I dreamed of you since the time I was a little girl. I had big plans for you Motherhood. I thought we could do crafts together. That we could plan beautiful meals and have them with beautiful, clean children. That the beautiful clean children would enjoy every organic bit of that meal. I thought maybe we could have a house together. Not a grand house, just a house big enough for us all to live in, full of love and laughter and pretty things. Maybe we could even have a clean house that’s nice and organized. Where everything has a spot and is easily found when you need it. Oh Motherhood, I thought we would be able to learn to sew and make elaborate Halloween costumes for the adorable children you blessed me with. Motherhood, I feel like we have failed each other.
I think back on all the failures I had from the start of my journey as a mom. From the c-section that brought my twins into this world, making me feel like less of a woman because I couldn’t push them out myself. To the failed breastfeeding attempts which led to 6 months of pumping for those sweet little girls. To having 3 kids under 3, living in a 3rd floor apartment and falling down the stairs with precious Ronin who I may have dropped on the way down. My start as a mother wasn’t the magical start I longed for. Looking back at my 24-year-old mom of 3 under 3 self, I wish I could tell her one thing, CALM DOWN. Well maybe two things, CALM DOWN and PERFECT IS STUPID. I carried this insane pressure to be “Super Mom” with me for years, and it very near killed me. I literally had a nervous breakdown when I turned 27. I was a stay at home mom of 3 kids, a wife, and a church member. That was my whole identity. I realized that I had no idea who I really was. I knew I wanted more out of life but felt stuck in all 3 of those roles and they were demanding roles. I couldn’t keep up with other moms. I couldn’t keep my house as clean as other people’s, and my crafts weren’t as cool, and my kids didn’t eat their vegetables like other people’s kids, and my husband and I fought a LOT about the house being in a constant state of disarray and other wives didn’t have that problem, and, and AND….. Needless to say my anxiety was thru the roof and it all just kind of came crashing down around me. BUT GOD. But God came with me as my whole world fell apart. And when I couldn’t get out of bed he gave me children that needed me to. He gave me a husband who was also tired of living miserably together and pushed us to go to marriage counseling, where we learned how to talk to each other in a manner that was non threatening and could convey how we really felt. God helped us see each other’s point of view and the fact that I had 3 young kids meant MESS. We were at our absolute lowest point and I can’t help but thank God for that. Living the way we were living was killing us and we were on a path to end up as a broken family. Something had to happen and my breakdown, though painful and shameful, was what we needed. God’s amazing healing power swept thru our lives and changed us forever.
Going through such a life altering situation brings everything into perspective. I’m so relived to learn that I don’t have to be perfect. I don’t have to have this whole motherhood thing figured out completely. My house is still a mess, but it’s getting better as the kids get older and can help more. I’m still a mom, wife, and church member, but now know that I don’t have to be the “perfect” mom, wife, and church member. Comparing yourself to other people is a good way to drive yourself insane. I will never be anyone else but me, and I’m ok with that now. Do you know how freeing that is?? Living in a world where you can appreciate the women in your life and their specific strengths and not be jealous or wish you could do what they do, is such a beautiful place. I encourage you to speak into people, not about people. I encourage you to find the strength in you to be able to truly love and appreciate your friend who is a tad more organized than you, or the friend who’s house is always a bit messy but always has an open door. Motherhood and Wifehood, isn’t easy, that’s why God gives us friends to help us survive it.
Oh Motherhood, our start together may not have been everything my little girl mind imagined, but it’s definitely an adventure. Sometimes you are magical and sometimes you make my hair fall out. I wouldn’t have it any other way.