I think it would shock many people if they knew growing up I never had a desire to be a mother. When I first found out I was pregnant with Michael, I was overwhelmed. I was happy and sad and lost and confused all at the same time. I really felt like I was giving everything up to bring this child into the world. I admit, I was feeling very selfish at that time and had some resentment towards my unborn child. I would feel that resentment again when I found out I was expecting Neil. I knew I wanted more children, I just wasn't happy with the timing, again, it felt like I would be giving everything up to bring this child into the world. When I made the decision to get out of the Army, it was done with half a heart. I didn't really want to get out of the Army but I really wanted to be home with my kids. I wanted the best of both worlds. I was pretty unhappy the first few months I was out of the Army. I have to say it was probably a good thing my husband was away for most of our time at Fort Riley since I was a pretty unpleasant person to be around, I had a lot of resentment in my heart. It took Michael coming up to me and saying that I should just go back into the Army because I was a better Soldier than I was a mommy. Yes, to this day those words break my heart but they are what I needed to hear. I made the decision right then that I would change my way of thinking and be the mother my kids deserved. Since then I have thrown everything into being the best mother I can be. Sometimes it may mean just getting the kids out the door, sometimes it may be just a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for dinner.
When Kevin and I decided we wanted to have one more child, we thought it would be easy, it was easy to get the other two, we figured we would try and it would happen. Month after month we were met with a big fat negative on the pregnancy tests. It was stressful and frustrating. Going through miscarriage and big loss made me wonder if God was punishing me for the resentment that I had in my heart with the other two boys. We had finally given up when we found out we were going to have another baby. We should have been excited, we should have had such joy in our hearts.
As a mother, I often am saddened to admit that I had no joy, only fear when it came to bringing Daniel into the world. We had wanted another child so badly but had endured so much pain trying and we were scared. Those first seven months of my pregnancy were difficult for all of us. We didn't know what to expect. It wasn't until we were at a point of almost losing him that the motherly instinct I had craved since I gave birth to Michael kicked in. I would do whatever it took to keep this child. I pleaded with the Lord and my husband. I was willing to sacrifice it all to have my child live.
We have all heard parents say, "I love my kids the same but differently." I never bought into those words, especially growing up when I would accuse my mom of loving my brothers more. But now...now I know. I do love my boys the same but differently. Each one has brought me an education that the others could not provide. Each one has blessed my life in special ways. Each one has taught me lessons that I could only learn by mothering them in their own individual ways.
There have been times when I have been on my knees pleading to the Lord, why me...why this trial...I am not strong enough to do right by this child. I have always found peace in His trust in me. I am not a perfect mother, I falter often but I know I am the mother that these three boys need.
Just like that day when I thought we would lose Daniel and I was willing to give all that I had, today...I know that I would give it all for my boys, that I would sacrifice everything that was asked of me in order to protect or provide of my three young men.
I am grateful that the Lord knew better than a stubborn young girl when he blessed me with these amazing human beings. Sometimes motherhood feels like a thankless job but when I look, truly look at my boys, I know the blessing it really is.