I had daydreams of doing it all and having it all as a wife and mother. My son is now 5, and I am nowhere near the mom I thought I would be. I am a good mom, some days I would even say I am a great mom, but I am not the put-together, energetic, always patient mom that I envisioned.
Then came infertility and the realization that I may not get to “have it all.”
Then came a miscarriage.
Then the positive pregnancy test too soon after our loss (according to my doctor).
At which point my immediate response was literally “Shit,” which is actually not a part of my every day vernacular. So much for the magical way I hoped to tell my husband we were having a baby, and the beautiful story to share with my future child.
Then came the high-risk pregnancy, early delivery of a 4 lb baby boy, which led to visits to multiple specialists, months of holding my infant son down to administer breathing treatments, and fifteen months battling postpartum anxiety/depression.
With that came the days when I could not function beyond caring for my sons most basic needs, getting angry over little things, too much time zoning out on my phone, shutting out friends, and so on.
My dreams of being the “perfect” wife and mother were shattered. I spent years feeling like a failure. My internal rhetoric consisted of questions, such as, “How do other moms make this look so easy?” and “What is wrong with me?”
I wish I could say I had an epiphany style moment where it all fell into place in my parenting journey. This did not happen.
Instead, very, very slowly I learned about grace, both the grace God shows me and how to show myself grace. From understanding grace, came the beauty in realizing that through my imperfections and limitations, I am better able to accept and handle my child’s imperfections. I learned that my mess-ups do not mean I am a failure, unless I allow them to keep me from getting up and trying again.
As subsequent hardships have come, such as secondary infertility, another miscarriage, and the realization that my sweet boy will be an only child, I have had to formulate a new vision for my life.
Instead of trying to have it all, I give my all to the ones I have.
Instead of thinking I am the only one who can handle everything, I share the responsibility, reminding myself that “it takes a village” (although our village is very small), and try not to feel guilty. As a way of showing myself the most grace, I work hard not to compare myself, my marriage, my child or our parenting choices to others.
I now recognize that I am and always will be a work in progress, as a mother and as a human-being, and that is really okay. Most importantly, showing myself grace as a parent has allowed me to truly believe that I do not have to be a perfect parent to be exactly the parent my child needs me to be.
Bio: Brandy Moore is an introverted, passionate child of God, wife, “older” mom of a kindergartener (still trying to wrap her head around this), daughter, sister, mother, employee, and friend with a passion for seeing and helping people (including herself) live their best lives.