Becoming a mom gives an entirely new meaning to the concept of hard work.
Sure, there’s the changing, the feeding, the washing and the hundreds of other duties that come with keeping babies healthy.
But mothers also have the responsibility of raising their sons and daughters to be happy, healthy children and successful adults.
They provide encouragement, support and guidance when their kids struggle.
That’s a big job. But it comes with rewards that far outweigh the extra work.
Three Johnson County mothers have shared the challenges and joys that come with motherhood. Their stories are unique, but all share a theme — that none of the women would trade motherhood for anything.
“It’s really cool that you have these little babies, and you get to hug them and teach them and train them to grow up to love the Lord and maybe make a difference in the world. It’s a big responsibility, but I love it,” Franklin resident Brooke Ramirez said.
A small framed plaque reads, “Cherish the little things, because one day you’ll look back and realize they’re the big things.”
The decoration hangs where Kate Taylor can see it every day. She focuses on the words before making breakfast for her two children, Ella, 7, and Grayson, 3.
Motherhood isn’t about the major milestones, she said. Instead, she finds immense joy in the multicolored artwork that Ella created and now hangs in her car, her office and her home. The times when Grayson wakes her up in the middle of the night, because he wants to cuddle with her are soul-cleansing.
“Motherhood means everything. It’s my calling,” she said.
Taylor’s mother died when she was 24, so she understands the unpredictability that life can bring. She wants to be sure that her children have thousands of memories to draw from of their time together.
At the time both of her children were born, Taylor was working for the Johnson Memorial Hospital Foundation.
She and her husband, Greg, felt it would be good for her to return to work after a few months.
Taylor feels that it was vital to set that example for her children. Even though it was difficult leaving her babies and then balancing work life with home life, the lessons she can teach her kids are worth it.
“For me, being a working mom was much harder than I thought it was going to be,” she said. “As a mom, it’s so important for your kids to see that you can balance work and life, responsibility and play time,” she said. “Sometimes you have to teach your kids that they can’t do that right now, and sometimes you have to put aside things that are important to you because (your kids) are the most important thing.”
But while being a mom is a great responsibility, Taylor advises future moms that it doesn’t always have to be so serious.
She became an incredibly light sleeper after Ella was born. Every noise, perceived or real, drew her from bed to check on her new daughter.
“I basically didn’t sleep for two years,” she said.
When Grayson was on the way, someone suggested that she get a fan to keep in the bedroom. The constant sound would prevent her from focusing on every little rustle or turn of the new baby.
“So that’s my advice — get a fan for your room and keep it on all the time,” she said.