Motherhood as a vocation:
I'm a really slow learner. I'll struggle with something on and off for a few months (or years) before I realize that God has been banging me over the head with the answer. Sometimes I'll even learn a lesson and then forget it and then have to re-learn it...over and over. (This may explain why each of my posts sounds the exact same to you.)
I just realized that motherhood is a vocation. Wow. How many articles have I read expressing this exact sentiment? How many times have I heard other people say it, and it's just NOW sinking in.
I've stopped fighting motherhood. I've stopped trying to make my life look exactly like a kidless life that just happens to have kids sprinkled in it. I've given in. Motherhood is messy and chaotic and loud (especially with a Dane in your midst) and my house is no exception.
I'm so much HAPPIER now that I've accepted that--now that I've found my place and my purpose, now that I've stopped fighting it. I've realized that my life isn't going to be easy in this season. I'm not going to get all this time to take afternoon naps or sleep in or stay home and watch grown up TV because my oldest has school that she needs a ride to and my 2 year old wants to watch George. There's something amazing that happens when you wave the white flag--when you stop fighting the hard and slap a smile on your face and embrace it. It's amazing when you resolve to be positive despite the hard--what happens within your family when you smile through the tantrum. Leading by example, y'all!
I don't have much to add to this. I'm not re-inventing the wheel here! This is an idea people had way before Diana. I'm sharing this so that (maybe) you'll be smarter than me and get it right off the bat. Maybe you'll read this and it'll all make sense, but, in all reality, you'll probably have to FEEL it before you get it. Being a mom is annoying that way, people can give you advice and tell you things they've realized until they're blue in the face, but you don't reeeeeally get it until you go through it.
Marvin and I met with our Domestic Church circle for the first time last week, and we've started praying together every night--which for us (specifically me) is a HUGE deal.
I prayed alone. He prayed alone. We prayed together with our children. We didn't pray together as a couple. This is mostly because the idea gave me hives. There's nothing that I'm embarrassed or shy about when it comes to Marvin. He and I can literally have a face-to-face conversation while either of us *ahem* uses the bathroom, (and we all know Dr. Brown has had to ask Marvin to move his head out of the way a few times) but praying together was SCARY. It's been so awesome, y'all. Someone recently described couple prayer to me as "listening in while your spouse talks to God"--it's so awesome to hear that the things your spouse worries about are the same things you worry about. You don't know intimacy until you've done couple prayer. I'm excited to see how this impacts our marriage and our family.
I accidentally took on too many things this school year. I am teaching 3rd grade PREP and Spanish at Elaina's school again this year. Elaina is in soccer and ballet (which comes with normal valet mom responsibilities) and I accidentally got a job at the Quad and am facilitating a mom group there every Thursday--on top of all of that I have a 3 month old that relies on me for food and a 2 year old that doesn't do well with changes in routine and an almost 5 year old that gets really cranky if she doesn't get an adequate amount of attention (which for her is ALOT). It was too much. I was overwhelmed and frazzled and not doing great at my main job (mom), and then I accidentally volunteered to be team mom for Elaina's soccer team. I spent a few weeks ignoring emails from the coach about what I needed to do (an online background check and get with the parents to develop a snack schedule and and and) before I finally took a big bite of humble pie and emailed him back letting him know "oops sorry, I lied, I can't be team mom because I'm overloaded with responsibilities and not doing a great job at juggling at the moment". Marvin joked "great, now our kid won't get any playing time". It was hard to say "hey, I can't do that, because I can't do it all". Humbling. So humbling--especially for this mom whose pride is a lion that fights being tamed daily--hourly, even!
I'm sure the coach thought I was crazy... "I'm asking her to be team mom not president of the United States", but for me, for my family it was one more thing that I couldn't afford to take on and so I had to chance that the coach would forever hate me, chance that Marvin would see me as someone who can't handle it ALL, chance that I'd have to sit by as some other BETTER mom passed out orange slices. And that's where I am now. Wishing I could do it ALL, but realizing that I have a full (for me) plate and that it's not fair (to me or the people who live with me) that I add even one more thing (no matter how small) to my already full plate.
I'm sure there will be a time in my life when I look back at this post and wonder how I got so easily overwhelmed, laugh at the woman who thought she was busy THEN, but that's how life is. God is merciful that way. He lets you struggle through juggling two things and master it before he shows you that you could REALLY juggle about 10.
A mom friend recently messaged me asking for any advice I had to give. She has a 3 year old and newborn and she felt overwhelmed and like she was failing. I had no advice. I remember being there. I remember struggling to breathe. I remember wondering why I had thrown a kink in something that was moving along so wonderfully. Two kids made me wonder how anyone ever had more than 2, and here I am with 3 kids trucking along. In my world, 3 kids is easier than 2 which is just a little crazy since the math doesn't add up, but it's true for me.
Anyway, I'm starting to ramble. I just wanted to catch everyone up. Now that school's started I hope you're learning to juggle the things you can and saying no to the things you shouldn't take on and keeping your eye out for the women in your life who could use encouragement.