Appreciate Every Day, Even the Bad Ones

My gorgeous friend Carena has been a regular contributor on Mama Lion Strong for over a year. She blogs about hair, fashion, and of course, motherhood.

This is a very personal entry but I’m happy to share it as we approach a very special day, my second Mother’s Day.

Being a mom is easily one of the most difficult things I have ever done. When I stare into my beautiful daughter’s eyes I feel so many things.

Blessed

Conceiving a child isn’t easy for everyone. During Christmas of 2012 I was 12 weeks pregnant. It was the most perfect, joyous time to share our exciting news with friends and family. I’m sure many women will smile as they read this remembering the tears, hugs, and shrieks of delight following their own pregnancy announcements. That was us.

But the joy didn’t last. A few days after Christmas we lost our first child. It was one of the most heart-breaking things I’ve ever gone through. My world was shattered. We were falling in love with the baby inside of me and then suddenly it was gone. I thought, how could this happen to me? Why did this happen to me? I felt cheated knowing there were women addicted to drugs carrying babies yet I, who refused unpasteurized cheese and herbal teas, wasn’t able to carry mine. My grief was overwhelming. I felt like my world had ended.

But three short months later we were expecting again. Nine months after that we were blessed with a precious little girl, my daughter Braydee. The moment she was in my arms a hole in my heart was filled.

Today I have a beautiful one-and-a-half-year-old daughter that I am so proud of and I’m so excited to watch her grow. In my eyes she is a strong, stubborn, smart, loving, independent, energetic, and funny little girl. I wouldn’t change one thing about her.

Exhausted

I have a whole new appreciation for mothers. Despite what some may think, we don’t sit at home drinking coffee and painting our nails all day (well once in awhile we might!). We feed, clean, entertain, clean, nurture, support, discipline, teach, and clean again. Repeat. It can be draining and monotonous work.

Some days are a real challenge with Braydee. Today she wouldn’t eat supper. Yesterday she wouldn’t nap. Last week she cried for an entire day! These days certainly test my patience. I’m constantly stopping to remind myself how lucky I am to have her and how lucky she is to have me. Refusing supper, fighting a nap – these are silly things compared to the troubles of the world. I want to appreciate every day, even the more challenging ones. And I want you to as well!

Sad

You may be wondering, who is this woman asking me to appreciate every day, even the bad ones? Well, I am not asking you to do this this as a mother. I am asking you to do this from the child that I once was, who experienced the loss of her mother.

Mother’s Day used to fill me with a deep sense of sorrow. When I was fifteen years old I lost my mom to a car accident. It was tragic and abrupt and some days I’m still reeling from it. When these things happen, they don’t make sense. You wonder why you were dealt the hand you were and struggle to accept something that was completely out of your control.

My Mom was my best friend. She did anything she could to give me everything I needed in life. I remember there was a time in junior high when I had no one to eat lunch with. This was devastating to my pre-teen self! My Mom would come to the school every day with something special and we would have lunch together. She wouldn’t let me sit alone.

I have memories of her telling her friends she couldn’t wait to be a Grandma, even though I was only fifteen and my brother twenty. Her friends thought it was a crazy thing to say! But that was my mom. She loved children, especially her own. My heart breaks all over again thinking of how much she would have loved her grandchildren. They are all so beautiful, inside and out. I’m comforted knowing they each carry a part of her in them.

Mother's Day - Appreciate Every Day

In my life I have also witnessed how things like divorce, anger, and selfishness keep children from the ones that love them most. Put your personal problems aside and let your kids be loved, I beg you. There is nothing better for a child than to be surrounded by love. In the process you may let some love into your life too. Despite a strained relationship with my Dad, I could never stand in the way of my daughter having a grandfather. At least him and I share a love for her.

I married into one of the most wonderful and supportive families. I’m happy to share Braydee because I know she’s a lucky little girl to have so many people that want to love her too.

Losing a parent or a child is one of the most traumatic things a person could experience in their lives. It has taught me that there is so much about life out of our control. None of us knows what the future holds, whether we will be here in ten years or in ten days. Because of my experiences I live for being the best that I can today.

Last but not least…

Happy

The love I have for my daughter is indescribable. It’s a love that only another mother can relate to. It cannot be measured or weighed; forced, faked or lost. It’s a love that is so deep and so strong that nothing can break it – not the worst day, not the meanest words, not the farthest distance or longest time apart. It’s a love that overwhelms me with one little smile, the sound of her voice, the touch of her cheek to mine. The love we have for our children pushes us to go on, to smile through our tears, to reach into ourselves and forgive. There is no gift I could get on Mother’s Day that could match becoming a mother. That was the best gift in the world.

This year I will spend Mother’s Day being thankful that I am a Mom to a beautiful little girl. This year I am celebrating that today we have each other.

Happy Mother’s Day to every mom, daughter, grieving mom, new mom, mother-in-law, stepmom, aunts who are like moms, and expecting mom out there! Without her, there would be no you.

 

Carena is the owner and stylist of Hair by Heer. She thinks every woman’s best asset is their smile… But hair is a close second. ;) Since becoming a mom herself, Carena has become passionate about helping women feel good about themselves by sharing her fashion and hair tips and tricks for moms and moms-to-be!

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