The Ugly Years

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Just before I graduated high school, I got this amazing idea: chop off all of your hair (think Mandy Moore c. 2003). Ashamedly, I did not have Locks of Love in mind. No, I was entirely selfish.

I wanted a new start.

You see, hair has always been my calling card. I have never dyed or treated my hair and somehow – by the blessing of God – I maintained golden locks for the first three decades of my life.

My mother’s experience, however, would foreshadow my own: blonde until babies. And, right on time, I gradually lost my sun-kissed signature hair in the years following childbirth.

But it was impossible for me to predict the other changes that were simultaneously emerging – the widening hips, the spider veins, and the wrinkles.

The ugly years, without my consent, had arrived.

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A Hybrid Motherhood

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“They’re only little once.”

My son was almost six-months-old when my grandmother decided to offer me unsolicited career advice. I’d be lying if I said the thought had not crossed my mind. Return to the working world or continue as a stay-at-home mother?

I considered my two graduate degrees, sure, but ever since the wee hours of a July morning back in 2013, life had dramatically changed. I was a mother now. And yet, a longing lingered in me to make a difference, no matter how small, outside of the home.

In the months that followed, I submitted numerous applications and accepted the only job I didn’t actually seek out. Quite simply, I knew it would allow me to be a hybrid mother.

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Grate Expectations

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I have a confession: I hate cooking. Really, I make a terrible Southern woman.

When I met my husband, his culinary expertise immediately hooked me. After our first food-inspired date night, I wanted to try my hand at chocolate fondue. I am quite good at following recipes, so I added a few ingredients to create the perfect luscious sauce. Only it was a disaster. And somehow it didn’t even taste like chocolate.

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The Wait of 30

The Wait of 30

“If you want to have children, you should have them by 30.”

When you are 26-years-old and enthralled in exciting research as a graduate student, one of the last things you want to hear is that your biological clock is not only ticking, it’s pounding.

I think every woman who desires to have children dreams about the magic of their first pregnancy – what those first kicks will be like and how the warmth of their baby bump will fill their heart with indescribable joy. I am willing to bet that few, if any, consider the physical and emotional pain that can accompany the loss of your first child through miscarriage. I certainly didn’t.

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