I wouldn’t say I was a wimpy person before I had children. I’ve always been a strong personality — very competitive and driven — but having a child has brought out a new bravery in me that I didn’t know existed. There are days when I crawl in bed at night and am baffled by how much I accomplished, especially now as a widowed mother. And there are days when I have to remind myself that life isn’t about perfection; it’s about loving my kids and doing the best I can.
The truth is: It takes a courageous woman to be a momma. We have so much on our shoulders each day and somehow we are still standing at the end of it all.
Becoming a mommy has made me more brave in so many ways.
For example, there was the time when KJ was a year and a half old, we visited my in-laws in Arkansas. They have a large staircase from their upper story to their lower story of their house. KJ decided to take off running STRAIGHT FOR the top of the staircase, so like any good mother, I chased after him at Olympic speeds down the hallway. All of a sudden he stopped dead in his tracks, about five feet from the staircase. And BAM! My right foot slammed into the back of his heel.
Somehow he didn’t get hurt, but my middle toe hit his heel in a weird place and it felt like the worst stubbed toe ever. When I looked down at my foot, I realized that my middle toe was completely sideways!!! In that moment, I realized I had two choices: I could go to the doctor and wait for them to set my toe straight or I could buckle up my boot straps and yank that sucker straight myself. Thanks to my rushing adrenaline, I actually had the bravery to fix my own broken toe. It hurt like heck but saved me a doctor’s visit. Hey, if I can birth a baby I can certainly fix my own broken toe!
Another brave moment happened after I got pregnant on my two-week honeymoon. I knew somehow in that second week of vacation that something was different. It might have been the entire jar of salsa I ate all by myself in one sitting, or the fact that I actually wanted to swim out into the ocean. I’m somewhat of a control freak and the ocean terrifies me — it’s a vast environment in which I have no control and am at the will of the waves and sharks and whatever else is lurking in the water. But somehow, on my honeymoon, I talked myself into going out neck deep in the ocean. I told myself that one day I would have babies and I needed to show them that mommy was brave and not fearful. So out into the ocean I went. And I loved it.
I’ve become more talkative with other moms too. I haven’t always been big on asking for help or advice, though. I’m the personality type that thinks I can do it all on my own, but I’ve learned that if you can be brave enough to open up and have conversations with other moms, you will actually be relieved to find out that nobody has it all together. And you might just learn some new ways of parenting and surviving the day.
Another lesson in bravery for me was to realize I had to relinquish control and trust the world outside of my home. I was terrified something would happen to KJ if we left the house but I finally overcame that fear and started running errands with him. It made me feel better to have a safe car seat in my car.
And, I learned to not be *as* afraid of bugs. When you have boys, it’s inevitable that you will be talking about bugs, watching bugs, and trying not to let your babies bring bugs into the house. I have always been super scared of bugs but I’ve gotten a lot better since I had my boys. However, if I see a roach on the wall, I will abandon my kids and run out of the room. I’m still working on that one. :)
I’ve also learned to be more brave with my appearance. I lived in LA for so long and felt like my image was of utmost importance, so when I gained weight from having babies, I struggled a ton with self image. Just this past year, I’ve learned to embrace my new figure. I do work out and I love to eat healthy food but I’m not obsessive like I once was. And I think that’s a good thing.
Finally, since I had my babies, I’ve been more brave with the goals I set for myself. I have a yearning that I didn’t have this strongly before to provide for my kids. I seem to be more willing to step out of my comfort zones and to aim higher than ever before. And I’ve got my little dudes to thank for that.
After writing this, I’ve realized that us moms don’t really have a choice on this whole bravery thing. It’s as if it was engrained in us to really kick in once we had our children. And I am proud to be a brave mommy and to have brave mommy readers to share this journey with!