successful adoptions their family has experienced has made it all worth it.
Additionally, Lindsey has been featured in countless magazines, blogs, newspapers, podcasts and television spots about her passion to bring sensitivity to the infertility community and advocate for open adoption. One of her favorite things to write/talk about are the monthly gifts she sends to her boys’ birth mothers–lots of photos, funky socks and an art project from their child. Her blog is full of birth parent gift ideas.