Parenting is really hard work! From the moment my son came into this world I felt like I have been working to make him the best person he can be, and that takes a lot of care, consideration, prayer, and hard work. I did my best to prepare for parenting before Isaac was born, but you never really know what is going to happen…. and that pretty much goes on forever!

I read every parenting and baby book I could before I became a mother. I researched blogs on breastfeeding, babywearing, homemade baby food, and the best baby gear. I pinned recipes and articles. I had a PLAN! I live by the plan. I planned to breastfeed, make my own baby food, and strap my baby to me any time I could. That is not always God’s plan.

As it turns out, I was not able to breastfeed and it also turns out that both my babies were human furnaces and not big fans of being strapped to my warm body (and instantly drenched in sweat as a result). Not being able to breastfeed was devastating to me. I would pump every two hours, night and day, but still was unable to produce more than one feeding a day. That was REALLY hard work and really time consuming. In the end, I would be pumping while my son was in the bouncy seat or being held by someone else and it wasn’t worth it anymore. I beat myself up about it for so long, but it was out of my control.

I had very different ideas of what parenting would be like before I had my children and boy was I wrong! Haha! I found out I was pregnant with my first at the emergency room on April 15th and on April 17th I had my 18 week anatomy scan where I discovered we were having a boy. That was one very expensive pregnancy test! That was not at all when I had planned to get pregnant and I wasn’t sure why God would plan it that way. I was student teaching at the time and was due September 17th, one month after I hoped to be starting my first year of teaching.

I had no idea how I would get a job or afford a baby since I currently had no job and had student loan payments coming up. But I did find a job, four days before the first day of new teacher orientation. I had made an impression on a principal I had worked under and he hired me. I went on maternity leave three weeks after the first day of school, and I returned six weeks later, just in time to pay my first student loan payment.

When I was pregnant with Piper I had planned to have a boy, but God had better plans. The Richmond’s don’t make a lot of females, so I assumed it would continue that way for us. I was not sure I knew how to have a daughter. As it turns out, I needed a daughter and God knew it. Piper came out like she was on a mission and she has been on a mission ever since! Just thinking about how much joy she brings me makes my eyes water. I needed her big personality, I needed her soft hugs, I needed her relationship with her “Bubba”, I needed a girl to share Mary Kay with, I needed to see my husband have a daughter and my son have a sister. I needed to see my dad with her. He knew better. HE had a better plan.

My children are smart, healthy, and deeply loved, so I will be joyful and continue to follow the plan God has for me, even if it is very different then what I had planned.

Joy goal accomplished.

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