Motherhood is a club that you really can’t fully imagine until you are a part of it. Each of us thinks, “I’ll never do that when I’m a mom”, or “That will never happen to my child.” But the truth is that you can’t really know what to expect as a mother and you really can’t judge others unless you are in their shoes. Motherhood is not always easy but it certainly is a blessing!
Sometimes we tend to see others handling things and think that motherhood must be easy for them. This is especially true now that social media is so prevalent. But as Jaclyn Stapp can attest, motherhood is not short on challenges, even for famous people. We are all in the same boat learning as we go. Jaclyn Stapp is married to Grammy winning Creed front man Scott Stapp. She’s a dedicated working mom who’s an award winning children’s book author who juggles running her non for profit CHARM Foundation, supporting organizations like NAMI and Music Cares along with modeling and acting gigs in addition to helping to manage Scott’s career on and off the road (he’s heading two tours this summer) while raising her two, soon to be three beautiful children. Today Jaclyn Stapp shares a peek into motherhood.
Motherhood – A Peek Inside Out By Jaclyn Stapp
Motherhood is an an extraordinary, sometimes unpredictable, expedition. Once you arrive to that end destination, the rough 9 month adventure of heartburn, pain, cramps, nausea, bloating, weight gain, hyper bladder, is almost AMAZINGLY AND INSTANTLY replaced with the joy of a new baby. I am reminded each day that motherhood is a choice you make every day to put someone else’s happiness and wellbeing ahead of your own. I also personally witnessed this first hand growing up watching my mom who was a widow from the age of 35 with her often unspoken words, providing the basics and the simple needs of food, shelter, and definitely making time for encouragement and love. Some people like her were just born to be a mom. I watched her “just do it, like it and ask for more”…..but, for others like me, mommy hood is on the job training.
Let’s face it, motherhood is not short on challenges. The perfect family that you dreamed of “BK” (Before Kids) doesn’t always align with reality. No matter how prepared you think you are, motherhood can knock you flat on your back. It’s more than changing diapers, baby feeding, or house work. Life can throw all sorts of unexpected curve balls and not all answers are found in the “How To” baby books. After the birth of our first daughter, Milan, it wasn’t easy living in the hood, motherhood, sisterhood, daughter hood and marriage hood! My job was a lot harder than I expected! Lots of distractions in my home, moving into a new town, new home, new friends, and my husband who had battled with depression on and off for years had a relapse.
Through years of living through my own reality show, I realized I didn’t have a “normal” family. I questioned myself as to what makes a “normal” family today? Can “normal” even exist? I was pulled in different directions as a wife and mom. I was constantly trying to find that balance, the balance to fix everything and be the best mother and wife I could be. I really thought “I can fix it. I can make everything alright, that’s what’s moms are supposed to do”. Boy was I wrong! Through the months of mixed emotions, “I had to let go and let God”. I have come to accept its ok to be imperfect. It’s ok to have days when you’re a mess, need a moment to cry with raccoon eyes and running mascara down your face. While I was often on my knees picking up laundry under the kids bed or gummy bears off the carpet, I was also on my knees in prayer not asking but thanking God for all that I do have. Yep, that was my early lesson in motherhood.
Slowly, my family and I have grown to understand and be at peace with letting go of the “normal” idea of life. What is normal anyway? The punches that life throws in every family are tough, but the determination that grows from not giving up, at least for me, only draws you closer. I once read how “A family’s journey should be about progress not perfection!” I can now embrace and accept the situations that make our family unique. I discovered a new strength in me that I never knew existed. I hold onto hope with every step of progress, even when it is only tiny steps that is still great! I learned to leave pride behind, or fear of what someone else thinks of me. We keep moving on, finding gratitude for even the smallest joys of that day. I can now feel proud that I sought help, fought for our family, and held onto faith.
It is said that motherhood teaches us patience, sacrifice and perspective in a way nothing else can. I would not have chosen to go through those trying years any more than my kids would have. I am thankful that we are here, that we are resilient. For me, each day is a day to love each family member desperately and never to give up hope. I wake up each day really striving to do my best, and if that effort is less than perfect, I can snuggle with my kids with a clear conscience, and sleep well at night. There are always things happening or not happening, things can be unpredictable, and there will always be homework, baseball practice, piano lessons, washing clothes, dishes, and breakfast again in the morning. We will get through it all.
Well I think God saw that when I was able to nail down my two previous pregnancies, he came up recently with a surprise of my life. Not a new car or plush vacation but something greater, the blessing of a third child, 6 months now, going strong, and due this fall! I never imagined that I would be gearing up all over again for warming bottles at 3am, stocking up on diapers, and interrupted sleep. God does indeed have a “good plan” in mind (Jeremiah. 29:11), and this baby is a living promise of His Goodness! Today we live in Franklin, TN and we are seasoned, better and wiser, with kids, dogs and a picket fence! Some days it feels like having kids is like a walk in the park…Jurassic Park! But no matter what, I reach deep within and do the best that I can. With or without makeup, a tear here and there, I know that I will never be perfect, and I’m ok with that.