I’m Working on a PhD

I have always wanted more than anything to be a good mother.  Even though I don’t have children, I still have this killer mother instinct for my unborn children – I would do anything for them.  And well, it turns out that I have been able to do a lot for them so far, and I couldn’t be more grateful.

I was lucky enough to have my infertility acupuncturist remind me that trying to be a good mom was like trying to get your PhD.  She said most women (including me) were trying to go for the PhD, but we hadn’t even finished kindergarten yet!!!  Meaning, many of us were still reacting immaturely to our trials & handling our lives in a dysfunctional/damaging/unhealthy way.   Many of us still didn’t know how to cultivate our own peace & happiness, we were waiting for a baby (or a happy marriage, or success, or whatever…) to make us happy.

It’s a vicious cycle to be in.  Because if we really think a baby or a husband WILL make us happier, then we are dependent on circumstances for happiness.  UGH.  These means that we will ALWAYS be living in a state of sub par happiness….. because even if we have the baby or get a husband,  there are still ALWAYS unfavorable circumstances before us!  (Right?) “If only my baby would sleep”…..”if only I could have time for this or that”…..”if only we could buy a bigger house”….. “if only I could lose 10 pounds or look that good in those pants”…..”if only my husband would throw me a bone and tell me he loves me or that I look great”…..”if only my child didn’t have a disability”…..”if only I could afford this or that”….”if only I wouldn’t miscarry”…. ETC.  There is ALWAYS something to be miserable about, if we are aboard that train heading towards never-never-going-to-be-happy-land.  And sadly, if we are on that train, it’s going to be really hard for our kids to know that there is a better way to live.

So, dear ones, I hope you will join me in this effort to become the best women we can be by finding happiness independent of our circumstances.

It is the most liberating, burden-lifting thing we could ever do (for ourselves).  And it will be the most noble and powerful act of love that we could ever offer our children or spouses.

I am telling you it’s possible to do this.  I am writing this on Day 1 after another failed IUI.  And I’m feeling a lot of love in my heart for this experience and for my loved ones here and my little ones in heaven.  And, I’m feeling a lot of love for you.

(Photos with a niece & nephew…and Lars.)

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  1. debsfreckles October 19, 2011 at 4:37 pm - Reply

    I am joining you! I am super pumped and I am sharing it on my blog cause what you are doing is a wonderful thing.

  2. Brianne October 19, 2011 at 5:35 pm - Reply

    Thank you for this! It was just the words I needed to hear today. I love being a new Mom, but day to day its not easy and not necessarily the dream life I was picturing my entire life. But that doesn't mean I can't be happy and enjoy the moments!

  3. Charity Bass Mauai October 19, 2011 at 8:45 pm - Reply

    I came across your blog from a fb friend (sara borg) who had posted your youtube video (love) and blog link (love love). I have been infertile for 4 1/2 years. It is a painful road and one I'm learning to learn from. I feel so much gratitude for the message you are sharing, so much of it resonates with me. I love what you said "finding happiness independent of our circumstances" it is what i'm striving for.
    I look forward to reading more! Thank you!!

    p.s. your courtship story is darling. The marriage tips are so true and a great reminder for me and my hubs. And Hello to Danny, i knew him briefly.. way back when.

  4. Kari October 19, 2011 at 9:35 pm - Reply

    Hi Mara, I don't know if you've covered this previously, but I'm curious about your thoughts on adoption. Some people may get offended or annoyed when others ask them about adoption when they have a hard time conceiving, but you're so open on your blog that I thought I'd ask. Have you considered/are you considering/will you consider adopting? I hope you don't mind the question!

  5. Sara Clifton October 20, 2011 at 1:07 am - Reply

    Thank you for sharing your wisdom, and for our wonderful visit last night. I'm working on these things. Easier said than done, though!
    P.S. I love these photos. You're a natural mother. I need some pictures of you with my little ones. They'll love you forever.

  6. danny October 20, 2011 at 1:17 am - Reply

    Hello back Charity! Way back indeed 🙂 I speak for Mara as well when I say that we couldn't be happier when this message resonates with others, it's especially nice when it reaches our friends, even those from some time ago. Our best to you and your husband as you work through trial.

  7. Amanda Greer October 20, 2011 at 2:01 am - Reply

    "by finding happiness independent of our circumstances." This is something I struggle with daily, but would like to achieve!

  8. Laurie October 20, 2011 at 2:37 am - Reply

    Brianne, great comment. Even when we have the things we want… we can loose perspective of the happiness they bring amidst the daily chaos of life. My husband and i always wanted a big family and have been blessed with 7 children. We love them and our lives dearly. But, it is so refreshing and timely to be reminded to be happy no matter what our circumstances are, or how big the piles of laundry, bills, and missing socks are. I am so grateful for Mara and Danny's perspective of LOVE and DAILY GRATITUDE. I have a mental list of great things i've learned from them the past three weeks that I want to put on index cards all over my house 🙂

  9. mara2 October 20, 2011 at 12:19 pm - Reply

    Kari – We have absolutely considered adoption! We have an IVF coming up in the near future, but also I have been making calls to figure out the adoption process, as that is a huge possibility (even if we do conceive.)

  10. mara2 October 20, 2011 at 12:28 pm - Reply

    Brianne – I think what you said about this "not necessarily [being] the dream life I was picturing my entire life." Wow, I have felt that in the past so much & I would guess that just about anyone has felt that whether due to relationships, family stuff, money issues, job security, etc. BUT – I now view all of these "non-dream life" circumstances as OPPORTUNITIES to become more full of joy, more at peace, more empowered…even in the most challenging circumstances. There is NOTHING better than knowing what you are made of & learning how to overcome things and still feel joy. Once you can do that, you WILL be living a dream life 🙂

  11. chelsea October 20, 2011 at 9:32 pm - Reply

    I am 100% behind this. Really good to get this message out there:) More and more I am trying to savor the moments as I realize life is going so quickly. Lately sad news from friends, families, and strangers makes me realize how fleeting life is. It's been a wake up call. Gotta live in the moment!

  12. Joanna October 21, 2011 at 1:03 am - Reply

    I love the analogy of trying to get that PhD while we are still in kindergarten! We continue to progress and grow and sometimes we feel ready…but..we are asked to be patient. Tough! Can I just add that I actually do have a PhD in child psychology and am a new mom. I actually think I "know" how to raise my child….but my husband who has an education of life experience…has proven on many occasions to be the far better parent. My husband is far better at being "in-tune" and able to cultivate peace….

  13. Rebecca December 15, 2011 at 8:47 pm - Reply

    Just discovered your blog and am in love with it. Thank you so much for taking the time to write and share so much. You truly have a gift. I also have experienced infertility. I absolutely love what you were saying about a being happy no matter our circumstances. I remember the vicious cycle of "I'll be happy when" … I'm not perfect at it now by any means, but I have gotten so much better at it. My beautiful daughter came to our family through adoption almost 2 years ago now and I have to say it also applies then. It was so interesting hearing people say how happy they'd be once their child started a sleeping through the night or some other milestone, but my experiences so far in life have helped make it easier to savor every moment with her, even the ones at 3:00 am. Wanting a baby for a long time made that something really valuable to me, now I really need to find out how to be better at being happy wth all areas of my life in the moment.

  14. Anonymous January 19, 2013 at 6:28 pm - Reply

    How? I'm so miserable. How does one be happy independent of circumstance?

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