How motherhood saved me
I’m sure every parent says this to some extent, but I always knew, from the moment they were born that these girls were special. What has made you all fall in love with them isn’t coached or scripted. They are who they are and it’s always been that way. I don’t have enough words to completely describe the essence of who they are. Even when they argue like a little old married couple, they still interlock their feet, swinging them back and forth as one. And they saved me. I’ve shared the cliff notes of my story here and here. And so now let’s take a deep dive.
Niceness. I had always been told how nice of a person I was. I was called “Miss Goody Two Shoes”, because I was innately a rule follower, a conscientious student and someone who treated people well. I was the super nice girl. While none of these things are bad, they unfortunately became bad for me. I had come to a point where being “nice” had made me the doormat of men and some friends. It wasn’t that I felt niceness was what others expected of me; it was just something that came easily, a part of my personality from the time I was a little girl. You ever heard the saying “Nice guys finish last”? Well that was where I was headed.
My lack of backbone had led me to a very dark place in a toxic marriage, I wasn’t immediately sure how I had ended up there. I mean I was 30 years old, and had a successful career in accounting. I was smart, how could I end up here?
As I’ve said before,
I had to stop letting unearned love guide me.
When I found out I was pregnant, much less pregnant with twins, it haunted me. This was everything I had wanted, not a mistake, but an excruciating journey through IVF. During my incredibly difficult pregnancy and multiple long stays in the hospital, I began to gain some clarity. How could I change things so that I would not bring two more innocent lives into the mess I had unintentionally made?
“I’m the type of person who would go the extra mile for someone who wouldn’t even cross the street for me.” -Ami McClure
Here I was, heartsick and sick sick, with plenty of time to dream about the type of mother I wanted to be and the type of family I wanted to have. And clearly, this wasn’t it.
Time was ticking, babies were growing, and the pressure to figure out the answers to my questions was mounting. Over the next few months, it came to me. While being nice was great, it alone wasn’t enough. I began to realize that my greatest asset was also my greatest downfall. I had made life so easy for others while so difficult for myself.
If you’re a woman, I think you can relate. Being sweet is just who we’re conditioned to be. There’s entire children’s books dedicated to it.
“Sugar and spice and everything nice; that’s what little girls are made of.”
If the future wasn’t to be born six months later, I’m not sure I would have sought to examine my life so critically. As the answers were beginning to come to me, they weren’t enough. They needed to be paired with a courage like I’d never known. The courage to recognize that I needed to change…I needed to protect my children. I needed the strength of will to leave a toxic marriage. I began the long journey of preparing a better life for myself and my children. I knew I had to muster the courage for the long road ahead of me.
“It takes courage…to endure the sharp pains of self discovery rather than choose to take the dull pain of unconsciousness that would last the rest of our lives.” -Marianne Williamson
While I would have to dig deeper than I thought I had in me, it would still be better than what I’d left. My girls would be safe. I would be safe. I had to learn the hard way that niceness wasn’t enough. There’s so much more to say, but this is my first blog and so, for now, I’ll leave it at this.
And so girls, like I said: it’s no secret you saved me.
Your purity of spirit continues to inspire me. You are by nature deeply kind, profoundly compassionate and just full of life. You want the best for others, you tell them when their hair is nice, you wish good days on strangers. You are best friends to each other, and the best of sisters to your baby brother.
Encouraging little girls to be more than just “nice girls.”
If you have a daughter, this series (Little People Big Dreams) is an amazing series that encourages little girls to be MORE than just nice. I love it for my girls. It’s age appropriate for girls Ava’s and Alexis’ age all the way up through elementary school. In a fun way, with awesome illustrations, these books teach girls to be STRONG, to be SMART, to be FEISTY, to be KIND, to stand up for YOURSELF and OTHERS through the lives of strong, smart, feisty, kind women in history!
This is an awesome resource – each month Amazon delivers high-quality children’s books delivered to your door at 35% off List Price. You get to tell Amazon your preferences and age group desired. All want their kids to read more, it’s just hard to always get to the bookstore or library on a busy schedule.