We had a full-sized bed that was just perfect for Wes and me. One of my most vivid memories was waking up when I was 8 months pregnant with our daughter and all three of our boys (aged 3 through 7) were in bed with us ... along with our cocker spaniel puppy. How we managed to fit all of those people, including the incredibly pregnant mommy, in to a full-sized bed was beyond me. I still remember waking up with a backache because of the incredibly awkward position that I was laying in ... AND I understood the definition of a "full"-sized bed.
And, of course, there were other memories of being a mommy of little ones. Like the time two of our boys woke us up because one of them had wet the bed, gone to get in bed with his brother, and then wet his bed ... so they were looking for dry territory. THAT was the night that I was awakened by someone wetting our bed (and my back!).
I remember doing several loads of laundry a day (obviously!) ... watching Sesame Street or Barney and singing along to all of the songs that were sung ...drawing with chalk on the front porch to welcome Daddy home ... walking through the house, scouring the floors for little items that babies could choke on ... putting rubber bands on all of the cabinet doors to keep them closed ... occasionally being able to take a shower or bath all by myself and thinking it was heaven ... having ALL of the children actually asleep at the same time for a nap and gratefully taking a nap myself ... putting a blanket on the floor, turning off the TV, and just watching our little ones play ... taking a blanket outside for the baby and me to lie on while the older kids played in the sunshine ...
Those were wonderful times. But I also remember feeling isolated, feeling like I had no one to really talk to (unless you counted little ones who just wanted to talk about Teen Age Mutant Turtles or Bert and Ernie). When Wes would get home, I'd literally follow him around the house, begging to hear every moment of his day and wanting to talk to him about mine. I even have one memory of lying on the floor outside of the bathroom, talking to him while he was in there. He finally asked if he could just have a little bit of time when he got home without his wife trying to talk to him through the bathroom door.
I felt isolated, but I wasn't alone. I had an incredible support system -- a husband who loved me, parents who were always available, and girlfriends who were raising lots of little ones just like I was. I was blessed. I was fortunate.
Maybe that's why God has given me such a heart for young moms who didn't have the support system that I did. Moms who are doing this on their own. Moms who are being mom, dad, and grandparent all in one. Moms who are young and are still learning and growing on their own. When THEY talk about isolation, they know what they're talking about. My heart is for them to NOT be alone, to have people walking alongside them in love, for them to love the incredible job of being a mommy. So, I've found a ministry where I can do that exact thing. I'm excited to be able to share this journey with them.
Being a mommy IS a job full of "incredibles" -- incredible amount of work, incredible amount of joy, incredible amount of energy, incredible amount of rewards. There's no other job like it in the world.