Thursday, May 27, 2010

Emerging

I think I'm finally emerging. Finally, crawling out from under the weight of my own expectations, my own notions of motherhood and how it all fits into full life. But, as does most emerging, it started with a crack, a breaking of that heavy outer layer that has long since weighed the being inside down. That crack came in the form of a screaming baby and ten minutes of uncontrollable sobbing. The former was courtesy of Ava, the latter...yours truly.

I haven't blogged much in the last month mostly because I didn't have much to say that didn't qualify as whining or complaining. I was frustrated and disappointed with the way life was going and then, as if that isn't enough...meet my good friend, Guilt. It would swoop in quickly anytime I was overwhelmed with the demands of every day life and effectively kill my chances of taking a breather or a nap or anything else that would keep me sane. I mean, what did I really have to complain about anyway? My three beautiful children? An adoring husband? Sweet friends? A new house? (ahhh yes...this is an exciting post for a later date...see I couldn't even tell you my great news because I was too stuck). And I would think, "Am I really sitting here, sad?" But, I was. I just was. I felt like I was losing myself amidst all of the other things that compete for my attention and I was mad about that, and subsequently feeling selfish. And trying to nurture the people in your life out of that place does not usually go well.

So, as I cried and as I talked to a good friend who thankfully let me sob on the phone and was still able to make out what I was saying, I realized that sometimes the demands of life...even for a stay at home mom (maybe especially for them, actually) really ARE just too much. And, that I can not do it all. I just can't. (If you'll allow me a slight bunny trail here...I have to tell you that in the midst of this I discovered that when my cute new cell phone has a missed call and a voice mail, the icon that appears is an envelope with a frowny face on it. A frowny face!!!...because someone wasn't able to reach me at the exact moment that they wanted to. This frowny face is often how I imagine other people viewing me when I don't meet their expectations. So, needless to say, I DO NOT need my electronics giving me attitude, people! Geesh!)

It's hard because if you are doing what you love, the expectation is that you will love every minute of it. And that means that the minutes you don't love start to make you think that maybe you've been wrong about all of it. How can you feel like you're a good mom if there are days when you want to lock the kids in their rooms and feed them by shoving food underneath the door? Does having the occasional cry in the shower after a long day mean that I am not equipped to handle having children?

Today, in a better frame of mind, I think it just means that I'm normal...maybe even better than normal, actually, because I distinctly feel the disconnect between all I want to offer my family, and how short I fall. That's painful. But, it's the good kind of painful that makes you seek the heart of God and ask him to sift away all that isn't from him. And then...he takes the guilt, he takes the unrealistic expectations, and he might even take your semi-part-time job that you find yourself trying to hold out to people who think that your full time job as a wife and mom are not enough. Yep...he'll probably take that too. But, what he gives you in return is sweet freedom. Freedom to enjoy the joy and chaos of being at home. Freedom to enjoy the slower moments, too. And, freedom to have a cry in the shower at the end of a long day when it's all just too much.

7 comments:

Melodie said...

i love this honest post. i see alot of "it's all rainbows and butterflies" posts. but come on, everyone knows that's not reality. i've been thinking today, since hearing a song in church, about how to be Jesus to my children. it's not always easy. and i'm afriad i fail more often than i succeed. but we are all a work in progress. if we had it all together, all the time, we wouldn't need HIM! i loved reading your thoughts. can't wait to see you and the fam!

Amy said...

This was one of the most hopeful things I have read in a long, long time. It spoke to exactly where I am this second...I can't do it all and I don't want to spend another second thinking I can. How I long for the freedom you wrote about! Thank you for your honesty, openness, and for being such a courageous, beautiful woman. (And I LOVED the bit about the frowny face - for the love.)

The Coopers said...

wow! I had heard over the weekend you had posted but hadn't read it until after drop off at school this moring. I am overwhelmed lots of the time but this morning was a bad start to a monday like day and I needed to read this at this exact time. I even looked in the mirror and said to myself "maybe Im really not cut out for this". Thanks for your heart and sharing and reminding me we are normal!! He is right there with us sifting!!love you!

What's Going On... said...

Love this Amanda! Thanks for speaking from your heart! We should all be so brave as to sometimes say, "I feel like I'm sinking!" Praise the Lord he lifts us up from those times of doubt. : )

Jamie B said...

God just keeps amazing me everyday. I see myself a lot in this blog. Now I know that I am not alone and I am not going crazy, I'm just normal. Thanks for sharing....God Bless

Molly said...

Wow this is good. You have a way with words girly. So many favorites to this post...feeding the kids under the door...thats awesome. What I wouldn't give to share coffee with you! I think on top of it all, there is a guilt with adoption that you have to enjoy every second because someone sacrificed HUGE for you to be able to do what you do. God I hope that doesn't sound awful, but I pray you know what I mean.

Is it weird that I love you? Too bad. Love ya! Thanks for this wonderful post!

Marcy said...

Love this post. Right there with ya. I so appreciate the way you write and express your feelings - you have a true gift, friend.