A working mom

Dear Delilah,

I feel like my life is a wreck. The last 48 hours have nearly made me lose my mind. Your dad left yesterday morning for a work trip. Any military wife will tell you things fall apart once their husbands are away. I also started work yesterday & you went to daycare for your first time. I wish it was your last. I used to spend every waking moment with you, now you spend it with someone else. You used to wake up from your naps & smile so big when you opened your eyes & I was there. Has your smile faded with my presence? Do you miss my warmth while they’re feeding you? I miss yours.. As the day goes on my breasts become full of milk as my body screams to feed you. Someone else now has the privilege of raising you. Remember that once I did more than wake you up in the morning & put you to sleep at night. Once I was a daytime mommy too. I hope they hold you. I hope they love & cherish you. You’re only getting a fourth of the attention you used to receive. I promise you’ll always have my attention when you’re home. I was raised with a stay at home mother. I found comfort knowing she was always there. She was there when I scraped my knee or didn’t feel good. She was there for all life’s big things. Will I see you sit up for the first time? Will I see your first steps? In the blink of an eye I’ve become the busy mom. I used to spent half an hour with you every morning exchanging smiles & giggling. This morning as you cried for me I apologized for having to get ready, having to feed the dogs, pack lunch, & your diaper bag. After work I have to find time to bathe you & myself, feed us both dinner, wash dishes, wash our clothes.. I can’t breathe. Yesterday I held you as you slept. Out of nowhere you began crying & screaming in your sleep. I just held you so tightly against me and cried with you. What are your nightmares made of? I wish so badly that I could starve your fears. I hope you know that I love you more than life itself. I know you’ll soon forget spending everyday together but I’ll never forget. Thank you for loving me & thank you for giving me a new purpose for living. 

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Does mother know best? 

Dear Delilah, 

I wish I had all the answers. I’m here to tell you a secret; moms don’t really know everything. Don’t worry, I always thought my mom knew it all too. I wish that I always knew how to fix the problem. I wish I knew how to console you when you cry. Everyone else can say “maybe she’s hungry” or “maybe she just needs her mom” but not me. I’m supposed to know what’s wrong because I’m your mother. I’ve been asked “What’s wrong with her?” or “Why is she crying?” Baby girl, I wish I knew.. Am I holding you wrong? Did I eat something that upset you? If you’re crying then maybe I’m not feeding you enough but if you’re spitting up a lot then maybe I’m feeding you too much. Once I’ve done all I can do, I feel helpless. What’s worse is that I know it will never change. There will always be things in your life that I can’t fix. There will always be questions I can’t answer & problems I don’t have the solution to. Just know that as you’re hurting, I am too. After you finally fall asleep after crying, I sit awake & cry too. I don’t know all the answers. I won’t always be able to help you, but I promise that I will always hold you through the pain. I love you through the smiles & I love you through the tears. If nothing else, I hope you remember that I tried & I will never stop trying to be the best, for you. 

This world will break you.

Dear Delilah, 

As I watch you sleep, I can’t help but think about the terrible world around us. Right now you’re so peaceful & safe but I know in time the world will steal your innocence.

Despite my efforts, one day someone will come along & make you feel things you’ve never felt before. You’ll think that they’re the one & then they’ll break your heart. It’s going to hurt, hurt like nothing you’ve experienced before. For a while you won’t want to get out of bed. You’ll live on Netflix & ice cream. As soon as you think your heart is healing you’ll cry yourself to sleep looking at old pictures & reliving the memories that you’ll never get back. I wish I could prepare you for that. Know that it will get better. I know it feels like the end of the world but even on the darkest nights the sun will rise. Remember during this time to love yourself. Find hobbies & spend time with friends, isolation is no good for the broken hearted. 

There will be times in your life that you feel so alone. Times when you feel like no one understands you & you don’t know where to run. I hope you know that you’re never too old to crawl in bed with me when you need to be close to someone.

In your life there will be people who discourage you. Teachers who don’t understand the way you learn, coaches who don’t see your talent, management who doesn’t want you to move forward in your chosen career. Ignore them. You can do anything you set your mind to.

This world will teach you what it means to lose someone you love. It’ll start with a pet & you won’t really understand why your dog is gone. Then one day it’ll be someone you know, someone you see everyday at school. Suddenly you realize that we’re not invincible, that realization is going to consume you, let it. Then live everyday like it’s your last & let everyone you love know how special they are to you.

One day you’ll make a mistake, not coloring out of the lines or spilling your juice but a mistake that makes it hard to look at yourself in the mirror. In the moment you’d do anything to take it back but know that holding onto the past keeps you from moving forward. Your mistakes do not define you, they aren’t who you are. Remember that.

This world will make you question your worth. When the boy you like doesn’t look your way, remember that you’re still beautiful. When you don’t make the soccer team or cheer squad, know that God has given you a special set of skills for a reason & you will discover them. Don’t base your worth on Twitter followers or how many likes your selfie got on Instagram. Love yourself. “In a society that profits from your self-doubt, liking yourself is a rebellious act.” This world will tell you that you’re too fat, too skinny, too short, too tall, too freckly, too pale, too smart, too dumb, etc. Please don’t listen. Growing up I was always “short stuff”. People thought it was funny to run into me & act like it was funny because they “couldn’t see me”. When I hit puberty my breasts started growing & I remember going shopping with my mom for a bra. A lady told me that they don’t make bras my size because it was abnormal for someone to wear a D cup when they were so small around. I felt like a freak. (Turns out the lady was just ignorant on the subject.) You are you for a reason, don’t let others diminish that.

Lastly, one day you will realize that your dad & I are not superheroes. We don’t know the answers to all of your questions. We have made mistakes & unfortunately will keep making them. We’ve been through our fair share of broken hearts, lost friends, self-doubt, & discouragement. There will come a day when we disappoint you. When you realize that we probably shouldn’t be put on that pedestal where you’ve had us placed your whole life. As much as this day will break my heart, it will allow us to bond in a new way. You will view us in a new light as you see that we are human too & we’ve been where you are. We will always be here to listen and give you advice. We are nowhere near perfect but remember that we’re doing the best that we can. 

Learning to girl mom

Dear Delilah,

I always thought you would be a boy. I mean, my first child anyways. I’ve always felt like a “boy mom” & figured my adventures would come with mud, broken bones, & bugs. Don’t take this wrong, I am in no way disappointed. I’m just slightly changing my approach to parenting. I now have to raise you to be a strong, Godly woman in a man’s world. I have to raise you to be a lady but teach you that being a lady doesn’t mean your voice doesn’t matter. 

But on another note, I’m learning all about dresses & bows & headbands. I’m pretty sure I haven’t worn a bow since I was 3. I was raised on dirty fingernails & drinking from the water hose. I swam in the ditches when it rained & rolled my eyes when your Nana wanted me to wear anything but boys athletic shorts. I still wear shorts under every dress I own because I haven’t quite perfected the “sitting like a lady” part. Oops. 

Here are some of my high school friends & I after having a shaving cream fight & jumping in a muddy lake. 

Anyways, I’ve gotten loads of help from friends & family on making sure you’ll be the best dressed baby girl around. You definitely own more dresses, bows, headbands, & shoes than I have in my entire life. I’ve even made some myself! I bought a hot glue gun & I’m pretty sure that’s one of the first steps to being a girl mom. 

I’ve done my makeup the same since I learned how to do it in 8th grade. You wouldn’t believe the amount of things people alter their appearance with these days; drawn on eyebrows, over lined lips, fake freckles, fake eyelashes, etc. Super strange to me but if contouring, highlighting, & winged eyeliner are your passion then I’ll support that 100%. You & your Aunt Kylee can have a field day. 

Also, I’m gonna apologize in advance for your not so cute hair do’s.. I didn’t learn to straighten my hair until I was a teenager & I learned to curl it when I was in college. I can do the basic braid once your hair is long enough but I can’t french braid yet. Who knows, maybe I’ll do the whole youtube tutorial thing & teach myself. 

Dude, I don’t like pink. You don’t have to just because you’re a girl, I mean there are so many other colors. You have plenty of pink stuff so I’m not robbing you of your own choices but please don’t ask me to paint your room pink, I’m not sure I’m strong enough to handle that. 

Just know that whatever you love, I’ll learn to love. I thought I was made to be a boy mom but God has different plans & I’m so excited to see where this takes us. 

Who will you be?

Dear Delilah,

You bring me so much joy, it’s unreal. It is strange to love someone you know nothing about. I can’t tell you if you’ll be a dancer, a soccer player, or an artist. I don’t know if you’ll listen to country music, screamo, or jazz. Will you be into romantic comedies like me or action movies like your dad? I have no clue, but I am so eager to learn. I promise to always encourage your individuality. I will never diminish the things that make you unique. No matter what adventures you decide to embark on, I promise I will always be there supporting your dreams. When you fall, I will be there to pick you up & remind you to never give up on yourself. There will be times you envy the talents of others. In those moments I will remind you of the skills that make you special. When I was younger I wanted to be a dancer. I tried out for the school drill team & cheer squad & made neither. The truth is the only kind of dancing I can do is “Just Dance”. However, I’ve got countless medals from singing competitions & was awarded Best Actress in my college. Those are the gifts God chose for me, what will he choose for you? As I lie in bed every night I try to picture you, but there are still so many questions unanswered. Will your hair be red like your dad’s? Will you have my brown eyes or his freckles? How is it possible to love someone so unconditionally when you’ve never even met them? I can’t quite answer all of these questions but I know one thing for certain; Delilah Rain, I can’t wait to meet you.