I thought I would be more settled with motherhood. 4 and half years and three kids in and I constantly feel like my heart is trampoline for all my worst feelings to have a playdate on.
Like most women who become moms, I had confidence in my abilities to be a mom, wife, homemaker before I ever was any of these things. Now I am all of these things. Now I realize that it doesn’t always come naturally, or enjoyably, or at a pace I feel is sustainable.
With Levi I probably idolized motherhood. I bought all the gadgets and books that would supplement any gaps in my rookie parenting.
With Dawson I felt completed and ready to step out into the world beyond ‘motherhood’. I felt ready to start dreaming some big things and passionately embracing who I’ve been made to be in this world.
But this came with so much tension. How do you embrace all that is burning up your heart and motherhood?
There is just so much I want to do each day, that I can’t fully invest in it while being a stay at home mom to three small kids. I feel restless. Wandering in circles around my dining room table. Sweep, snacks, play, naps, repeat. Stuck in a spiral of crumbs, refereeing spats and making meals.
I know there are things I can control and change in this situation. Yet, more than anything, I know from sitting with other moms and sharing our days and struggles, that this is our hard season. Like, laying on the couch at the end of the night asking when the days will get easier and wondering when was the last time we ate a vegetable.
This is our hard season fellow moms.
This is where we learn that there is no balance outside of the filters of Instagram….
that the pace we expect of ourselves can be proud and unsustainable….
that motherhood will make us angry….
that our anger wears different jackets like resentment or martyrdom…..
that there is always more to be done….
that we truly didn’t realize the duties that would come with motherhood…..
that we will have days were we feel like crappy mothers and wives…..
We might even drink a gin and eat bacon with our barehands at the end of the night because our coping skills are in deficit. All coping resources have being expended on things like a toddler who kept saying they had to poop for the first two hours of bedtime when we just wanted to finally sit alone and read our book in peace (or so I’ve heard).
This is hard season for me to embrace, like I mean it. The urge to change menaces over the stillness of embracing.
When we have a season of being broken down, we can have faith that a season of rebuilding will follow. And of course we fight the breaking down! Why would we want to be broken down when we are working so, so hard to cinch it all up tighter and get it done faster and better than before?
I’ve learned with gritted teeth and ugly cries in the tub that this is where Jesus is waiting for us because this is where we need him. We need more patience, more love, more forgiveness, more energy, more bacon than we possess. He gives it to us.
He doesn’t give us an easy life but He walks alongside us so that when we are failing and struggling we have grace and hope. We can place our trust in him when all we see is tension and desperation that he has a bigger and better plan than for us to be frustrated, restless, anxious, exhausted. He wants to us to give up our white-knuckle of control to steer our life where we think it needs to go and let it be so much more than what we can make it on our own accord.
Motherhood doesn’t always look or feel like I think it should. Embracing it sounds great when I say it, but it is one of the hardest things I’ve had to do in my adult life. But maybe I can get to a place where that excites me as I try to reform my Type Nine tendencies. Maybe, rather than want to pretend I have the runs and hide out in the bathroom on my iPhone (oh, like you never!) I can let myself be weak and uncomfortable. I can sit with those feelings and know that where there is discomfort I am on the edge of change. Where I am weak I am strong. I can let myself be changed by motherhood instead of me trying to change motherhood.
Love Shawna, Your nerdy girlfriend who has officially termed sweats ‘comfort gear’. Feel free to use that one.
This post is part of #wholemama. This week’s prompt was to write about the word ‘Embrace’. Check out Overflow for a link up of all the posts, or follow the hashtag on Twitter.