I didn’t start out wanting to be a mother. When other girls were playing with dolls and saying they wanted to be a mom when they grew up, I was going into some type of business or theatre or something "much grander" than that. I really am not the nurturing type and I’ve had to learn to be more empathetic and caring as I have raised my kids.
It’s actually amazing I even have children. When we got married, I told Wayne we wouldn’t have children, and he just smiled his wise- all knowing- smile and said, “We will see.” He has always known more than I have.
As young marrieds with no children in our home for the first 3 years, we would get a lot of questions and quizzical looks when I would say, “ We are not having kids.” (This was right after I asked them to call me Melinda Cole-Welch… I was quite the feminist .) I didn’t get a long with little kids, I didn’t find joy in them. I never felt the need to hold the new born baby and would give it back to it’s momma pretty quickly. But something clicked…some button got turned on around year 4 in our marriage and the idea of a child, mine and Wayne’s little child, was all I could think about. I couldn’t wait.
Being pregnant was not fun for me… it was relatively easy as compared to those who are bed ridden and have so many physical issues. I got big fairly early and stayed big for years. I lived in a “tent” dress—love that title, but it fit because we ( pregnant women in the 80-90’s) weren’t cute like the baby momma’s of today with their form fitting belly bumps…we were more like a circus freak show. I have pics to prove the ginormity of it. I had the regular first trimester throw ups the easy second trimester and the uncomfortable third. But when the baby finally arrived….oh my goodness it was always a flood of tears and love at first sight. I couldn’t help myself. I would say to Wayne every time, as I was being wheeled out of the delivery room with my epidural filled body,"Oh let's do that again." Even with Laila when she arrived by being carried into the room in her car seat…it was love at first sight…and tears.
It’s amazing how the momma bear instinct kicks in and the nurturing gene starts. It’s amazing when you keep this new little person alive. It’s amazing how when you think you cannot love this first child any more that a 2nd, , 3rd , 4th and 5th one come and your love just multiplies and includes. And now 5 children later I can’t imagine my life without my children. I love being a mother to Addison, Landon, Truman, Monson and Laila. I treasure it.
We have scrapbooks and DVD’s of our early family years with 4 boys under 6 years old…it shows our messy house, bowl cuts, crazy outfits and my arms always filled… and the noise and the energy…the smiles and the fights. I love seeing other families in this same predicament now at church or at grocery store. I always count the kids, smile at the momma and remember. If I have a regret, like so many other mothers before me, it's that I didn't treasure this time while I was in it. I thought I had it so hard back then. So much sickness; so many doctor visits; so much laundry; so many tears…the kids and mine. But now my children’s issues are adult ones and the worry is ever increasing.
I love being a mom. I have learned to be more nurturing. I have learned that there are things I can control and things I can’t. I have learned that a messy house will get cleaned up eventually. I have learned that a lot of my worrying and issues that I have no answers for, are best put in a symbolic box and laid at my Savior’s feet. He can handle it so much better than I.
And when I have made mothering mistakes and have had to ask forgiveness from my Wayne and my children this is what I know……… they let me try again the next day and the next to be a better mother.
"Oh God of new beginnings and second chances, here I am again." Author unknown