Wednesday, February 10, 2010

What Every Mom Needs

I am always up for a good read. I love finding a new book that is uplifting or a good story to get lost in. I was looking for some encouragement and some insight on how best to handle motherhood when you're wanting to scream at the top of your lungs and run to the next stage in toddlerhood and cling to it desperately all at the same time screaming 'don't grow up!' It can be a bit batty, maddening... down right exhausting. Ace clearly has been pushing his independence and in every way daily is transitioning from my cooing sleeping baby to my rambunctious limit-pushing toddler and I don't want to be pulling my hair out. I don't want to miss any of it and I really don't want to fast forward through it all either.

After reading this book What Every Mom Needs I realized I don't have to. I just need to keep things in perspective and know that I am not alone. God is always there as a source of hope and strength. The book points out other details that are beneficial to keep in mind: there are always other mothers out there going through the same thing, join groups for support, and also important is it is necessary to keep your own identity and not just be "mom". So if you are a mom that is struggling with your identity, perspective, feeling alone, lost, or frustrated - I recommend this book. It wasn't in your face 'fix-it'. It offered a lot of other resources and sources to go to beyond the book.

The book wasn't ground breaking, it wasn't a wake up call, it honestly was the chapter on perspective that spoke to me the most. The chapter that helped outline what it really is all about: the moment. The season. It's not just a catch phrase 'they're only this age once' that truly it is just that. He will only be my 17.5 month old boy once. He will only look up at me and grin and beam like I am his hero so long.... and eventually he will nap, he will sleep, and he will eat without effort. A new season will come when I can't keep the pantry stocked, I can't get him out of bed, and he will trade that hero look for a good ol' fashion eye roll. Another season yet to come.

However, it is this season that I am in that I need to cherish. Ace will grow up and I don't want to worry or stress that I just want to 'get through' this phase. I want to enjoy and cherish it. I don't want him to grow up into a surly teenager (and maybe he won't!) but even if he does I don't want to have rushed through his toddlerhood just so that I can get some sleep.

First I was dying to finish high school
and start college.
And then I was dying to finish
college and start working.
And then I was dying to marry
and have children.
And then I was dying for my children
to grow old enough for school
so I could return to work.
And then I was dying to retire.
And now, I am
dying...
And suddenly I realize I forgot to live.

- Anonymous

While I am far from running through life that quickly, this poem helped frame for me exactly what I don't want to do. I don't want to 'get past it' - I want to find the joy and reasons why this time is special. I want to live each day and love my family to the fullest even if I am exhausted. I will continue to keep track of my identity of who I am outside of being a mother, and know that it might not be who I was before I became a mother - and that's ok too.

3 comments:

♥ Katinka said...

Stopping by from SITS and wishing you a great Wednesday! :)

Blana said...

you go Jo. It's hard to slow down and savor the moment, but I think you're doing a great job. :)

Xazmin said...

Thank you so much for this post. I got a little choked up. I often feel this way, like I'm so busy getting through, that I don't take the time to experience. Thank you for the perspective!