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I Believe I Was Meant to Be a Mom to My Daughter With Down Syndrome

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I’ve never known what I wanted to do with my life, what I was meant for, what kind of impact I could have on the world, if any, and who I wanted to be?

When you’re a kid, adults ask, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

I have a vivid memory as a kid and my mom was driving me and my little brother somewhere, she told us, “You can be anything you want to be when you grow up.”

I looked out the window into the trees, “I want to be a deer.”

My brother followed suit and said, “I want to be a dragon.”

I wish I could go back and see my mom’s face at that moment.

Well, apparently I was meant for more than prancing through the forest and my brother never did develop fire-breathing skills.

In high school, we took those personality tests that are supposed to tell you what field is best to pursue after graduation. I remember that mine hit somewhere near the medical field, helping people in some way. I aced my Medical Terminology classes, but scraped by in Anatomy. I temporarily worked towards a degree in Radiology. I even looked into Dentistry and Massage Therapy at one point. I did all of this, even though I never felt like it was my calling. I eventually realized I am too absent-minded and riddled with anxiety to succeed in the medical field.

I felt lost, like I needed a plan. So, of course, I began to over-think everything.

Where am I heading?

I don’t cook.

I can’t paint.

I am a horrible driver.

I am not CEO material.

I don’t like talking to people.

I am not made for standing in front of a classroom.

Long story short, I ended up with a Bachelor’s in Business Administration and was lucky to snag some good jobs along the way (including my current remote position).

Now, here I am, in the midst of my life’s story. My path has led me here. All of the decisions I made landed me the job I was meant for all along: Motherhood.

This job puts all of my best skills to use:

I am bossy.

I am driven.

I am attentive.

I am protective.

I am structured.

I am passionate.

I am open-minded.

I am obsessively organized.

I am strong.

I am a mom. And I’m good at what I do.

Nay, I am great at what I do.

I am mom, but not just any mom. I am Kara’s mom.

This job description is longer and more complicated than I ever thought I could handle. Because of her I am a physical therapist, speech and language pathologist and occupational therapist all rolled into one. I am a baby-food chef. I am creative and artsy. I am a cautious driver. I am a leader and an advocate. I am a teacher.

Looking back, I realize there was no way to know where I was heading. There was no test to tell me that my best course in life was to be a mother. Not only that, but a mom to a child with Down syndrome.

I was meant for this life I’m living. I was made to be sitting here in front of my computer with views of my husband’s police car from my window. It is parked right next to the black mailbox with the big blue ribbon tied around it.

I sit here thinking about how beautiful this life is, even on the hard days. This job will evolve and I will change with it. Right now, it requires napping on the floor next to the baby swing and rinsing the squash from in-between my fingers. It’s about going to the gym when I can and realizing halfway through my workout that I have dried broccoli on my watch and/or spit up on my shoulder. It’s about feeling tipsy after half a glass of wine and getting a babysitter on a Friday night so I can enjoy a hot bath alone.

I sit here, writing about my daughter, our life and striving to help others through my words. I am finally right where I am needed and doing exactly what I was meant to do. Turns out, that high school test wasn’t so far off.

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Originally published: June 2, 2017
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