On Motherhood

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I was upstairs in the middle of new client training when I heard a frantic, “Babe! Baaaabe! Help! I need your help!” 

I went flying down the stairs, expecting to see that my children were under attack by a swarm of bees… or something equally dramatic. Instead I saw MisterE frozen above our son, who was laying on his changing mat in a pool of his own poop. 

Don’t worry, I didn’t take any pictures. 

MisterE’s panic was palpable so I was still looking about the room for the danger, but then Chief caught my gaze and gave me his signature little chuckle, and I melted into laughter. 

The poop was the danger! 

I very calmly asked MisterE what he would like me to do, and he gestured vaguely towards the situation. “I… I don’t know,” he sighed. 

I’m sorry to say that I laughed again. Not the most helpful response, admittedly, but Chief looked so pleased with himself and I couldn’t help it! I laughed out loud, and then I did what needed to be done. 

I took off my clothes, picked up my chuckling, poop covered son and stepped into the tub to wash us both off. We were absolutely covered in the stuff. Those of you familiar with the poops of breastfed babies know what I mean when I say it was a sticky situation. I didn’t think it would ever wash away, but at last we were clean, clothed, and cuddling on the couch with big sister. 

I think we need a bigger couch…

In my opinion, there are two noble professions that guarantee you will put your hand into something you don’t want to: Nursing, and Mothering.

I love being a mom. I love being the problem solver and the finder of all-the-things. I love the sleepless nights, the hectic mornings, the last minute plan changes, and the hilarity of trying to get anywhere on time. 

When I was young (and naive) I wanted six children. Yes, six. Let’s just say back then I had no idea that life costs so much money. Perhaps because I grew up with one sibling in a structured household, I was drawn to what would inevitably be chaos. I didn’t tell MisterE any of this, of course, because he would have run. He would sometimes say he wanted two or three kids and I’d say, “Yes, that’s a good start.”  

Well, we dated for many, many years as my biological clock tick, tock, ticked away, so I thought, ‘I’m getting on in years, maybe 5 children will create just enough chaos to keep me satisfied.’

We got married, and then spent another three years going through fertility treatments. It was truly taxing, so I dropped my plan down to four kids. I am a reasonable person, after all.  

In time, life with Hurricane began and I understood what people really meant when they said “kids are expensive.” It’s not just the diapers and wipes and creams and daycare and swimming lessons and gymnastics. It’s the time and emotional energy they’re talking about. So, naturally, I dropped my number to three. Three kids seemed politically correct. I could just see our adorable Christmas cards as a family of five. I was hyped! 

Time passed and I started talking to Hurricane about having a sibling. She was super excited, but almost a year into trying to get pregnant it became obvious that things were not going our way. Flashbacks of fertility pills, injections, creams and procedures consumed me and I prayed, “Lord, if I can just have two kids I would be so grateful.”

And now here I am with two beautiful babies, a heart full of joy, and a schedule as chaotic as a Guy Ritchie movie. These two keep my hands full. Hurricane has matched me for wit and curiosity, but has inherited her father’s (terrible) joke-telling abilities. Chief is eternally hungry, physically inclined, and oddly opinionated for a three month old. I am excited to see them each morning, no matter how rough the previous night was. 

This is how my kids tell me it’s time to stop working and start being their playmate//chef//bouncy castle

But…

Watching my babies grow each day is incredibly bittersweet. With every blowout I wipe up, I wonder if it’s the last time my son will need me in this way. I pick up Hurricane every time she reaches out to me because one day it will be the last time I ever pick her up. She’s getting heavy though, so I might need to shed that particular sentiment soon. 

Motherhood done right in my case means I’ve raised children who can leave me and stand on their own as self sufficient, compassionate adults, free of childhood trauma. But just because the goal is for them to leave me, it doesn’t mean I’ll be leaving them. Who says motherhood has to make sense? 

Watching her first NASA/SpaceX Launch, May 2020

Hurricane, for example, has been obsessed with outer space since she was six months old, and was saying “I want to be an astronaut” at 15 months. She’s almost three and still insistent on this career path. We (almost daily) read books like Astro Girl by Ken Wilson-Max, Baby Astronaut by Dr. Laura Gehl, and Rocket Science for Babies by Chris Ferrie. 

If she winds up in college studying Aerospace Engineering on her path to the moon, I’ll be right there with her getting my AE degree at 50 years old. Why? Because there’s no way I’m letting my baby go off into space by herself! 

Once a mom, always a mom. Am I right? 

Have fun! 

Hey there! I am...

Chioma Ikoku sitting on a velvet green couch, gazing out of an unpictured window.
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A homebody with wanderlust striving to balance the thrill of travel with the comfort of home. On the road, I am a photographer and storyteller. At home, I am an interior designer and personal servant to my two kids. In all cases, I seek out good food and belly laughs.

If you're looking for ways to tap into your spirit of adventure - with or without a suitcase - you've come to the right place!

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3 Comments

  1. Louisa Agbonika on August 20, 2020 at 7:46 am

    Love love love this piece. You guys make it look so easy. Thanks for welcoming us into your world as a mom.

    • texaschi on August 20, 2020 at 12:48 pm

      Awww thanks! It’s a whirlwind that’s so much more fun when we can share it.

  2. Emotional Decluttering on September 15, 2021 at 5:04 am

    […] we wouldn’t (intentionally) have more than two children, but my younger self who had wanted six children hadn’t fully accepted that decision. I mean, “If God wants us to have another child, […]

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