Tag Archives: Epiphanies

Content

I once thought life would end after motherhood; I now understand this to be false.  My life has just begun.  To explain this, I am going to repost something I wrote for my family blog.  (Sorry to those of you who have already read this.)

This is it. The place I have struggled to find: I am content being a mother.  More importantly, I excitedly wake up each day knowing I get to spend the next 12 or so hours with my delightful children.

A friend recently asked (on her blog) if all mothers feel bored when they are home with their babies:  The repetition is monotonous; the hours stretch forever; the silence is filled with little baby sounds and a mother talking just to hear an adult voice.

I remember that.  Even though my time with Emily was sacred, it wasn’t easy.  Once Andrew came, the days were filled with so much more activity–mostly of the intense variety as both kids would be screaming at once, or tag-screaming; but it was less lonely.

Unfortunately, the boredom came back.  Maybe boredom isn’t the right word.  The “ticks” and voices came back.  The thoughts of “I must go do something or I’m going to go crazy,” were incessant.  At the beginning of March, I noticed a significant change.   I suppose the days could still be called monotonous; but it wasn’t a change in routine, it was a change within myself.

My most intense struggle with motherhood was feeling stifled, suppressed.  I felt my intellect shrinking; my brain turning to mush.  I decided that I could change something.  I took charge of educating myself beyond the classroom.

It started when I altered my reading interests from fiction-focused to educational-focused.  I am not opposed to fiction; but it was not satiating my intense craving for mental stimulation.  I went on a book fast for months because I felt dissatisfied with the obtuse and–too often–obscene dialogs and ridiculous plots.  I decided to try a book suggestion from one of my favorite podcasts, Stuff You Missed In History ClassThe Six Wives of Henry the VIII by Antonia Fraser.

This marvelous historical non-fiction book not only got my brain working again, but supplied my very busy mind with important topics to think about and discuss with Ben at a later time.  I started making connections between events that happened then with events that are happening now.  (It’s rather sad when I realized the world’s ignominious ideologies have remained stagnant–a topic for another time.) It fueled my newly acquired–or, more accurately, newly recognized–humanitarian based ideology.

After reading that book, I inhaled many of her other books: Marie Antoinette: The Journey; Love and Louis XIV: The Women in the Life of the Sun King.  Soon I moved to other authors–David Grann, A. N. Wilson, Alison Weir.  My synapses went crazy as new relationships between the past and the present were forged.  I went to bed exhausted by the mental debates I engaged in throughout the day.

Because Ben allowed me to think out loud, I formed new personal philosophies which helped provide the foundation for writing the guest post, entitled My Personal Road to Salvation, for a Kelly’s blog.

At the same time, I no longer needed to spend hours on the computer away from my children.  I wanted to read, play, and color with them.  I started dancing and cleaning and wreaking havoc on the household with them rather than only observing.  It’s been a remarkable shift going from dreading the day to looking forward to it.

Don’t get me wrong, life isn’t all roses and Playdough.  There are still days when I want to pull my hair out, but those days slowly drift into obsoleteness when I compare them to other joy-filled days. All in all, I am content.

Happy.

Fulfilled.

Life is good.

Advertisements

14 Comments

Filed under Shooting Straight

Practically Speaking

Writing is a good way for me to search deep inside and figure out exactly who I am.

I thought that in writing about my non-womanly likes (and dislikes) would help me to stop comparing myself to other women who do enjoy crafts, baking, and romantic stuff.  Honestly, I compare myself to these highly talented women quite frequently.  It’s time that I recognize that though I have different interests, I am not less girly.

It worked.

In connection with this, writing out my thoughts also forced me to look at the logical side behind my words.   Since I am a very practical person, there usually is one.

For instance, my aversion to baking isn’t necessarily that baking isn’t fun, it’s that baking requires too many dishes and too much of my attention.  With little ones running around my feet (or hanging on my pants screaming), I can’t devote that much time to one item.  Also, as the resident dishwasher (literally we have no dishwasher), thinking about washing those dishes later in the evening is quite undesirable.  Especially if I want to make an edible dinner for my kids at some point before bedtime.

As for crafts?  They probably are fun, but my hands are so dry–no matter how much lotion I rub on them–that the very thought of touching paper screams paper cuts.  Cringe.  Even sewing and painting require me to be near textures that make my hands shrivel up in fear (and dryness).

(Romance is a topic of an entirely different post.  Though I will say this, it’s all my father’s fault.)

Just goes to show, you learn something new about yourself when you take the time to investigate.

15 Comments

Filed under All About Me

Snatching a Few Moments With Mom

I put the kids in bed at their normal bedtime.

They cried.

And cried.

Finally stopped.

And I smiled.

Ben came home, opened their door, and woke them up.

They cried.

And cried.

Ben rescued them.

And I blogged.

Ben calmed them down by reading stories, they stole away onto my lap, and I declared, “Bedtime!”

Emily slept.

Andrew cried.

I rescued him.

And blogged.

With him on my lap, touching my face, and giving me lots of snuggles.

I laughed.

And kissed him.

Rocked him.

And smiled.

Sometimes I plan my whole day around bedtime and when the hour finally comes, I sigh with relief. But if it’s interrupted by a sad baby, I become grouchy and think unpleasant thoughts. Today I realized I should cherish these one-on-one moments because they don’t happen very often. In connection with my recent epiphany, I am choosing to enjoy these times. Even if it does mean the laundry remains on my couch, unfolded.

15 Comments

Filed under lessons from a rocking chair

Becoming the Mother I Want to Be

When I had Andrew, something happened.

I was tired, I was lonely, I was stressed, and I was overwhelmed.  Ben was working, attending school, studying for the MCAT, and trying his best to be there for me and the kids.

My little boy was fussy, very fussy.  He cried and cried, I cried and cried, Emily cried and cried.  I pushed joy away so I could have room for misery.

Emily was growing, maturing, turning into a toddler.  I wasn’t ready.  I wanted her to help me, but I didn’t want her to be adventurous or seek autonomy.  I wanted–I needed–her to sit down next to me, playing quietly.  Not running from mess to mess, taking advantage of me nursing to get into everything.

I was unrealistic.

I found myself turning into an awful mother. I went from using calm tones to relying on harsh tones; being happy and engaging to being angry and distant; patient to impatient.

My husband’s busyness and my loneliness excused me from improving my behaviors.

Until one day I really looked at my daughter.  What I saw was not a little monster trying to ruin my life, but a little girl, a toddler, who was discovering her little world, begging for me to help her.

How I viewed motherhood changed.

In The Family: A Proclamation to the World, the leaders of my church remind mothers (and fathers) that we are to nurture our children.

Nurture: to feed and protect; to support and encourage, as during a period of training or development.  (Source: Dictionary.com.)

I do feed and protect my children every day, but do I support and encourage? More importantly, do I support and encourage my toddler as she discovers her world?

I am not ignorant.

I knew what I could do to temper her melt downs or aide in her autonomy seeking behavior.  That is what my degree is in. Yet I was neglectful and I took the easy way out.

I have had several impressions reminding me to use my education to help me parent.  I ignored them.  Silly, really, considering I am often moaning to Ben that I can’t use my degree.

I am thankful that God is patient with me.

I can change and I will change.  These changes will not happen immediately, it will take time for me adjust my behaviors.

I feel powerful, I know that I can do this.

How have you grown/changed as a parent?

This post is (now) part of  “I’m Finding the Bigger Picture” event.  Click on over to see more events!

Bigger Picture Moment

27 Comments

Filed under keeping the faith