08 November 2011


Mother and Child by Xi Pan

"Children rank way below college. Below world travel for sure. Below the 
ability to go out at night at your leisure. Below honing your body at the gym. 
Below any job you may have or hope to get. In fact, children rate below your 
desire to sit around and pick your toes, if that is what you want to do. Below
everything. Children are the last thing you should ever spend your time doing...

Motherhood is not a hobby, it is a calling. You do not collect children because 
you find them cuter than stamps. It is not something to do if you can squeeze 
the time in. It is what God gave you time for."

(Quoted in Children by Neil L. Andersen)


Before we found out the lil guy was coming, we were trying to figure out what post-graduation life would be like for the Poole family of two. Plan A was get a job and move. And Jeff was applying for jobs everywhere. Plan B: teach English in another country or two. We were both pretty excited about this. I was super stoked because I had only been as far as Mexico and Canada. Jeff was excited because he really enjoyed living in Europe during his mission. He even called the organization to find out more about what it was like and where the best places to teach were (South Korea pays the best). What an adventure it would have been seeing the world as a young, married, recently graduated couple. The pictures we would have taken. The food we would have eaten. The new culture we would have experienced. We would be telling stories about it for years.

But after a while I just started "feeling" pregnant. I can't really explain it. I took a couple of those awkward pee on the stick tests and they were positive. Once that little + and - showed up, our ideas of being world travelers crumbled. We weren't trying and we weren't planning, but Baby Poole was coming.

Jeff was ecstatic. I was scared. It was the beginning of my 16 credit hour final semester that included three 2 hour and 45 minute studio art classes and a BFA show to prepare for. I didn't know how I would be able to get all that done since I wasn't that great at schoolwork anyway. And then to add a heaping helping of first trimester illness. I was sure it would be almost more than I could handle.
And, honestly. I have always had a lot of insecurities about being a mom. It is probably the number one thing that has caused me to worry about the future. I realize how influential a mother can be in her children's lives, for good and for bad. I've always been scared of the responsibility I have to nurture and teach little children of God. I've always felt insecure about my ability to keep a nice home. Cooking, baking, cleaning, sewing, and other domestic responsibilities have always been sensitive subjects for me because I am not at all confident in those skills. And really, I don't even like doing most of them. Which has made learning how to do them a little bit harder.

But being a mom really has always been my number one goal. 
I've always known that I needed to get an education and prepare for a grown-up job, but being a professional photographer has never been what I've wanted to do most in life. I love photography and art and creating, and am thankful for the talents that have been entrusted to me. It would be so exciting to be a commercial photographer or prop stylist. But then people would ask me what I wanted to do for a career. Did I really want to rearrange stuff and take pictures of it for the rest of my life?  The only thing I knew for positive was that I wanted to be a mom.

So I've tried to hone the skills I thought would be helpful for being a mom. I started cooking more 
(even though I sortakinda despise it). I tried to learn more about organizing and cleaning (even though my room has always looked like a disaster). I'm making progress.
Heavenly Father must have known how weak I was in these areas and how much I wanted to improve. He sure helped me out by providing me with experiences to work on those skills. One winter I cleaned a family friend's house for some extra money. I also got to nanny a family of five for two winters, in addition to other babysitting jobs.
He has been preparing me for being a mom for a long time.
When I start getting worried, that is what I have to remember. That what I've wanted more than anything is to create an eternal family. That it will all work out okay.

  (quote found here and kind of here)

I'm still really nervous about being a mom. What am I going to do with a baby all day? What do I do if he starts crying in the middle of church? When does he start eating solids? What if he poops all over our stuff? Will my depression and anxiety have a negative impact on him? Do babies really care what kind of pacifier they have?
Jeff's nervous, too. About being a dad and providing for our little family. He's nervous about having enough money for rent and food and baby things.
While there is a lot of uncertainty in our lives right now, there a few things that we both know. Heavenly Father has been preparing us for this. He trusts us with one of His spirit children. Baby Poole is supposed to come now, for whatever reason. Heavenly Father knows how badly we want to be good parents. And He will help us.

When the worry and fear in my mind has cleared, I realize I'm really grateful that TadPoole is coming now, even if it's not the most ideal time (is there ever an ideal time?).
...But maybe it is?
Because if he wasn't coming now, I may not have learned to humble myself by asking for and accepting help. I may not have learned a good lesson about faith. I may not have started eating the food my body (and his) needs. I may not have learned just how big the hearts of my professors, friends, and family are; and how willing they are to serve.
Without realizing it, we picked out the perfect name for Baby Poole. Ezra. Hebrew for help.
He certainly has already taught us a lot about that.

We may not be getting passports, but this certainly is some kind of big adventure.


  1. Amy, I love this. You are inspiring.

  2. Amy, You will be excellent parents. None of us know what to do before we have that first baby, but it all seems to work out. Kids adapt quite well to their circumstances. We need a new pic of your cute belly. We are so excited for you guys!!!

  3. But stamps are so much fun! Just kidding, they're kind of boring. I bet babies are much more fun. Also, you took care of me a lot when we lived together, especially when I acted like a baby. Seriously, though. You are always really good about knowing what people need. I love you.

    p.s. All the Ezras I know about are really cool. Maybe he'll be in Vampire Weekend.

  4. amy you're beautiful and i love you but you know that but i like to tell you
    especially when you make me cry at midnight on a tuesday :) ezratadpoole is a blessed babe

  5. You are amazing and inspiring and gifted. You make me so proud and happy to call you my friend. You're going to be a wonderful mommy and you have tons of people that love you and Jeff and little fruit sized Ezra.

    I love you so much!