Sunday, March 29, 2015

My Three Bundles of Joy

I was a teen-age mom and I was not married, when I found out, I was pregnant. Neither of those sit well when you are from a strict Irish Catholic family. After the shock wore off , the wedding was moved from May of 1979 to December of 1978. Was I scared? Damn right! Not of labor or all that goes with giving birth, I think, I thought that was going to be the easy part! I worried that I was not old enough, mature enough, or smart enough to really be a good Mom. It never occurred to me that I was still a kid myself.
On June 10th, 1979, 3 days after my due date of June 7th, and 4 days before my 20th birthday, B was born. I was head over heels in love with this tiny bundle of joy! The only negative, if you can consider it a negative, was that I being the oldest of four girls had zero knowledge of boys. That was a bit intimidating, to say the least! We bonded instantly. I would watch him for hours, this perfect little being. Housework became a thing of the past - who cared that the dishes didn’t get washed or the rugs didn’t get vacuumed? He sat on my lap and we “rode the motorcycle” we “flew the airplane” and I sang to him.
I found myself pregnant again - a short FOUR months after B was born. A family member - on my husband’s side - offered to pay, for me to terminate the pregnancy citing our lack of sufficient income to afford another mouth to feed. We vehemently declined that offer! We might not have been rich - but we had enough love to go around!
On June 23rd, 1980, J was born… One year and 13 days after B. I was 21 with two small babies. To say I was overwhelmed would be an understatement! How was I going to manage a full time job - 2 babies, house work etc. You “go with the flow” as they say. I learned to survive and to just do what needed doing. J was not a sleeper, unlike his older brother. J was the fussy one and I was exhausted most of the time! My husband wasn’t much help. He worked, came home, expected dinner on the table and that was that!
Fast forward to 1986. N came into the world Nov. 2nd. My third bundle of joy! I was older and more “ready” for a baby at that point. Lessons learned along the way, with son’s number one and two.
I was divorced in 1989 - To say it was easy would be a lie! Never easy but always interesting! I had to move ahead - I had kids that needed a steady parent. Some days I was mom, kissing booboos - other days I was dad, playing catch or teaching bike riding! Other days I had to be both. But we made it, day after day. Laughter, and tears, were all part of most days.
That fear I had of being a young mother, it was real, I made mistakes - lots of them - especially with the older two - I was just so young. Today we share so many things. They love sports, camping, fishing and the outdoors. I taught them those things. I taught them independence, decency towards others and how to love unconditionally. Even though they are scattered all over the US - I know they would be here in a heartbeat if I needed them. They are no worse for the wear, because of my immaturity when they were little! Best I can tell anyway.
There have been many bumps along the way, when they hurt I hurt, and today’s hurts are far more than that scraped knee or bruised ego.
I would not trade one “MOM he hit me, MOM he’s looking at me, MOM I have a booboo, crocodile tears or the real tears for the world! Today I look at my three sons, each with their unique personalities. I am proud of what they have all become. I am proud of my influence in their lives. Collectively they have made me a better person.

Kathy Hatfield

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