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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Trying to figure it all out

For as long as I can remember, I've always wanted to be a mother. As a young child I was admittedly much more interested in sports and things I could do with my brothers, but still I had dolls that I adored. The main two I had were Sugar and Suzie. Aren't those the greatest names? I also had one that my mom brought back from a trip to Germany that had eyes that opened and closed and made this crying noise when you picked her up. It kind of freaked me out a little, which might be why I never gave her a name.

I made beds for them and pretended to feed them and take care of them. As I got older, I did a lot of babysitting and tried to get a glimpse into the future of what it would like when it'd be me as the Mom, in my own home, making dinner for my own kids. It think I assumed it would be as easy and fun and carefree as babysitting. I had no idea how much more would be involved that would detract and distract from the easy and fun side of motherhood.

It's really an incredible juggling act that requires so much more talent and poise than I ever could have imagined. There's the feeding, the clothing, the housework, the bills, the laundry, the grocery shopping, the meltdowns, the naps, the sleep deprivation, the worries about finances or sibling rivalries or how you're going to get it all done and keep everyone alive at the same time.

I normally don't get too overwhelmed by it all, as long as I focus on just one thing at a time. But, every once in a while I just start to feel like I have NO IDEA what I'm doing. I'm trying to juggle all of these things when I really just want to sit on the floor and play pat-a-cake or have dance parties and eat cake for breakfast. So often I feel the need to be responsible and keep things under control. No need to create more chaos where chaos already thrives. But, actually, if I'm in on the chaos, it actually feels less chaotic. Is that because I feel like I'm in control of the chaos I'm creating? Probably. I also had this realization that just because those aren't things I can do 24/7 doesn't mean I can't do them 1/7. Who says that I can't feed my kids cake for breakfast every once in a while? And, why not have a daily dance party?

Earlier this week I found an old CD of music from the Nutcracker, so I popped it in and turned up the volume. The Russian Dance is our favorite. We ran around the room, giggling and bumping into each other until we all fell down in the most exhausted happiness. It was so much fun! And, the best part - there was no fighting over toys or tantrums over not having something go a certain way. It was awesome. Just pure fun.

I came across this video earlier today that I had seen going around facebook for the last couple of weeks but hadn't taken the time to watch it. Well, I watched it this morning and man, oh, man, it had me in tears. I mean like multiple tears falling down at the same time. I'm totally the mom who feels like I'm not as patient as I should be, that I expect way more from my kids than what is realistic, and worry that because I have no idea what I'm doing that I'm probably doing more harm than good.

I opened up about this with a friend the other day and her response was exactly what I needed to hear. She said, "You know, sometimes you just have to look at all the things you're really good at and focus on those. And, then slowly work on adding something else to improve on. We all have things we're good at and we all have things that come harder, so just make sure you recognize all the good you're doing."

And, you know what? Right away I was able to think of things that I'm really good at and it made the mountain of things I'm not good at not seem so daunting. It's a mountain to be conquered and I've always loved a good challenge. I am trying to be present and involved with my kids. I'm trying to create a home that's safe and forgiving. And, even though most of the time I have no idea what I'm doing, I'm so grateful for those tiny whisperings within that gently lead me and guide me and help me find the way. I just hope that someday when I look back on this time I'll have far more memories of dancing around the house than running around trying to juggle too many tasks that aren't nearly as important as the little ones at my feet. God knows how I love them!

1 comment:

Tim and Annie said...

I love reading your thoughts. Makes me feel like I'm there listening to whatever is going on with you at the moment. You are amazing!!!!