In 2013, my life changed forever. Don’t get me wrong, it was a glorious year, but things for sure changed, and for the better!! Our world was so graciously enhanced in 2013 by the birth of our second son, Bradley. This brought about a multitude of expected emotions, challenges, and rewards! As a new mother, you just cannot imagine loving anything as much as you love your child.
These were my exact feelings when we welcomed our first son Kenny into our lives in August 2010. We had been married just over a year when he made his appearance. So we ourselves were still in the “honeymoon phase” of our marriage, and we definitely were! Everything seemed to be going our way, and we were just extremely blessed in every aspect! In 2010, we bought our first house together, bought our first car together, established this home, and expanded our family! What a first year of marriage!!
But then 2011 happened…not our greatest year so far. We were definitely blessed, and continued to be happy in our marriage, but our employment situations were very rocky, causing some extreme financial hardship, which in turn caused some heartache for me personally, and also in our marriage. Don’t get the wrong idea…my husband and I have always been happily married, but when things started not going our way, I just didn’t know how to deal.
We promised ourselves that 2012 had to better. We were going to work hard to have gainful employment, get health insurance and become healthier, physically, mentally and emotionally. However, my thoughts and goals were stuck on the financial part. I set this goal for myself and our family that was almost unattainable! I had the idea that if we didn’t have thousands of dollars in the bank to provide for our lives and prepare for the unexpected, then we weren’t going to be happy. This just didn’t work. Our 2012 was full of blessings, and we did make our lives better, both gaining employment, getting health insurance and also suffering through some unemployment, but we did it! We knew how we were going to pay bills, and we also had a little put aside! We finally had health insurance!! Then we found out our little family was going to expand! Freaking out at first about how we were going to pay for two kids was a little stressful, but we had a plan! Our 2013 was bound to get better!!
2013 definitely was one of our happiest years together so far in my opinion. We welcomed another member to our family, we had our plan in place, which included me staying home with our two little ones! My dreams were coming true!! We were able to finally catch up on our finances, and even splurge on ourselves a little more. Our lives have definitely been blessed! There were ups and downs with bringing our little one home, but slowly we got back into a routine, and our boys and family are as happy as they have ever been!
So I decided in 2014 since life was going so well for our family, that I was going to start working on finding my true self again. Life with no kids was definitely fun, and I was able to keep up with my interests, as well expand on the interests that my husband and I shared. But as soon as children entered the scene…it seems like my interests became harder and harder to keep up with. Now, I don’t have expensive hobbies, though they can be time consuming. But slowly I just felt like every other mom does at some point…I put myself on the back burner while providing for my children and my husband became my main goals.
I always ask other moms of older children if it gets any easier…and I’ve gotten mixed answers. The constant supervision of children and running after them before they stick their finger in the socket or on the hot burner, or constantly making sure they have something to drink in their sippy cups or a snack at their level, or the changing of diapers…yes, this part supposedly gets easier! But as with every stage in life, there comes challenges and rewards. I truly believe with every challenge, there comes a reward, whether it’s big or not, but it moves us on to the next challenge. And every challenge teaches us something…we may not realize it at the time, but thinking back I see that every hard time we had, was actually God moving us to the next achievement, or preparing us for the next goal.
So as my children move through their different phases, we celebrate their achievements, and work on their next goals…this is a full time job! I don’t know how I got everything done while I was working! I came to the realization through watching my children that I needed goals. I needed to start working on some of my personal goals in life, even if it means I just get the sink full of dirty dishes done in one day. Seems small, but when you’re not used to achieving any goal for so long, even the smallest of goals seems like the biggest achievement EVER!!
As I look back on the years that I have shared with my husband and with my children, there is a few songs that come to mind. The one that sticks out the most is one by Matt Maher titled “Lord, I Need You”. There is not one thing that would have been possible in our lives together without the Lord, and this one song just hits it right on the head as far as explaining why and how we need Him. This song randomly will pop into my head as I’m driving my kids to their next class, or while I’m finishing up the dishes…it definitely serves as a reminder of where we started and all that has been given to us, and how blessed we truly are.