Wednesday, June 13, 2012

In Celebration of Mothers - Shannon Schultz

This week's guest post comes to us from my dear friend, Shannon Schultz.  Many of you have already "met" Shannon through an earlier post about the impending adoption of her son, Elijah.  Shannon is also my friend the kickboxing instructor I recently told you about.  Shannon and Tobin are the kind of people you meet and instantly you know you are going to like them.  They are passionate about everything they do and have immense love for each other, their family, their friends, their community, EVERYTHING.  I am proud to call them my friends and honored that Shannon has agreed to share some of her passion for motherhood here on "Since You Asked" today.  So, sit back, enjoy getting a little insight into motherhood from a young mom who possesses a very wise and mature soul, and feel free to leave your thoughts for Shannon in the comments section following the post.  Then, be sure and head over to her blog, "One in a Million Blessings", where she shares her story about their adoption journey.

Tobin, Lili, & Shannon


People say it all the time: Being a mom is about making sacrifices. And it absolutely is. At times I have a curious amazement with regard to the level of sacrifices that one will choose to make. Truly…daily life changes when children enter the picture. These sacrifices come in all shapes and sizes. Sleep deprivation, cancelling girls’ night out, embracing the spit up stains on your shoulders, down-sizing houses, up-sizing dental bills.

Sacrifices. They’re out there. Moms make them all the time.

But here’s my issue with the above truth: When we allow ourselves to get so caught up in the ‘sacrifices’ that we make as moms, we begin missing out on the REASON we’re sacrificing in the first place. And I, for one, refuse to allow the hiccups of daily life to rob me from experiencing the amazing journey of motherhood.

From what I can tell, being a mom requires us to live life and take in experiences in a way that wasn’t possible before putting on the mommy-hat. I’ve always been charismatic, outgoing, and enthusiastic. I’ve experienced genuine joy; I’ve felt legitimate pain. But I never knew how profoundly I could love another human being, how dramatically I could feel someone else’s pain, or to what degree I could celebrate in another’s successes, at ANY level, until I became a mom.
Don't they make you smile?

Here are a few examples:

The agonizing ache of waiting for my child to FINALLY be placed in my arms is like nothing I can even begin to explain, and wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.

The absolute pride of watching my daughter perform in her corny 3-year-old-Christmas program nearly brought me to tears (yes, I have become THAT mom…I don’t know how, really. It just happened).

The helplessness of having a sick or hurt baby and there’s not a thing I can do about it.

The fullness of taking in every hug, kiss, and giggle before saying good night.

The exhaustion of enduring an hour-long temper tantrum (which was most likely sparked by a forced potty break or a forced wardrobe change) in a calm, adult-like manner is enough to make going to the grocery store alone seem like a vacation.

The beautiful, miraculous wholeness that comes over me when I see her rocking and singing ‘Jesus Loves Me’ to her baby dolls is a feeling I wouldn’t trade for the world.

The sheer terror of seeing my toddler fall off the edge of a dock into an ice-cold lake in the middle of November strikes a fear so deep and real that the thought of never letting her out of arms’ length again makes perfect sense.

No, motherhood is not for the faint of heart. It’s not always (ever?!) easy. It’s fun and difficult; rewarding and trying; beautiful and messy; exciting and terrifying…often at the same time.
So excited to bring this little guy home already!

But more than anything it is incredible. Amazing. Miraculous. Mind-blowing. It is an experience that literally takes my breath away every day.

And, yes, motherhood is about making sacrifices. But they don’t have to be the life-sucking kind of sacrifices that will deplete you of YOU. ‘Super Moms’ are no more real than the boogie man. Your family deserves to have a Mom who is fulfilled, happy and a joy to be around—one whose footsteps they will be inspired to follow.

So choose today to be a mom who makes the most out of life and lives each day with a purpose.
Let the laundry pile up and have a pillow fight instead.
Go on a walk and see the world through your child’s eyes.
Sing loudly and off key.
Dance like a maniac.
Tell your kids that they can be ANYTHING.
Tell yourself the same thing.
Now believe it.

"In Celebration of Mothers" is a weekly series about, well, motherhood.  Do you have a story you'd like to share about your own experiences as a mom or someone else's?  Be sure to contact me at dhsticklen(at)gmail(dot)com.

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  1. Shannon, thanks so much for sharing your thoughts with us here today! I love it that you have already realized the importance of just having fun with your kids and enjoying the "little" moments. Those are the moments that create a lifetime of memories and build bonds that are inseparable. I know I'm not nearly as excited and anxious as you and Tobin are about bringing Eli home, but know that our thoughts are with you all the time and we join all your friends and family in saying that we look forward to finally meeting that little guy!

  2. I am so honored that you invited me to be a guest blogger for you. You'll be one of the first to meet Elijah once he's here, I promise!!!!!

  3. Hi Dawn .. great post about Shannon and Tobin - what an amazing couple and those two little ones are in the best of hands - what a delightful post to read ... cheers Hilary

  4. Great post! I agree wholeheartedly!

    (I also love the name Elijah, though I may not be impartial as it one of our son's names!)

  5. What a beautiful post and told with such honesty. Love this: "It’s fun and difficult; rewarding and trying; beautiful and messy; exciting and terrifying…often at the same time."