Go ahead. Click it and enjoy. I'll wait right here.
*Slurrrrp. Finished off my Sprite from lunch.*
*Ugh. I need to clean off my desk.*
Oh! You're back! Kaboom. Is your mind completely blown like mine?
My goodness. I needed to read that - what freedom she gives us. The freedom to NOT feel guilty when we're NOT. ENJOYING. EVERY. SINGLE. SECOND. The crying, temper tantrum my daughter threw when she was told "no" and pulled away from grabbing Angie's ears? I didn't enjoy that. Nor did I enjoy her waking up this morning at 5:38 and then doing this weird moaning she did with her eyes closed and mouth open while I was trying to get just a few more moments of rest before starting my day. That doesn't mean I don't understand the importance of these moments....discipline is necessary in creating a functioning member of society and I am thankful to have a healthy and smiling daughter to pick up out of her crib every morning.
But enjoy? Probably not.
I felt the crushing weight of this guilt last March and April as I was miserably sitting at home with my child, desperately wishing that she would sleep for a little while longer so that I could catch up on blogs and other internet fun. I immersed myself in my friend Melissa's blog which during this particular time she was working through the grief of her daughter Hadley. My heart ached for her loss and still does, especially as she approaches the first anniversary of Hadley's birth and journey to Jesus. But at the time, I felt guilty and ashamed. There I was.....not wanting to mother my child.....feeling resentful that this little creature had forever changed my life. I thought about women like Melissa who would give anything to sit and comfort their crying child while I was desperately yearning to run far away.
And yes, one day I ran away from my crying child, my frustrated husband and my terrified dog.
At the time I didn't understand that the chemicals in my brain and body were malfunctioning, but more importantly I didn't truly understand what it meant to be a mother.
What I didn't understand is that there is no definition of "mother."
Mothers can work outside or inside the home.
Mothers can be feminine and delicate or they can be a tomboy and a little rough around the edges.
Mothers can be quiet or loud. They can enjoy a glass of white wine with their friends or a tall beer with her husband.
Mothers can be religiously organized or delightfully free-spirited.
Mothers can be whatever the hell they want to be as long as their children and husband are loved.
I was a victim of the "shoulds." I SHOULD enjoy every moment with my child. I SHOULD always be patient, loving and engaged with my child. I SHOULD maintain a clean and well organized home. I SHOULD always have a healthy and delicious dinner ready when my husband comes home from work. I SHOULD always put every single other person's physical, emotional and spiritual well being above my own.
Ugh. What a beating.
And the truth of the matter is that the more Natalie has grown, the more I have grown to love her and love my position as her mother. I let go of the "shoulds" and embraced the "wills" and the "ams."
I will keep a clean and organized house because I am more relaxed when my environment is tidy.
I will encourage my daughter to be involved in school and extra-curricular activities because I am confident in the great life lessons found in these programs.
I will prioritize my husband and our marriage because we are better parents to Natalie when our marriage is strong.
I will attempt to make delicious dinners because I am finding that I actually enjoy the challenge of cooking.
I will allow Natalie to explore her creativity and make messes because I am able to purchase the proper cleaning materials.
Am I enjoying motherhood? I would probably say that I am enjoying the growth of our family. I love the
I suppose the bottom line is that we have to stop allowing this lie of "motherhood is the end all be all of your life and if you're not enjoying every moment then you must be doing it wrong" to permeate into our core belief system and instead build our own version of motherhood.