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Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mothers Day

Today may you feel loved, appreciated and celebrated as the woman and Mother you are. That is if you are a Mother. It is a job like no other and quite frankly not what I expected it to be. I had a very idealistic view of what life as a Mother would be. I thought I had lots of "training and experience" when I made the jump from wife to Mother. Mark and I had been married for over five years when we decided it was time for us to become parents. We had worked side by side as daycare owners and operators, caring for many children in our first five years of marriage. We had enjoyed our time together, traveling, going out on the town often as Mark was also in a rock and roll "bar band" in our early days of marriage. We were a happy couple, enjoying life and building a strong foundation to welcome a child into. As I said before, I was "green" back then, thinking love was all you needed to raise a happy family. I felt blessed that I had married a man who was strong in his beliefs, loving and caring toward all. He had showed compassion and care in our daycare and I was excited to see him as a father. Beau was due on our sixth Wedding Anniversary and was born three days later. (his birth is a past post in this blog) Life was as expected for the most part after Beau was born. He was an amazingly sweet baby. Loving him was more than I ever expected and Mark was a fantastic Dad. We relished in those days around our sweet son. He was about one when we decided we wanted to have another baby, a sibling for Beau. We thought it would be nice to have kids close together, after all we cared for ten kids a day, mostly preschoolers. We quickly got pregnant with our second child and that child was due on Mark's birthday, July 12, 1997. Beau would be just under two years old and it seemed perfect, but it would not be. I lost that baby early in my pregnancy and really struggled with that loss. It took us about 5 months to get pregnant again, which seemed like forever at the time. This baby would be due in January 12, 1999. Teale was born December 9, 1998 and life has never been the same since. Her birth was traumatic and her issues are significant because of it. I can't deny I often wonder what life would have been like had I not lost that baby in between Beau's birth and Teale's pregnancy. Someday I will write about Teale's birth, but not today. Teale's birth caused her severe brain injury, but at the time, I could have no understanding what that would actually mean. I used to think love was all a child needed to be happy, sounds silly now that I have lived as a mother to Teale for over twelve years. I used to think the most important thing was the love of the couple, if a husband and wife were happy in their marriage, the children would be happy. I admit, I was naive, I knew nothing about how brain injury could and would change my life and my family. I didn't know children could be violent, I truly thought love conquered all. I was always proud of the man I married and of the peacefulness in my life. I had been raised in a broken family and had seen three of my four siblings divorce, so being married to a man who I still loved and respected deeply was all I needed to have happy children, right? Well, obviously I have learned that love does not conquer all and a happy marriage does not equal happy children. I have learned that I am not in control of my life solely. I have learned much more than I ever wanted to about mental illness and the toll it not only takes on the person with the disease but also on the family who loves that person. So as you celebrate this Mothers Day, please say a prayer for all the Moms out there who found out being a Mother is not quite what they expected it would be. Be kind to yourselves for any disappointments you have experienced being a Mom. Enjoy the day and realize that although life never seems to follow the script you hoped it would, there is always good surrounding us. Happy Mothers Day!

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