There are amazing, devoted, wonderful, deliberate mothers out there, and each week we’ll spotlight one of them here at The Power of Moms. Do you know a mom who deserves a little time in the spotlight? Email rachelle.price (at) powerofmoms.com. We can’t wait to meet her.
Introducing Cyndi Taylor
How many children do you have and what are their ages?
This should be the easy one but it is not. I have a 5-year-old girl, Paisley, a 3-year-old girl, Cosette, and a 1-year-old boy, Fielding. Fielding is an identical twin whose brother, Talmage, was stillborn. Sometimes I say I have three kids and sometimes I say I have four – depends on the audience.
What have you decided to NOT prioritize in your mothering that many other moms seem to think is important and worthy?
It is kind of a silly thing but I don’t do the birthday party thing like most other moms. We still decorate, make a simple and fondant-free cake, and have a few gifts. However, I try very hard to keep the birthday family centered and the focus more on the child than on the party. We do this by retelling their birth stories, displaying their scrapbooks, and doing some of their favorite things that day. I love making the day special and memorable but skip the theme parties with half the neighborhood in attendance and presents piled to the sky.
What have been your favorite parts of motherhood? How do you cultivate joy in your journey as a mother?
My favorite parts are the little things – I know everyone says this but it is true. I love footsy pajamas on freshly-bathed babies. I love big dad hands carrying fuzzy newborns. I love freshly made playdough. I love walks before dinner so we can shake the ‘crankies.’ I love bouncy pigtails in straw-colored hair. I love the small moments that make me quietly say, “I love being a mom.”
What have been the biggest challenges of motherhood for you? What are the hardest parts of your typical day as a mom? What coping strategies do you have for getting through hard times and hard days?
The hardest part of motherhood has always been the lack of sleep. When I was a new mom, I did not understand how I was supposed to be a great mom when my body was so deprived of rest. When I was pregnant with the twins, I was voicing this concern to my more experienced sister and she said something that changed my life, “No one has ever died from a lack of sleep.” I think of this often and have even applied it to other areas of motherhood. “No one has died from ironing their husband’s shirts.” “No one has died from changing the crib sheets twice in one night.” “No one has died from grocery shopping with three kids under the age of four.” It is easy to get caught up in thinking things are hard when in reality life is not that bad. After losing one of our twins, my definition of hard drastically changed and the ordinary challenges of life were put into perspective.
What has surprised you about motherhood?
That a mother’s heart can love deep and strong and individualized to each child.
What have you learned from motherhood? Please share a specific story or incident that really taught you something.
My third pregnancy brought the unexpected news of twins—identical twin boys to be exact—and nothing could have fit more perfectly into my life. A routine 33-week ultrasound brought the devastating news that one of the boy’s heart had stopped beating. Two rounds of steroids (to develop Baby A’s lungs for a premature delivery) and 48 hours later, I was forced into the bittersweet situation of welcoming one baby into this world while saying goodbye to another.
A year and a half later, I still cannot believe that this happened to me. Previous to this experience, my mind categorized stillbirths as nothing more than a legend, something from the days of covered wagons and pioneers. Now I know how false this is – stillbirths happen every day and they are devastating.
Our lives have progressed forward but heartaches such as these never fully go away. They morph and change and find a way to define who you are. I am grateful that my loss has taught me compassion, patience (especially with myself), and a stronger love than I knew existed. I am grateful that I can share this love with others, especially with the children that I have been blessed with.
My fourth child was stillborn and I will never be the same – I will be better.
Photo courtesy of Cyndi Taylor