Looking back at my childhood, adolescence, and even early adult years, I think about the girl I was. Funny. Over-achiever. Desperately wanting to fit in, to please my parents, teachers, employers. Desiring success. But strong? And brave? Not really. Mostly because I hadn’t yet been faced with a circumstance that necessitated my courage and strength. And that’s probably a story a lot of women tell—that it wasn’t until motherhood that their true fighter emerged. Now that I’ve been a mother for almost nine years, you’re damn right I feel strong and capable of handling whatever comes my way. Because I have to.
Writer and SAHM of three, Molly England of BlueBonnet Babies recently shared her own story of bravery and strength. In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, Molly, her three kids, and their dog loaded up their car and began the long four-day drive from their town north of Houston to their new home: New York. Molly’s husband was already there, having been relocated for work. She and the kids had been waiting for the moving company but when the world stopped this past week, she couldn’t get out. Until she realized she could.
Molly says that as she waited through the hurricane, she and her kids coped by turning off the news and staying distracted as much as possible. Fortunately their house did not flood, and she and her kids were safe. However, she shares in her Facebook post that “The rain continued and the potential for flooding stayed strong. All of the airports were shut with no news of when they’d reopen. I decided to take to the possibly closed and treacherous roads and drive to New York. Our relocation started.”
Her choice to head north was not met with overwhelming support. Molly shares that many of her friends and family members were worried for her and her kids—ages 7, 5, and 4. But, she tells Her View From Home, “I also realized that although their advice was well meaning, no one knew exactly how I felt. I knew that leaving that morning was the best thing for my family.” She admits that she was scared, but that a strong sense of determination was her driving force. “I think all women have a deep-rooted sense of determination. A lot of the time I’m too distracted by mundane tasks, such as laundry and dishes, to even realize that the force is there. But, when that steadfast determination is needed it’s always ready,” Molly tells Her View From Home.
So off they went. Four days. One mom. Three kids. And a dog. Their first stop was Dallas, where they met up with close friends. “They opened their doors to us, and the three kids greeted our kids like long lost cousins,” she shares in her Facebook post. “Everyone played, and they fed us comfort food. With soothed nerves and full bellies, we piled back into the car. Now sunny skies greeted us on the open road and we drove and drove. Taylor Swift, Florence and the Machine, Daya, and any and all Kidz Bop songs filled our car and brightened our spirits.”
Molly is extremely grateful to her mom, who offered to find them all of their hotels along the way, providing Molly with one less thing to worry about. Stops included Muskogee, OK, Terre Haute, IN, and Bedford, PA. She shares that her kids were wonderful throughout: “Stopping only when absolutely necessary to go to the bathroom or eat, the kids were upbeat and surprisingly well behaved. Normally we have epic meltdowns at Target or even walking the dog in our neighborhood; so the fact that they never complained or fought is beyond my comprehension. I’m forever grateful for whatever mysterious force pulled them from the depths of their everyday behavior and bestowed on them the ability to behave, listen, and help me.”
She did not grow weary. “By our second night I expected my adrenaline to have worn off and for fatigue to set in, but no,” Molly says. “I kept going, like a machine. I never once felt exhausted or incapable of continuing.”
And, finally, on that last day, the NYC skyline appeared before them. “We’d arrived. We did it,” she shares with pride in her Facebook post.
But, like in all things motherhood, there are days of butt-kicking and immense satisfaction that yes, we CAN do anything. And then there are days of failure. After their long journey of courage and adventure, Molly was still a mom. And she had to do laundry. When she realized she had lost her keys, Molly called for roadside assistance. Once their car was jimmied open, they searched, assuming they’d be in the trunk. But they weren’t.
That’s right. After all she’d been through, all she’d overcome, she couldn’t even do laundry. “I frantically searched the hotel room again and eventually found the keys. Where were they you ask? They were in my sweatshirt pocket, of course. No, I hadn’t checked those pockets before calling for assistance. I’d checked the pockets of the fleece I thought I was wearing, but not the pockets of the sweatshirt I was wearing. And there you have it, a moment of humanity to end a week of feeling like supermom.”
And that, my friends, is motherhood in a nutshell. We at Her View From Home wish Molly and her family luck as they begin a new chapter full of adventures in New York!