Before I had children, I believed I knew what I wanted.

When I first got pregnant – I could hardly believe my luck.

When I lost my first baby, I felt like everything I believed was a myth.

Then I held my first-born and I couldn’t believe how much I loved her.

Everything I believed about what I wanted simply wasn’t …

It was all wrapped up in a small bundle perfectly fit to the crook of my arm.

And with each bundle came a deeper belief in where I wanted to be.

But there were days, in the midst of all the wiping and folding and feeding when I couldn’t believe that this was all I was meant to do. I lost sight of anything I believed about myself which didn’t somehow have to do with the raising and caring of my children and family. I mourned the life I had thought I wanted, I mourned the loss of my choices. I resented how little I valued the work. I floated around in a cloud of me and my and mine.

But, even in the dark, I remained tethered. There remained a sliver of belief that my long days, my endless hours of folding, and the many thankless tasks were the making of something.

It turns out it was more like five somethings (maybe six, but I can’t really speak for my husband on this matter). Those busy, endless, beginning years were the winnowing of one life and the care and nurturing of four others. Not a bad trade, she said with a great deal of understatement.

Everything I had believed prior – was thoroughly tested, tried, and re-tested. Now, on the other side, although it is taking time to find the gems in the pile, I am learning to recognize them amongst the chaff.

For example, I no longer believe I have or hold the answers. Instead,  I have faith. It has walked me through the darkest of days. It is the thread I followed despite my blindness. I hold to it now, or perhaps it holds to me. Regardless, come what may, I will travel this way forward.  Holding to the hand that carries me, if even by a thread.

The #wholemama word this week is, belief. Join the conversation and read more about it over on Overflow, and follow what others are saying by clicking the Linky box at the bottom of the page.