Crunch. Crunch. Crunch.

I trudge through the snow pushing the double stroller back home from the library.  The kids, bundled up in various assortments of coats, hats, and blankets, point out objects of entertainment.

“A red truck, Mommy!” squeals a delighted Emily.

“Dada, Mama, Jump!” adds Andrew.

We breathe in the delightful scents of leaves fallen off trees, the pine cones of Evergreens, and the fresh scent of fallen snow (that is to say the air is free of smoggy residue and, therefore, scentless).   The noise of passing cars is barely noticeable as I push the stroller through serene neighborhoods.

While I engage the kids with multifarious questions, I ponder my current situation.  My habit to load up the stroller when I feel my mental capacities buckling under the overwhelming (or so my mind thinks) pressures; my tendency to lose my head when a child wakes up early from a nap (or refuses to take one) or busies herself in naughty behaviours; and my inability to confront certain places (ahem, internet) without feeling fear, with a dash of dread and a heavy side of guilt, because I am convinced of my personal inadequacies and failures.

My intense desires to be at home with my children and provide a loving, safe, and education-rich environment juxtapose with my acute longing to run away–whether to the workplace, school, or another state–from the battles being fought inside my head supposedly because of my occupation as a stay-at-home mom.

Rather than hide from these devilish thoughts, I tenuously chose to accost my enemy this last week as a knight would duel his foe. I stayed away from friends–on-line and in real life–because I knew this fight would need my full strength.

At this point it would be natural to interpose “and in the end,” except that an ending doesn’t exist.  With this war, the battles are waged daily–some I win, some I lose.  However, I am emerging as victor more often than as conquered.

Crunch. Crunch. Crunch.

The birds chirp, the leaves stir, and the kids continue with their endless chatter.   I open my eyes a little wider and notice the contrast between this day and the last: the pressure in my chest has lifted and I feel as light as the wind.  And though it is cold outside, I feel the warmth of this knowledge spreading through my limbs and the beginnings of a bounce to my step.

With guarded optimism, I embrace the changes and look forward to days filled with more hope and less fear.



Filed under Reflections

21 responses to “Repose

  1. The battles in our heads are surely the most grueling. Fight on brave knight, fight on.

    Changing the scenery is one of my best strategies to find my bounce. That day sound lovely, your picture is gorgeous.

  2. I have been thinking of you all weekend wondering how you're doing! And I figured you were taking some kind of a break since we hadn't heard from you. And that's just fine (although we do miss you).

    It's wonderful to walk outside with little ones and breathe the fresh(?) air… it makes my day better, too.

    LOVE that picture. So precious.

    I also love this link (which you may have read before, not sure) but I think about it a lot for my life:

  3. Love the picture.. So beautiful!

    Missed you in the last little while – glad you've found some optimism.. that you are winning more battles than you lose. Your children, your family, your friends are lucky to have you as part of their life.

    Welcome back!

  4. What a gorgeous picture. And I think every mother should know that those feelings are common and normal before they have kids…so we don't spend as much time feeling guilty about them.

  5. Beautiful photo, Amber. Keep on fighting and doing what feels right for you!

  6. Carisa Brown

    Perfect. Simply perfect.

  7. Two steps forward, one step back, but forward progress nonetheless. You know the important thing is to keep trying – and you are – and you will be successful.

  8. What a photo! Beautiful.

    Glad to hear you're winning. Keep fighting, girl. Keep getting back up.

  9. I very much missed your voice but wanted to give you privacy while you coped with your grandmother's passing. I was thinking of you, as were so many of us, and I hope you felt the virtual comfort! Keep on crunching, friend.

  10. Beautiful Picture. Glad you are back and nice to see your words hear again. I'm with Stacia, keep on crunching girl. You have our support.

  11. That photo is stunning! LOVE your writing style, too.

  12. love you Amber. This is beautiful. You are beautiful. 🙂

  13. You can't win the battle without taking those first steps.

  14. Yay, you, for recognizing when you need to step back, regroup or run away. We're programmed to feel bad for doing so, but it's some of the most important work we can do.

  15. Beautiful photo. Thank you for sharing this moment. It's nice to know that I am not alone in facing such strenuous internal battles. I'm glad you are back.

  16. Perhaps your best post yet. And that's saying something, friend.

  17. Kendra

    Thank you Amber. Not only is it a beautiful picture and post but it really helped me today. I'm sure the reasons you feel as you do are different than my own but at the same time, I felt like what you were writing expressed perfectly my thoughts. Thank you

  18. Kick that demon's butt Amber!!! You are a beautiful daughter of God with infinite worth, and don't you ever forget it whether you are a stay-at-home mom, or have a job outside your home. You are beautiful. Your children are beautiful, and sharing who you are is brave.
    P.S.- I LOVE the image at the top, but then you knew I would right?!

  19. This post speaks to me in a way I can not express. Thank you for visiting my blog, for offering me support in my personal battle against feeling invisible, and for sharing your feelings so honestly here so that I may relate and feel a little less lonely. I will be around a lot more…thanks again!

  20. Amber you are so brave. So brave. To lean into life rather than away. I'm stunned by the Beauty of watching you do that. I hope you can feel me breathing with you, as, step by step you push that stroller that wants to stall.

  21. I get in these reflective moods all the time, and also go through the ups and downs of feeling I'm doing great and wondering if I am a COMPLETE failure as a mother.