Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Other Side of Motherhood

When my husband and I were young, I dreamt of the white picket fence and being a mother. It was about 29 years ago, right before mother's day when I found out I was expecting my first child. Never would I have imagined the joys and challenges ahead of me.

I gave birth to three children, spent 15 years as a part-time mother to another 119 as a licensed child care provider, and have been blessed to welcome three more children and three grandchildren (so far) into my heart. My dreams couldn't have been filled any more completely had I had a crystal ball.

Yet along with the hugs and laughter, there are also tears and heartaches as I strive to guide them through the twists and turns of life. As much as I wanted to spare them the pain of making mistakes and falling down, I knew that they needed to learn to pick themselves up, because even now, as they're grown up and raising their own children, that built confidence in their own abilities. Like my mother did for me.

And as I continue to learn, being a mother isn't just a stage of life. It doesn't move out when the kids do. It keeps changing through the years. Sometimes I stumble through motherhood, just like my kids did childhood. Some years are wonderful, and some are not. And while my children no longer want me to coddle them, that need to know I will always be there to share their joys and pains is still as important as the nights I held them while they were cutting their first tooth.

Motherhood is not only one of the hats I wear, it is who God made me. Though it wasn’t always what I thought it would be, I realize what an honor it is that God allowed me to fulfill that dream, and what a blessing that He has always been here to help me along the way.

My motto, as a writer, and as a mother, is "never give up on your dreams." What dreams did you have when you were younger? Have you kept reaching for them, and have they turned out the way you expected them to?

Happy Dreams,

Carol Steward


  1. Carol, you said it so well! A great description of motherhood.

    Yes, over the last decade plus, I had a dream of writing books. And now it's come true!

  2. Me, too, Missy. What are we going to come up with to dream of next?

  3. Hey Carol, since you asked: I dreamed of being a Harlequin author at the age of 15. When my first child came along, she and the military were too much and I put my wip away.

    So, I dreamed of having 6 kids by the time I was 30 so I could relax at age 40 and get back to my writing. I wonder if that made God laugh?

    Due to a bicornate uterus, I had less than a 20% chance of having and carrying babies. Med staff said our daughter was a miracle baby. But 12 yrs later, I gave birth to another preemie daughter. Yeah, I'd missed my 30 yr old deadline but she was another miracle. We loved her and praised God.

    And he blessed us again while in my late 30's.

    And again in my early 40's.

    'Stop drinking the water,' I told hubby. 'There's something it!'

    God's timing. Twenty yrs between my 1st and 4th child, all preemies, all miracles according to the medical experts. All the glory given to God for His goodness. And, yes, for His timing for prayers and dreams answered.

  4. What an awesome testimony to your love of family, Anita! My mom had her last child 18 years after her first, with a total of 5 children. I'm number 4! I wanted four, but I guess God had other plans. I'm still not really sure which of us "got the bigger laugh" at the outcome. I just hope He is pleased with it, because I had a great time with all of the little ones in between. And THEN my youngest became a teenager, and I fully understood why God had stopped with three. :) The third one wore me out!

  5. PS, Anita. Don't give up on the other dream either!

  6. Thank you, Carol. I appreciate that.

  7. Motherhood is,to me, one of the most challenging jobs on planet earth. But blessings come with it also, in special little ways. And yes, mothering never seems to end, it just changes.

  8. Sorry it's taken me so long to comment on your blog. You are an excellent mother, and mother-in-law & I can't imagine how challenging this stage of life must be for you & Dave. Meddle, not to meddle, help or hurt from the sidelines, or just simply wait & remain that steadfast shoulder to cry on. You are a better friend to me 10 years later than I ever thought you would be & we've got a lifetime to go still! (Oh, and you make a pretty darn, good Grandma too!) Love you.


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