Thursday, September 3, 2015

Girl Mom Series: Rebekah, Living && Learning

 Hi! I'm Rebekah and I blog at Living && Learning. I blog about life in general and whatever strikes my fancy that day. I've been married for four and a half years to my wonderfully supportive husband, John. We have two daughters, Coralie (23 months) and our brand new, 6 week old Ada!
I'm so excited to be a part of this awesome series, thank you for having me Beth! 

(I'm failing on the picture front... this is as close to a family of 4 picture I have since I'm pregnant in the picture - we apparently haven't taken one of all of us since she arrived!)

Two years ago, as I was anticipating Coralie Elizabeth's arrival I was so nervous to enter the world of motherhood because I didn't have my own Momma. Everyone I knew about my age had their mom & as they birthed their own babies their Mommas were there helping so much in those early weeks. I couldn't imagine going through this drastic, life-changing transition without her. I had never imagined growing up, that as I welcomed my first child, my mother would only be present in Spirit and Namesake.  

In those first few weeks and months, I felt closer to Mom than I had since our Father called her Home. I realized that part of her was in me, more than just her DNA - all those years of observing her raising my baby brothers and I had become a part of me, just as ingrained as my genetics. I saw her in the faces I would make at my own baby, the little songs I'd hum through the mundane tasks of diaper changes and endless laundry. These chores I found myself not minding because it is all just a part of caring for this little Blessing. I also realized, As much as I missed Mom and wanted her here, she had taught me what I needed to know and I stood on my own two feet and owned motherhood (...most days haha)!

I think that it's really easy to get wrapped up in our day-to-day lives and to forget the big picture. Now that Cora is older, noisier and messier, it's easier to forget that she's a little sponge! When she makes a mess or does something very child-like (but still quite aggravating) it is so easy to get frustrated. I know that every mom has been there, you don't want to be mad but you are because now you have one more mess to clean up! On days like this I try really hard to remember that how I react reflects on my daughters more than just today... I'm raising future mothers! I see so much of my mother in me (more and more each day!) and one day, Lord willing, I will watch my daughters as they raise their daughters and sons and I'm sure I will see myself in them and their parenting. I pray that the reflections of myself are positive and what I want to see when I look in the mirror of time. 

Our baby girls are influenced by their surroundings at such an early age. Cora who is barely talking is already practicing her Momma skills with her baby doll (and occasionally sissy when Mommy doesn't stop her less-than-gentle comforting techniques quickly enough!). This last December we gifted Cora "Dolly" at Christmas. We thought it would be a fun toy since we were about 2 months along with Ada. Little 14 month old Cora had no idea I was pregnant, hadn't ever seen me with another baby (much less an infant) but she instinctively knew how to sweetly rock Dolly and put her in the car seat carrier! She cared for her "baby" the way I cared for her. Dolly is still her favorite toy, while I swaddle Ada, Cora tightly wraps Dolly in receiving blankets. Just about everything I do in taking care of Ada is mirrored by Cora. It is so sweet to watch and such a conviction that her little feet are following in my footsteps! 

Becoming a mother of two connects me to my own Mom in such a new way. More than once I've mentioned to my Dad or a brother about "how did Mom keep her sanity?!". I look back on some of what must have been the days she spent in the trenches of motherhood with much more guilt for what we put her through, but also an abundance of grace and compassion for some of her reactions. If my babies do what we did, oh goodness - if I only have half the graciousness my mother did I will consider it a success!

The other night my husband and I took the girls for a walk. As we walked an area my own mother walked many times, it struck me how much she would have loved being a Grandma to my baby girls. Tell your daughters you love them! Remember that your words and actions are molding future Mommas. The days are long, but oh how short these years are!

Thank you so much for sharing part of your story with us Rebekah. I so often forget how much the way I mother my girls will influences them. Life provide us with countless opportunities to teach our children and sometimes the most obvious one, our example, is easy to look over. My prayer is that we will teach them well. That we would be humble enough to confess our wrongs and apologize when we mess up. And that we would continuously point them towards Jesus as we live a life following after Him.

If you would like to share your "Girl Mom" story I have a few more openings in November before taking a break for the holiday season.
You can fill out this survey and I will be in touch.

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