It’s a wrap to year two of motherhood for me today. As a mom to a two year old, and a little in Heaven who was also expected to arrive this month, my ponderings surrounding motherhood have once again undergone refinement and expansion.
Early Ideals on Motherhood
I spent much of my young adulthood daydreaming about an “ideal” motherhood scenario. Those who know me know that daydreaming and putting together elaborate vision boards are no stranger to Camille. I knew early on of a deep desire to have the option to be at home raising my littles beyond the initial 12-month maternity leave. I dreamt of exploring, doing crafts, and speaking into my children’s lives as an at-home presence. A naive, pre-mom Camille would probably even argue that there was a best way to mother. I couldn’t have been more misled.
When I first became a mom two years ago, I was surprised to find it was much easier to share about my early experiences of motherhood with friends who hadn’t lived an experience of motherhood to draw from.
Conversations with mothers often felt heavy, rather than hopeful. As a new mother, I felt I was carrying impressed-upon experiences and opinions, rather than given room to process decisions based on our own family’s vision and values. And perhaps this is because mothers carry much of the weight of decisions, sacrifices, guilt, unsolicited opinions, and judgment. It’s so easy to second guess yourself, look around, and never feel like you’re making the right choices for your children.
One of the Best Gifts I’ve Received as a Mother
Settling more into my role as mother has been teaching me about a healing approach to loving mothers. One of the best gifts we can give mothers is the freedom to be. I deeply appreciate my friend Pam Marcelo for being a mama sounding board for me. Someone who provides the space to connect and process, without feeling defensive over variances in choices that are right for her family. Every mama needs a mama friend like her in their lives.
There is no best way to mother, but the decisions we make are the way we are choosing to best parent our family.
The Lord calls us to different vocations, purposes, and seasons — this inevitably means a rich and diverse mosaic of varying experiences, decisions, and different looking best ways to raise our own families. ‘Let it be done unto me’ looks different depending on how we are being called.
To Mothers in my Life and Those Who Help Me Mother
This Mother’s Day, I want to honour everyone who mothers me and helps me to become the best mom to my littles that I can be.
To Michael, who is the greatest husband and partner in life to me. I love your love of being a husband and a dad. I love the rhythm we’ve created in our home, and how we play to our strengths. In a world where it’s so easy to feel like a default parent as a mom, you defy the odds by always outdoing yourself in presence and thinking of the big and little ways to serve our family.
To our parents Fides and Joey, Belen and Hector, and siblings, Angela, Issa, and Josh. Thank you for the many ways you love her, and love us by doing so. And thank you for always being excited to spend time with her. You are home to Lilo.
To Therese, EJ, Arden, Cece, and Alissa, who regularly step in to be with Lilo, or to help us throughout the week. And to everyone who has offered support in childcare, or in presence and prayers as we went through the loss of our little Sibby last year. You are our village.
We truly believe our lifestyles haven’t changed much despite changing eternally when we first welcomed Lilo into the world. Our lives have only been enriched and expanded by welcoming children into the world. And it’s undoubtedly because of the overwhelming support you have given to our family.
In this season, we are navigating options for how our children will be educated, where we envision raising our children, learning how to foster curiosity and creativity in them, how to inspire them by continuing to dream and live our own lives as parents, how to prioritize and nurture our marriage with time away, how to make time for rest and contribution so we can love our children with an overflowing cup, and how to live out by example of God’s design for our lives, so they can explore and develop what their own God-inspired purpose may be.
I’m fully aware that each of these decisions come with opinions from varying angles tied to them. To that, I choose to celebrate every mother for your irreplaceable role of raising the next generation. May we give room, uplift, encourage, and celebrate one another. We need each other.
What an adventure we have ahead of us!