This post was inspired by the My Path to Motherhood series over at The Happiest Home. Click over to read other moms’ stories about the path that led them to parenthood, and read on for mine! xo, Joy
I would not have chosen to begin my path to motherhood with a long season of complete loneliness. But, that’s exactly where my journey began. Alone.
When I first graduated from college, I was single, unattached and ready to see the world. I didn’t care where I worked, but I knew I wanted an adventure.
My first job in a Management Trainee program took me to a small town in the middle of nowhere, Wisconsin. I moved to Wisconsin (from my dad’s home in sunny Florida) in the middle of January. It was freezing. It was impossible for me to meet people outside of work. I spent the time from January until May simply going to work (in below freezing temperatures), coming home, fixing dinner and going to bed early (as in 8pm). Then, I’d wake up, sans alarm at 4am and have the most amazing time reading my Bible and then getting ready to leave for work at 6am!
My time in Wisconsin (ten long months) was lonely. I didn’t realize how isolated I was until a coworker placed her hand on my shoulder to tell me I’d done a good job. I startled from her touch, then I realized I hadn’t touched another human in months.
I wasn’t depressed. I wasn’t sad, unhappy or even discontent. I remember living fully in those moments enjoying the peace, the quiet (aside from the occasional radio jam session with Beyonce), my dog and the time alone. Then, once the snow thawed, I enjoyed the most amazing Wisconsin summer, alone.
Having come from a divorced home and having experienced an abusive relationship in college, I enjoyed the time alone to recharge. I enjoyed the lonely season to learn about myself and learn about my God. I used the time to become strong and heal. But, by the time my training time in Wisconsin was over, I was ready to live among people once again.
I think back to that time so often while I’m picking up messes off the floor or wiping a bottom for the 1000th time. I’m so thankful that there is someone (4 someones) there to make a mess, to talk with, to love and share the commonplace moments of life together.
I see how much that period of loneliness has given me a peace and a strength that I am able to tap into when my daughter is having her 30th tantrum of the day or when everyone around me is in chaos. To say that I’m thankful is an understatement. My heart is overflowing with love and joy at the gift of being a mother (to three!). I know what it is like to be without my amazing husband and my children and they make my life a real adventure.
So often, we look at difficult times with fear and complaining. We see our children as an inconvenience and our time as our own. It’s been such a gift to have a period of time when I had no one to love, no one to care for and no one to share in the little things of life. Why would I say that loneliness was a gift? Because now, in this season of life, I am able to appreciate deep into my heart the fullness of my home; the temporary joy of having these children to enjoy. I try to drink up moments with my children because it is going by so quickly.
The loneliness helped me to understand that what is most important in life, where I find the most value and fulfillment is when I give up my life and give my life for others.
I’d love to hear from you! Please share what your path to motherhood was like. Did you get pregnant right away? Did it take you a while to convince your spouse? Did anything unexpected happen? We’d love to hear from you and share in your joy of being a mom, and don’t forget to read the rest of the series that inspired this post over at The Happiest Home!