Finding Strength in Motherhood

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Before having Oaklyn, I'd like to say I was pretty brave. Confident too. I had what I needed to understand figured out and didn't worry about the rest. If something was wrong, I got it fixed. If something made me sad, I dealt with it. If I had to put on my big girl pants, I pulled up that zipper and went for it. A whole lot of things changed for me after having my sweet daughter. There's the simple things that were to be expected like buying diapers often, sleeping less, hearing lots of crying, less date nights, a messier house, and you know... having a tiny person always following me into the bathroom. But, there were a few bigger things that I guess I just didn't expect. One thing in particular is the fact that I managed to dig up strength that I didn't know existed. I found bravery that was hiding in the back of my closet and quite frankly, I didn't know I'd ever need it. Like I said in the beginning, I thought I was pretty brave before having her...

Here's what I would like to classify motherhood as... "Dealing with fears you didn't know existed to find strengths you didn't know you had." Oh and mixed in with a whole lot of snuggles, poopy diaper explosions, and the cutest little person clothes. But in all honesty, motherhood has brought out so much of me I truly had no clue existed. I became a different person the moment they laid my child on my chest and evolved into something I never could have imagined over the course of several 2am parties with my mini bff. Because when you become a mother, you learn to think about someone other than just yourself. You learn how to be brave for a scared little child. You learn how to care for and tend to every basic and extraordinary need out there. You literally have to dig up another part of you that you've never needed before.

I vividly remember the first doctor's appointment I went to when Oaklyn had to get shots without daddy there. I didn't know who was more afraid... me or her. She of course had no idea what was coming though so it was probably me. The checkup was done and over with and the nurse came in ready to poke my baby girl. I knew (and still know) I was making the right choice for her, but was worried out of my mind that I wouldn't be able to truly comfort her afterwards. I cried harder than she did when I saw her little face after feeling the first poke, but we all made it out alive. Oaklyn clung to me and snuggled me tighter than ever before. She trusted me. She needed me. So, that part of me I had no idea existed came out and made sure my child knew I was right there comforting her. I drove home a whole new mother. I was stronger and I was more secure with myself. This same thing, different circumstances, has happened several other times... When I prove to myself that I was made for this, that motherhood is and always has been built in me. Times like teaching her how to pick up and eat food for the first time, helping her through her first cold when I felt clueless and helpless myself, and kissing that scraped up owie even though the sight of blood makes me queasy. Somehow, I always came out stronger and that much more confident. Because, the toughest job I've ever had has also helped me find the most strength. 

Before becoming a mommy, I had no idea I would fear what I do now... my child being constipated, it being too cold in our home, the first time she tried a new fruit, the way her little nose gets clogged when she has a cold... I had no clue any of this would cause me to lose sleep. But it did and still does because I love my baby more than I knew possible and I will do anything to keep her well and happy. I had no idea there were more strengths to find, but I'm continually finding more right as I need them. Parenting doesn't come with an instruction manual, and it surely doesn't come with anxiety pills... but it does shape you into exactly what The Lord wants you to be. The words "God gave us families to help us become what he wants us to be" of a Primary song have never sounded truer than they do now. I know Oaklyn was sent to me to help me become exactly what I need to be. She is shaping me into the person my family needs, and helping me see the woman The Lord needs of me as well. I'm sure I have a long way to go, because life just keeps throwing curve balls, but I'm so thankful for all I've learned so far. I remember thinking I had it all figured out when I was 19. Life was so easy and there was so much good ahead. But for me, it absolutely took becoming a mother to really understand who I am. It took becoming a mother to really see my divine role and calling in life. It took becoming a mother to find strengths I truly didn't know I had. Because somewhere along the way, you realize this journey is so much more, and so are you.

All my love,
Aleigh Joy


  1. This is one of my favorite posts! You speak the truth! I love the first quote about "dealing with fear" because it's so true! Thank you so much for this post ! Xx

  2. I absolutely love this! We are trying to start a family and this truly speaks to me. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Just last night I had to answer the question "How has parenting changed who you are?" for our adoption home study. I wrote your definition almost word for word! Being a mom is all about discovering who you REALLY are. We are brave, strong women, who shepherd our little ones with a ferocious love that didn't exist before they arrived :)