Aubrey is the mother of five boys and one sweet baby girl. She was always an amazing student, and always wanted to put academics first. Her plan was to graduate from college before having kids, but plans were changed when she got pregnant with not only one but two babies before she completed her bachelor’s degree, making her last two semesters quite a bit more difficult through a difficult pregnancy and recovering from childbirth.
As every new mom knows, that first year can be hard. But for Aubrey, it was brutal! Not only did she have two children to take care of, but she also was suffering from postpartum depression. On top of all of this, they found out that she was unexpectedly pregnant again and they had a big move in the near future. She loved her children and her new life, but it was hard too!
“I loved my kids, but there was all that hard stuff that goes with it.”
During a particularly difficult time, she was talking to a friend who had older children. The mother was overwhelmed with the trials of motherhood. Aubrey thought to herself, “My life is good!” Then she quickly flashed back to her life and remembered how difficult things were. She was struggling with depression, the house was a mess, and the boys were a handful. She realized that she had been looking at life all wrong. She needed a change of perspective to help her focus on the positive.
“When I focused on my blessings and the good things, it really did help… it brought perspective.”
After her third son was born, life was once again blissfully difficult. Because of a bad reaction to a birth control shot, she was not able to control her moods, as she would have liked. She was not able to be as happy and put together as she wanted to be and that caused a horrible ripple effect on the family. The well-adjusted boys would now cry and complain more than they used to, and it was hard for her husband to be patient, when she was not in control. The doctors said there was nothing that could be done, and they simply had to wait for the birth control to wear off, which finally did, after a full six months.
As soon as life was beginning to return back to normal, Aubrey felt strongly that it was time to have another baby. It was not in her plans, and it was more than she could handle at this stage in her life. She was in a good place, and history had shown that she was left in a dark place after childbirth. She refused to accept the promptings, to the extent that she did not even tell her husband about the feelings that she was having.
“The Lord and I had this standoff for 6 months.”
When she finally decided that she should follow those promptings, they got pregnant with their 4th child. She went into this pregnancy with some uncertainty. She felt that this burden was being placed on her, and she did not feel ready for it.
About ten weeks into the pregnancy, she started bleeding. She thought that she was losing the baby, and she was terrified. She was put on bed rest to see if they could save the baby. When this happened, something unexpected occurred. Where some resentment and uncertainty had previously resided, those feelings started to be pushed out and replaced with something completely different. She went from this pregnancy that she did not want to have at that point in her life to wanting nothing more in the world than for this baby to be born into her family. She had a complete change of heart, and now focused all her energy on keeping this sweet baby.
After 3 or 4 days on bed rest, the bleeding stopped and she felt safe. The pregnancy was back to normal, except now her attitude and heart had changed. She had changed. This was a small miracle in a hard time, giving her strength and courage as she trusted in God.
This experience did not make her life as a mother from that point on perfect. Just as with all the other pregnancies, after this pregnancy, she once again suffered with postpartum depression. And on top of dealing with that trial, these angel babies turned wild in their toddler years.
“They were angel babies, but they were terror toddlers.”
On one particular day, the boys locked her out of the house. Try as she might, she could not get in. She peeked through the window to the kitchen and saw white powder all over the kitchen. She saw this in horror, hoping it was flour. Once she finally got back into the house, she realized it was not flour, but powdered sugar. All over the house, and all over her children. It took weeks to clean everything up!
Aubrey has learned and grown throughout her parenting. She has learned to trust God with each new step in the journey, especially when it does not seem to make a lot of sense. As with all academically driven parents, Aubrey desperately wanted her children to succeed at school. This plan seemed like it was working out great; that is until the boys actually started school…
Once school began, the boys had a really hard time staying on task. Doing homework became a battle. It was not easy, and it was not fun. They endured test after medical and behavioral test and none of the treatments were working. The struggle got so real, that they felt inspired to make a bold decision. At the beginning of the new school year, they walked in to their children’s classroom and announced to the teacher: “We don’t do homework at our house.” They decided that their home needed to be a safe place, and it just was not when they were struggling for hours and hours with homework every day.
“Home needs to be a sanctuary”
As with most inspired decisions, the consequences of this decision were still weighing heavily on her heart. One day they had some missionaries over at the house, talking about the greatness of God. When asked if there was anyone greater than God, one of the boys jumped up from the couch and yelled with so much passion, “No! No one is greater than God!”
At that moment, the Spirit confirmed to Aubrey’s heart so strongly that they were on the right path. She felt the words, “I am supposed to be raising missionaries, not academics. These boys are meant to become Men of God.” She also felt the voice telling her, “They are going to get through High School. They don’t have to be you.”
Later on, all the boys were diagnosed with PANDAS, which is a bacteria that hides itself by putting molecules on its cell wall that look like molecules already found in a child’s tissues. Because of this it can be very hard to diagnose. It can cause symptoms that can be disguised as the problems that these boys were having that were out their control. The extra grace that they had given themselves and their children has been vital in keeping a positive home environment for the family.
This family is a great example of what it means to follow promptings and be guided in your parenting. God can see things that we cannot, and if we allow him to bless us, we will be able go through life trusting in our decisions, even when they may not make sense with the facts that we have available to us now.
Story about Aubrey Taylor