I’m Becky and I’m an experienced mommy. I’ve been changing diapers daily for 23 years and there is no end in sight. Well, there is always one “end” in sight, but you know what I mean.
I have four kids who I homeschooled from kindergarten through 12th grade. Two have graduated from Purdue University and one is in his second year there.
And then there is Anna, who is and will always be at home with us. Anna has Angelman Syndrome. She is 17 but operates at about a one-and-a-half-year-old level.
She says one word, “Mama”. She is still in diapers. And she delights almost everyone she meets. Almost.
You’ve probably never heard of Angelman Syndrome. It is a genetic condition where there is a gene missing in the maternal copy of the 15th chromosome. There. Do you feel smarter now?
What that means:
- Keypad locks on all our doors, especially the one to the kitchen
- General anesthesia whenever we want to go to the dentist
- Diapers, oh, I already mentioned that
- A not-so-empty nest
- More “toddler” experience than anyone deserves
- Smiles, hugs, open mouth drooly kisses – every day
- Messes that could not be recreated by Hollywood if they tried
But what it really means is harder than that. Full-time care for a small child is isolating, boring, restricting and often depressing. It cramps my style and deadens my emotions. It is hard on the body and harder on the soul.
How hard? Well, that’s the good news. Not as hard as it used to be.
You see, it isn’t just the babies who start from scratch and learn and grow into maturity. It’s the mommies. Yeah, sometimes it feels like they are maturing faster than you are. That’s why the second child is easier because you have at least a one-year unfair advantage over the second kid.
The experienced mommy isn’t the one with all the answers, but the one who knows that everything is going to be okay.
Okay doesn’t mean we aren’t going to take Anna to the hospital tomorrow.
Okay just means I trust in God’s promises for this life and the next. It means I’m not afraid of silly things like picking the wrong car seat or even more important things like having to abandon breastfeeding or heaven forbid, letting my baby fall asleep on his tummy.
And mostly it means I have joy and hope even in the tough times.
My husband Jeff and I started Experienced Mommy to help moms make good decisions. We are blessed to have some wonderful, experienced mom writers.