Monday, January 12, 2015

Don't give up on your motherhood dreams

Motherhood is hard.
Joyful and precious, amazing and the best thing ever, it brings happiness beyond measure but it is hard too. I told some one last week, "Bring back the stage of poopy diapers and potty training, the sleepless nights and curdled spit up down my shirt." Crazy thing to say when that is still very much my daily life, has been for 10 years! I have all that plus, older kids facing new stages every week. I'm committed to writing about the things I love in motherhood but I'm also serious about being honest here, about the struggles, about the horrible job I do, about the things I say under my breath and only God hears and about the very painful times that I fall hard.
It's been rough at our house, January has not held the fresh perspective that I'm normally excited about or the sense of a new beginning with a clean slate. I believe it's coming, God is working. There are so many storms inside me and around me right now but the one I want to talk about is that one of the kids has been struggling with anxiety. I'm in over my head ya'll. I've had times of complete sadness and compassion for them and times of complete frustration and anger at them. How do you know when you are enabling a behavior and when you are without a doubt igniting kerosene to the fire? I'm not going to lie, I've wanted to give up. I've felt sorry for MYSELF.
It's a balance to evaluate my mothering and critically look at areas I could improve without feeling guilty. I told myself for days last week, "I will not feel guilty, I'm doing my best." But after a bit, I knew that was more pride based than confidence in my parenting.
I sat with a friend talking over coffee. She had lunch and all I had was coffee because I needed the caffeine and the extra time to cram as many words into an hour an a half as possible. She is in her first year of being a mom and as I listened to her share her heart and dreams for what kind of mother she hoped to be, I realized I used to be just like her. I had such clear ambition and high ideals, what kind of home my kids would have and what kind of mom they would have... I was determined not giving up.
Now I'm in the trenches, a decade and six kids in, and some days, alot of days, I'm not even looking which way I'm digging or how hard I've dug. Too quickly I forget why I'm digging and just get mad because I'm not getting the results I want. It's just really hard and that is all I've been thinking about for the past couple of weeks.
Where did my passion go? When did I lose sight, when did I tell myself that this was enough? It scares me to think about it, to acknowledge that I haven't been my best, that I can do better. At the same time knowing, that my best can never be enough. I am incapable of fixing anything, helping anyone, leading and guiding them when I'm not leaning heavy on Christ for wisdom and strength. Oh, I've been leaning but not nearly hard enough.
Last night, I looked my child in the eyes and told them, "We will get through this." I shared that my life has been hard too lately and I'm right there with them in learning how to trust and cling to Jesus. At a Norwex party last weekend, the hostess asked each person to share how they knew her. When it was time for her mom to share she said, "Me and Amy grew up together." and it hit me so true. I shared this story with my child and said, "You are still growing up and so am I! We are growing up together."
"I am sorry for not listening, for getting angry, I messed up."
"Thank God, His mercies are new every morning. As Anne Shirley would say, 'Tomorrow is a new day, with no mistakes.' "
 If you are discouraged in motherhood, if you're in over your head too, I just want to encourage you to look up, stop digging and ask for help. Take the time to ask people in your life to listen and let them be honest, hear what they are saying. Yes, say no to the guilt and self doubt, they will never make you a better momma. But, remember that sometimes we really do lose our sense of direction. We lose our new mom passion, we stop aiming high and just survive.
I was humbled as I sat in a friends office, she listened to my heart and then shared with love and grace. She sharpened me, she allowed God to use her to answer so many questions I had about how to help my child. God provides, I want to accept that provision and learn how to better be that provision to others.
If you never felt like you heard your calling or had a joyful direction to begin with, carve out some time. Time to learn and listen to our Father who calls us all to lean heavy as we mother the children He has given us. All the things we lack, He lavishes when we ask. We all fall short, we all get weary and worn out and burned out. We want to give up and give in but don't lose heart friends, this work is needed. How He uses motherhood to grow me, He is faithful to do the work in us and through us one day at a time.

All pictures take by my sister last month, thank you Carrie! You always do awesome capturing all of us.


Jillian said...

So encouraging! Thanks for your honesty and transparency! And I am sure you do a great job of being mom even when you don't feel it! How blessed your kiddos are to have you!

Melissa Brady said...

Thank you for your honesty! Love you, your example and your Mama heart. <3

Kristy Stith said...

Oh, Miranda...I'm right there with you. I thank God that He loves us no less on our worst days and no more on our best days. His unfailing, unchanging, never-ceasing grace keeps me going when I, like you, am a big mess! Praying for you today.

Anonymous said...

Love this!