Mother to Mother: A story about passion, inspiration, and doing what needs to be done.

When I first began writing this post, I didn’t think I had a great story to tell. I am…”just me.”

I haven’t led any great causes; I haven’t founded any amazing companies with my blood and sweat. As I contemplated whether or not to answer Megan’s call to write, as I brainstormed what I would/could write about, I slowly but surely came to the realization that:

I underestimated myself.

As mothers, we give.

It’s what we do. For most mothers it’s a natural in-built reaction. For some mothers it takes more work, but nonetheless we all feel the call to meet our childrens’ needs and give of ourselves to fill those needs. How we meet their needs, how we make ends meet, these things look different for each of us. But we do what needs to be done.

It bears repeating,..it’s what we do.

For all mothers, motherhood has it’s seasons. Each season requires different things from us. Winter comes, cold and sudden, spring brings new hope, summer is harsh but hard work produces bountiful yields in cool, crisp autumn.

I look back over the seasons of my motherhood.

There were seasons…

… where I gave up a job I truly enjoyed to stay home with my child, just as we had always planned, even though that time came four years earlier than we had hoped. To be honest, it really wasn’t that hard of a decision to make.

…where I left our baby with my husband to return to work after my husband and thousands of other computer technicians across America suddenly found themselves jobless in an oversaturated market.

…where I turned down a permanent offer at that job, which I also ended up loving, because I knew it wasn’t our end goal. That was difficult, but ultimately, the income still wouldn’t have been enough to save us from the next step.

… where I swallowed my pride and gave up some of my privacy as my husband, myself and our 1 year old daughter moved in with my parents. That was a huge blessing but as you can imagine, it wasn’t always easy, but we did it.

… where I left my daughter at home with my husband, again, and worked two (and then three) jobs to pay our share of the bills while my husband job searched and waited for the job market to stabilize.

…where I put our almost 2yo daughter in home-daycare after my husband got a job and I continued working at 1 of the 3 jobs while we got back on our feet. It was not an easy decision to make, but it was necessary.

…where I left that job, another job I loved, to return home to have a second baby and stay home with our almost three year old. Like the first time, it was honestly not a hard decision to make!

…where I swallowed my pride, again, to put my babies on WIC after my husband lost his job when our infant was 8 weeks old, and we went without any income for an entire month. I cried, but my babies had milk and cereal.

… where I learned how to give up a lot of things I *wanted* and how to support my husband in his new business venture. That was hard. But I did it willingly.

… where I gave up my desire for more children (to God, I mean; “Dear God, I no longer feel like I need more children to be happy) because quite honestly our hands were full and we were poor (in finances though not in blessings.)

…And then two weeks later we gave up on that (that ‘plan’) when God surprised us with number 3! So then I gave that all to God and said, “Ok, Lord you know what you are doing better than I do!”

AND THEN…

… where I got into the world of blogging (to contribute to finances of course) and then gave up on that (the money part, because it required too much of my time) and then edited that (to give up on making money the way some other people were making money) to just do it the way I want to do it (the way I feel God is leading me to do it) whether it makes sense to anyone else or not. So that here I am now, giving it all I’ve got – after giving to my other priorities first, still looking for just the right fit.

Looking back, I learned something about myself.

You see.. at first I thought I didn’t have a great story to tell because I’m not a highly successful entrepreneurial mom who saved the day for her family, like Margaret Rudkin – founder of Pepperidge Farm and one amazing story, and like all the other amazing stories being shared over at BlogNosh. I thought I didn’t have a story to contribute to Blog Nosh’s carnival because I haven’t even made a “successful” go at turning blogging into a second income for us! I’m still finding my way. I mean, my total income from blogging over the past four years is a grand sum of a smidge over 300 dollars and a pearl bracelet.

But I do have a great story to tell. My story isn’t only about what I gave up and DID do, but what I DIDN’T give up and DIDN’T do.

Through every season of motherhood, through every curve ball that life has thrown at us – I have never given, caved, compromised or second guessed this passion that God has placed on my heart to stay home with our kids and also to homeschool them. Yes our road has had a few detours! There has been some construction and bridges down but our destination has always been the same. I kept working towards the same goal. I KEEP working to make it happen, even when it would be easier to put the kids in school. (Because believe me, it really, really would be much easier.)

But easier isn’t always better. And anything worth doing is going to take work, right? So we do the work.

It’s what we do. It’s what Moms DO. They do what needs to be done.

I can’t take all the credit.

I am not here to toot my own horn. The only reason I have made it through these past 11 years in one piece with my passion intact is by the Grace of God and the strength He gives. I honestly don’t know how I would have been able to keep it together without God to keep me standing when I was weary of standing.

I grew weary of standing on many occasions.

Trying to make a supplemental income through blogging does not compare much to finding out that your husband got laid off at lunch and doesn’t have a job – twice. One thing I have learned through the experiences of the past 11 years is to just keep doing what needs to be done. Keep getting up every morning, feeding my kids, teaching them, taking care of priorities and then keep praying and working away at trying to make an income from home. If it’s God’s will, it WILL happen.

If it is not God’s will, that’s okay. I know that God is going to take care of us because he always has. Either way I won’t have compromised my priorities and my passion for my purpose here at home in my husband and my children’s lives.

My story is not the kind of flashy story that stands out among the crowds. It’s not the kind of story that you really even see until you look a little closer. But I can’t help but think that I share my story with a ton of other moms out there. Whatever it is they have had to sacrifice, give, overcome to do what needs to be done, they have done it.

Because they’re moms…and it’s amazing what the love of a child can motivate you to do. For those moms, the ones that don’t think they have a story to tell… maybe you do.

I would love for you to share pieces of your story, successes you’ve had, things you’ve had to overcome – here in my comments even if you do/don’t write a post for BlogNosh. Share something inspiring here, let it inspire someone today.

Pepperidge Farm found such inspiration through the stories being shared that they are donating $10,000 to Feeding America, in addition to the 9.2 million pounds of food Pepperidge Farm has donated since July 2005, 1.9 million pounds this year alone. Visit Blog Nosh Magazine to learn more.

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Michelle Pendergrass
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Michelle Pendergrass

I love your story. I have grown weary of standing right now as a daughter and as a mother. But I’m glad you posted. (((hugs)))

Amber
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Amber

Thanks, Michelle –
I almost feel like I wrote too much, made it too long, and I almost feel like I didn’t say enough, ya know? Thanks again. ((hugs back))