2/26/09

The foundation of a dream

Posted on Thursday~February 26, 2009

I'm starting to think there can be more of an ease to my life, coming from a place of contentment. I've never been that good at content, but I'm learning there's an acceptance and perspective that can free my mind of a whole lot of clutter that weighs me down.

This is probably something more seasoned Mamas have known a long time. I'm a bit of a slow learner, so bear with me.

I'm starting to realize that maybe nothing I once thought I needed has to happen in order for me to be content. I'm letting the truth fall fresh on my ears. You are a mother. It's enough. It's huge. It's everything you think you want and more.

I do love being a mother, more than I ever imagined I would. I've been thinking I should let myself really fall into it, to allow myself to change in the biggest way...learning to fully find joy in the selflessness of motherhood. There is joy there. Moving slowly from habits that are focused on serving myself to habits that are more focused on others is a beautiful thing. It took motherhood to start that movement in my life.

There's been a part of me that's been hesitating, trying to grasp at other things, other freedoms, thinking about what I want out of life and worrying that I might be letting something amazing pass me by...writing, traveling, changing lives, making a difference, maybe even famously! I've been trying to figure out how I can do the mom gig and so much more at the same time.

But ever so slowly, a change has been happening in me. As I've taken tiny steps at adjusting to motherhood, I've learned that it's not just a season to weather. It's not just something that covers my path for a time and then clears away and frees me to get back to me.

Motherhood is me. I'm Mom. I don't have to run from that, terrified that I might lose myself. I have been found here. And if other beautiful things fall in my path as I travel this road, that's just icing on the cake. I won't stop allowing other things to fill our lives, but I don't want to be so desperate to make sure I'm not ordinary.

I'm on a journey that has turned me upside-down and inside out. Having babies didn't mean I created a cookie-cutter existence for myself, one that looks the same as all the other families on my street, in my neighborhood, or in our city. We have our own story here, and it holds all the joy and excitement I've been looking for. I knew this, but I didn't really know this, not to the very core of who I am. I was secretly harboring a strange tension, a fight to continue to focus more on myself and anything I might be missing.

And on this motherhood path I will travel and write, I will change lives and make a difference.

If I don't truly see motherhood for what it is, I have lost the chance to show up for my own life.







42 clicked right here to comment:

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

Posts like this are why I love your blog, Heather. While the rest of us are sniveling about diapers and little people jumping on our bed, you manage to put words to what we REALLY feel. (Or take note of what we SHOULD be feeling.) So thank you.

LisAway said...

It's so true, and you've captured it beautifully. What could be bigger than being the biggest influence on two (or three, or five) people and who they become and the way they affect the people around them and their own children etc. etc.

Really, motherhood gives us so much power. And that's why we have to use it wisely.

Heidi Ashworth said...

You SO get it! And I don't think you are a slow learner at all! You are still a pretty brand-spanking new mom, relatively speaking. When we are young, we think of "mother" being a person who is needed by her children. When you are a mom you realize how much you need them to be the best version of yourself you can be. And sometimes, even when you think you have had to learn and grow and change *so* much, another one of your kids starts to teach you new things and you realize you have more sharp edges that need rubbing off. We need them to reveal the diamond of a woman that we all are underneath--but only if we let it happen. Love you!

Mammatalk said...

What a beautiful post. Thanks for putting into words what so many mommies are thinking. You bet I'll be back for another visit soon.

Kimberly said...

I think you're figuring out something here that I'm only beginning to grasp the edges of myself. Thanks for finding the right words to help teach and inspire, as you so often do.

minnesotamom said...

I have the same mind-trap...that I must DO more with my life rather than just BE a mother. Granted, I still have to work outside and from the home, so those are added responsibilities, but as a mother? I don't need to add pressure to my life. Comforting thought. Thanks for sharing!

And I can't wait to hear about the dream.

Erin said...

Once we become a mother, we are always a mother. Even when our kids are 60 and we are 80. I love how you say "I will change lives and make a difference." I hope that is what I am doing right now!

Sara@i.Sass said...

I loved how you said "cookie cutter" little ones like us.
I am SO glad I am not like my parents. You know little "them"s.
And just as happy my children are unique from Rob and I. Though I too thought they'd be us only little...

Annette Lyon said...

Love this. My favorite part: "If I don't truly see motherhood for what it is, I have lost the chance to show up for my own life."

Growin' with it! said...

what a beautiful post heather!

Tracey said...

Dang. That was spot on perfect. Love it.

MidnightCafe said...

Mmm...I like what you said here. I love to get to hear you think. ;)

kel said...

What a beautiful post!

That Girl in Brazil said...

This deserves to be shouted from the rooftops - but I'll settle for some nationally recognized magazine.

Will you send it? For all of us?

Kate Coveny Hood said...

So true. It's important to dream (it brings more opportunity into our lives), but not at the expense of missing the reality. Because the reality is pretty wonderful too.

Stonefox (otherwise known as Heidi) said...

Boy, I think we all go through a journey with mothering. It is inspiring to hear where you are going with it and how you are finding yourself...not finding yourself to be less, but to be more.

Jules from "The Roost" said...

Incredible post! Full of wisdom and truth! You rock at writing and motherhood!

LexiconLuvr said...

You're right about motherhood easing us into selflessness. Our whole lives, spent up until motherhood, have been about ourselves. I would never have turned outward if I'd not first had to care for my little ones. Now I can see the need in others and find myself more in tune to that need--not just in seeing it, but in wanting to soothe someone else's troubles. It's a gift my children gave me and one I'll never be able to repay. If I am a better person, it is all to their credit.

You, Heather, are amazing. You see the majestic in everyone else's mundane. I am constantly surprised and edified by your inherent goodness. Thank you for sharing.

Kristen said...

What a lovely place to be moving towards . . .

Peanut said...

I was just thinking about this the other day, but of course it was much less eloquent in my head. It was more like, "being a mom makes me a better person, and I like that. "

I'm trying to move toward that place of contentment too. It gets hard to keep that perspective when overwhelmed by responsibilities and children pulling at my legs. But when I do find that place, where I realize THIS is being a mom and THIS is what I love... suddenly, I can deal with my responsibilities and children. So much of it is about attitude.

And I KNEW it had something to do with another baby. Oh Heather, you're going to get my ovaries talking again... I just know it! Can't wait to hear what you guys have decided :)

Blessed said...

I love being a mother, sometimes I get frustrated, overwhelmed and forget for a minute but really and truly I love being a mother.

jodilee0123 said...

I've always been content with my motherhood--now only if my hubby was feeling the same way about fatherhood. I believe he is having the exact same thoughts--unsure of what he's missing, where the greatness is, maybe even his own form of a mid-life interruption of reality--if only I could get him to read your blog! :0) He's not much of a reader! I can't wait to read more!

K and/or K said...

Best post ever.
love, smartypants

Christi said...

This is such a beautiful post.

Thank you for the reminder.

Betty said...

What an incredible perspective for all of us "mommies" to take hold of. Amidst all my complaints of the stresses that come with motherhood, I sometimes lose the reality of the importance of my role as mom. This is one of your best posts ever.

Rachel said...

Oh Heather...perfectly written, beautiful thoughts, and lots to ponder now. There is freedom in your words...freedom to live, to be, to embrace motherhood. I find it easy to be selfless when I get the recognition I feel I deserve...but motherhood? Oh, motherhood is being selfless all the time and hardly ever getting a thank you. I find that there is a crisis of identity for lots of us mamas out there and I've been struggling greatly with this lately. I tell myself things throughout the day just to get through..."this too shall soon pass" or "this is just a season" when, really, you are right when you say that motherhood IS me now. Thanks for this post...now I need to go have a good cry.

Lee of MWOB said...

Heather - I love this post so much I'm gonna link love it today at my place because every mom should read it. I'm not friggin' kidding. It should be part of every parenting book - actually it should REPLACE every parenting book. This is it. This is it. I agree with you so much and yet I struggle in the EXACT same way as you do.

You can take a week off after this one. It needs to sit up here for a while...seriously.

Deb said...

oh girl... if you can get this now, you will be a better person, mother than i. before you know it, they won't need you nearly as much as they do now and you will be left wondering why you didn't get more out of it than you could.

my kids are older and looking forward to their exciting futures, far from home (anything other than home seems far to me). i wish i had been more in the moment, focusing on them more.

you'll have plenty of time to write, help people, become famous... for now, be a mom. i am so happy for you that you 'got it'.

Cynthia said...

Your post really resonated with me. I, too, have struggled with accepting that I'll have just a regular, ordinary life and finding the amazing part of that.

I have also spent a lot of time looking outside of myself and serving outside of my home. I learned the hard way that we women CAN have it all- just not at the same time.

I've often been resentful that my priorities mostly fall outside of my desires. Now that my kids are getting a little older and are less needy, I am finding ways of doing things for me that don't take something from them but it's hard. I am learning to embrace the ordinariness that is me.

Megan@SortaCrunchy said...

You know I think and post a lot about the serving part of motherhood, so yes, this rings with such truth for me. Thanks for saying it in a new way for me.

This line
If I don't truly see motherhood for what it is, I have lost the chance to show up for my own life.
I really needed that today. Thank you.

The Blissfully Happy Housewife said...

Beautifully said...I love the whole contentment thing. It took me awhile to get there too, but some days all I want to do is soak it all in.

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

You'll never regret fully embracing motherhood. It truly does pass like seasons until you have many years ahead of you to grasp at all other kinds of things. They're all great, but those years with the little ones are irreplaceable.

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

At some point, we all have that epiphany - mine was when I read the author's foreword to the second edition of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. In it she thanked her 2 children for the life of quiet contentment they gave her when they were young. It was as if I had been knocked upside the head when I read those words. I thought, "Wait! Is that possible?"

I have to keep being reminded of this truth, however.

Eudea-Mamia said...

Excellent post. Thanks for the kick in my booty - I was having a big case of the Mama blues. Probably has something to do with my almost non toddler and his growing pains!!

(here thanks to Lee, but I will be back - Em)

MoziEsmé said...

Thanks for expressing so well what I've ben going through as well. I'm also learning that about being a wife, too - even after 14.5 years of marriage. My husband isn't my sidekick on MY journey - rather, I am now a wife, and that is my journey.

Debbie said...

I embraced motherhood and it firmly took root. I have never looked back or second guessed my choice.

Jenny said...

Yes, it IS a path of adjusting, isn't it? And once we adjust to mothering, we'll adjust to adolescence and then teenagers and then they'll be gone and we'll wish we could go back and make them small again. :)

Thanks for the reminder!

Jessica said...

I'm starting to realize that maybe nothing I once thought I needed has to happen in order for me to be content. I'm letting the truth fall fresh on my ears. You are a mother. It's enough. It's huge. It's everything you think you want and more.

I love this post. This is so where I am at, and you have spoken so many things here that I am still grappling with . . . that constant struggle is finally put to rest by EMBRACING motherhood and all that goes with it . . . and I love how you said that out of THAT, you will write, and travel . . . .it is such a freeing thing to be able to live life fully. Thank-you for this post, for your mama's wise heart!

Mrs.Naz@BecomingMe said...

I really loved this Heather....

charrette said...

Love this.
Love you.
Love that you articulated so many things that float around nebulously in so many mothers' hearts.

This epiphany you pointed out is very similar to one that suddenly came to me several years back, the one I now use to subtitle my blog: "My children are not obstacles in my path. My children ARE my path." I truly believe that. And that being a mother leads us down all kinds of other twists and turns and unexpected paths, all of which eventually lead us HOME.

Marivic_Little GrumpyAngel said...

Awesome post. Made me think back and reflect on my experience so far. I don't think one will ever be a seasoned Mom. That's one of those myths. Motherhood is a journey because children grow and each season is different and fraught with unique challenges but also filled with unique joys. Just as you've mastered one stage the stinkers have moved on to the next. I think the danger is in over thinking the role. Good parenting is not like a job were performance can be measured in quantifiable terms and rewarded concretely, as in pay raises. It's a vocation, one that you do despite great sacrifices because you love the cause. And the cause is to raise happy, wonderful, productive human beings who will hopefully return your love and respect what you've accomplished. And sometimes that's all the reward. Mothers who don't accept that and puts too much expectations on themselves and the role usually end up needing medication to get through their day.

Lisa @ Crazy Adventures in Parenting said...

I adore this. I honestly felt you grow while writing this. I know I get comments all the time like "how do you do it" and "omg I can't do what you do". You just answered the "how". There is SUCH joy in the selflessness of motherhood. Oh, boy is it a lot of work, I know. But I just think, almost sing, to myself daily how much I love each and every one of them, and how they are worth it. And I fold load after load of their laundry. Make their beds day after day. Wash the same dishes, clean up the same pee stains, change the same bare butts. Pick up the same juice spills from the same children. And each time, despite getting no sleep and hardly time to shower or run a brush through my hair, I realize there will come a time when they are grown that I will miss the mess. I will miss the laundry. I will miss the diapered butts. I will miss them little. It goes too quickly, and whether its the fun stuff, like tickle wars, games, trampoline jumps, or the boring stuff like dishes, laundry, etc, they are worth every second of all of it.

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