Monday, January 11, 2010

How I Became the Mother I am . . .

Connie at The Young and the Relentless tagged me for this special meme. I am to share five experiences that have shaped me into the mother I am today, and tag five moms I admire.

1. My parents. My mom stayed home when I was little. I'm so happy that I wasn't shuffled back and forth to a babysitter day after day. My childhood memories include being at home, playing, and being a kid. That was special to me. My dad worked long hours when I was young, but he was at every dance recital, every performance, everything that was important to me. As I got older my mom went back to work, but she took a job at my school. Honestly, I loved it. She was there whenever I needed her. Of course, my parents shaped the way I parent in other ways too. My mom was very very strict about bedtime, and when I was young it stressed me out. I would lie in bed and worry that I couldn't fall asleep immediately. I worried that my mom would come in to check on me, and I would still be awake, and oh how that stressed me out. So, of course, I had sleep issues. Those issues have translated into me being pretty lax about bedtime around here. And while my sister and I had a lot of rules to follow {I'd say my parents were pretty dang strict}, I think my girls would tell you that life in our house is pretty un-scheduled and laid back.

2. I played house all.the.time. Luckily I had a younger sister to add to the fun. Our imaginations ran wild. We had perfect husbands who worked hard for us so we could vacation together. Honestly, from the time I was little, I knew that my sister and I would raise our babies together. I just knew we'd live right next door to each other and share in motherhood together. I never envisioned it any other way. Unfortunately that's not the way it happened. And I am just now, years later, coming to terms with the fact that we will never live close to one another :( My sis is 300 miles away, and I haven't seen my niece and nephew since August. I have to plan a trip to see them, because I am seriously having withdrawls.

3. The birth of my nephew. My older sister had her first baby when I was thirteen years old. I vividly remember my mom getting a call at school {Mom used to work at the middle school I attended} that Heidi was in labor. And at the ripe ol' age of 13 I was in the room as she gave birth to her first child. It was such an amazing experience, but I will be honest, after seeing what she went through I decided adoption would be my best bet ;) I guess I changed my mind over the years.

4. Sierra's birth. When Sierra was born she developed a staph infection in the hospital that we didn't know about until after we got home. It was one of the scariest times of my life. Here I was, a brand new mom, and no one would listen to me when I called {time after time after time} to let someone know that there was something wrong with my baby. The nurses, the doctors, they all thought I was a new mom that was being a little . . . emotional and neurotic. Finally, after my 6th call, and coming up on closing time at our pediatric clinic, I demanded to speak with our pediatrician. And I broke down and told her that if she didn't see us, I was taking Sierra to the Emergency Room. That got her attention. We went in and were immediately taken to the hospital where Sierra spent the following few days in ICU. She had a spinal tap, rounds of antibiotics, and was finally released 3 days later. But wow, that experience definitely changed me as a mom. Sierra did not leave my side for a long time, and I think we bonded even more strongly because of it. That experience, alone, probably had a big impact on my decision to attachment parent. I wanted my babies next to me every night, and carried close to me during the day. I suppose the experience also made me a stronger mama. I learned early on that moms often do know best, and no one is going to stop me if I need to get care for one of my children. Sometimes we are their only advocate.

5. My pregnancy with Kameryn. I know it wasn't that long ago, and I was already a "seasoned mom", but Kam's birth last year changed us all. As I mentioned above, I'm a bit of an attachment type parent. I rarely leave my children. In fact, last year, when Sierra was 6 1/2 and Kenners was creeping up on 4, I had only ever left them for 24 hours. One time. When Jeremy and I escaped to the coast for our anniversary. I don't know that we were even gone a full 24 hours ;) I take that back, I had left Sierra for 24 hours when Kenners was born too. But you get what I mean, we just don't leave them that often. So, when I was hospitalized at 33 weeks pregnant with Kameryn, that shook us all up. Two straight weeks of not being home with my girls. It was excruciating. I had to watch, every night, as Jeremy and his parents would have to carry both the girls out of my hospital room crying. The thought still brings tears to my eyes. It was horrible. But, I think it made us stronger. I know it brought Jeremy and the girls even closer. And the experience ended with a brand new, beautiful addition to our family. There were good memories too. Several nights they all surprised me by staying the night with me. It was squished, and quite uncomfortable for them, but we have such sweet memories of our slumber parties at the hospital.

That's that. A handful of the experiences that have made me who I am as a Mama.

I would like to pass this along to five moms whom I find to be pretty spectacular:

Tiffany at A Moment Cherished

Rhonda at Down Memory Lane

Kelli at Random Thoughts of a SuperMom!

Becca at The Texas Darlings

Kasey at Beautiful Mess

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Colleen said...

That was just beautiful!!!

Kelli said...

Wow, what a great reflection. Those are definitely character-building experiences and I can tell they've paid off! Thanks for sharing.

Foursons said...

I love how you picked the best and worst things about your parents to shape how you do things in your home.

I played house with my sisters too. Isn't it funny how little girls do that. :)

That whole staph thing with Sierra is frightening. I can't believe the doctor's office did that to you. Did they ever apologize for their behavior?

I didn't realize you were hospitalized for 2 weeks with Kameryn. I knew you went into labor early but I guess since you haven't gotten that far in your pregnancy journals that I didn't realize. That must have been so hard for all of you. (Dad included!)

~~Mel~~ said...

Such a sweet post!

Kelli @ RTSM said...

Henry got some kind of infection when he was first born and it was so scary as a first time parent. They had to do all kinds of tests, and ivs, and he had to stay for more than a week. That kind of thing definitely changes the way you parent! Thanks for passing this one to me!

Nocona said...

That is really sweet.

Connie Weiss said...

Such sweet memories....and I feel like I know you better now.

Thanks for playing!

Rhonda said...

That was wonderful! I love being a mom, and hearing what has shaped your journey. Thanks for passing this on to me! Loved it!

He & Me + 3 said...

Actress had an infection too and had to stay at the hospital for a few days after I had been released. It was so scary for me too. Horrible.
You are a wonderful mother and it shows in every post.
Your family is beautiful.

Tiffany said...

This was so beautiful. I loved your thoughts on this, and I am so honored that you asked me to share. I will have to think on this one! I knew my sister and I would live next door to one another and raise our babies, too. (She lives four hours away.)This was such a sweet, thoughtful post!

Jen said...

Good for you for sticking to your guns with Sierra - you must have been beside yourself as a first-time mom. What a lovely post! Connie tagged me, I have some thinking to do :)

Jenny said...

That was an awesome post!

I know what you mean about living next to your sister and raising the kids together. That was always our plan too, so when my sister moved to MI from MO, I was heartbroken! She had Matthew up in Michigan and I did go visit a couple of times, but we were all so excited when the moved back when he was about 10 months old!

Now my sister lives about 10 minutes from me and we hang out all of the time. Honestly, I wish we could hang out more.

Tiffany said...

Tag! You're it! Come check out my blog!

Anonymous said...

Liz, this was such a heart wrenching true story! I now remember why I have always thought you should be a writer. I'm sorry if we were too strict. My parents were not, so I guess I went the other way. I love you, Mom

sanjeet said...

I can tell they've paid off! Thanks for sharing.

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