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Purpose for Your Pain Series continues with Danielle Heckenkamp from Loving These Days. Danielle submitted a perfect story that illustrates the small sacrifices we have to make as mothers. The little things we used to love, like watching our favorite show with popcorn, sleeping, or just eating a hot meal vanish with the memories of childbirth. Danielle really puts the gift of joy into a practical reality, and I encourage you to read her Living In The Moment post after this one!
Meet Danielle. She’s a stay at home mom and writer who lives in the beautiful state of Wisconsin with her husband and four children. Danielle Marie is the co-author of Provocative Manners: The Sauce of Life. After owning and operating a floral design company for ten years, Danielle has decided to focus on her husband and four children while completing her first novel. Make sure to connect with her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Mornings have always been my favorite time of the day. Even through college I would intentionally schedule my classes as early as possible. There was something enticing about those early morning rays, while enjoying a cup of coffee and walking to class. After college, my love for the mornings didn’t change as I would wake early and sip several cups of coffee while watching the news or reading a book before leaving for the office. These were some of my favorite moments, but also ones that I took for granted. Now, as a mom of four children, my mornings resemble nothing like those peaceful days.
When my husband and I were expecting with our first baby, everyone warned that our lives would change. A twinge of irritation would boil inside me as I heard this comment too many times. What an obvious statement! My husband and I wanted our lives to change, we loved that this little baby would be joining our family. At one time, we had quiet nights with simple dinners and many uninterrupted hours of sleep. But with a new baby, sleep was now a luxury. I desperately missed those long hours of sleep, but I quickly realized it was harder for me to give up those quiet mornings to the demands of a crying baby. My first baby was not laid back in the least, and even to this day she has an overachieving personality. It is surprising how such a personality can shine through even with a small baby – it was evident in the mornings. The moment the sun came out, that baby made her expectations known by crying loudly until she was picked up. There were no longer those mornings of warm cups of coffee or quiet moments of sitting on the couch. Sleeping late or lying in bed reading a book was no longer an option. My entire world revolved around this baby who couldn’t talk, but somehow constantly consumed my attention. My mornings were no longer my own.
I thought it was chaotic back then, but now there are three more children added to the mix. My mornings may appear hectic now, but I have a very strict routine to get those four little ones out of the house for school. For a long time, I was dreaming of those simple morning before children. But that reminiscing was becoming detrimental to my daily existence. I was waking up irritated by my lack of sleep and peaceful mornings. Things needed to change. I needed to change. I needed to stop having a pity party for myself. I loved my life, my husband, and my children. There was no reason I should be ungrateful. After many reflective moments while driving the children to and from school, I came to the conclusion that there may no longer be those peaceful mornings, but that was o.k., because there was no other place I would rather be than serving my family. I was giving those children a gift each morning, by caring for them and giving up something that I loved. True love is a gift of self, each and every day.
There are plenty of mornings when I can still barely get out of bed because I was up too many times with a nursing baby, or my worrying thoughts got the better of me. But I will not allow these physical crutches to strip away my interior joy, because I have been given an amazing gift – the gift of my family, and I will continue to serve them through daily acts of love.