Every winter season I am shocked that the blues have hit me [again]…and so I sit on my comfy hounds- tooth chair, on this mid-February afternoon, shocked [again]. But I fight it away today. I woke up, showered, put on tights and a dress, added some make-up and a princess bun. I look pretty. I’m hoping to feel pretty- on the inside. I know that the issue is more than appearance (it doesn’t actually have anything to do with appearance) but the packaging helps. And after a good day of homeschooling I sat down to read chapter 1 of Desperate (Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breath), by Sara Mae and Sally Clarkson. – I think the book came at the perfect season…
Ch 1: The co-authors take turns describing their ideals about motherhood [as they began the journey that no one can prepare you for].
I feel myself wanting to sit down with these ladies because I can so identify with their thoughts.
“I was determined to be the “good” mom, the straight arrow, responsible and loving, always mature and wise. I would be the woman on the cover of the 1950’s Good Housekeeping magazine. I thought I had the choice to be her, to be me, wrapped in her.” (italics added) pg 4
Don’t hate me if you’re a feminist. I’m not. I’m okay with that. I’m okay with you being a feminist. But those words about being the 1950’s mom mirror my own ideals about motherhood (or they did when I began the journey).
I wish I could be up before my kids, showered, with make-up on and ready to get to homeschooling; pausing for lunch and a wonderful conversation about morals and values, social justice and ethics; starting dinner mid-afternoon while the children play together in harmony; then greeting my Mister with a glass of wine and kiss before we sit down as a family for a meal. It’s dreamy to me. But it isn’t reality. And if I actually had countless days like that, I’m betting I’d end up going crazy for some diversity, excitement, drama, etc.
I think, with time, I’ve realized that I DO have those days. Great, June Cleaver days. I also have crazy “Calgon take me away” days. They both offer me something good. I know I’m flawed and so are my kids. I know that we can work together and have a day filled with love and lessons. BOTH days, Cleaver or Calgon, will bring us together because God is at the head of our lives. “He is the reason for any blessing or success I have as a mother.”( Pg 10) I’ve learned that God never asked me to be perfect. He doesn’t expect it- and it’s okay.
“My identity as a mother would be wrapped up inextricably in the very place in which my moral character would be formed. My home, then became my kingdom over which I longed to rule well as I was crafting lives, my own children, for His glory.” (Italics added) Pg 10
I think it took me a solid year to figure out how my new role as a mother defined who I was as a woman and wife. I no longer had professional in my identity definition. I resented being a laundry washing, cheerio picking up, cleaning, diaper changing, breast feeding machine. I hated myself for feeling that way because the only thing I had ever wanted to be was a stay at home mother. But no one told me that the adjustment to motherhood would be more than pain during labor and sleep deprivation.
But with a little Grace I had a perspective change and realized that my home was my kingdom (as Sally Clarkson states) and that my role was profoundly important. I can’t really expand on it any better than the quote I referenced- so I won’t say much more on that other than that I encourage all young moms to define their new identity/role with some personal expectations. Knowing you’re a mother isn’t the same thing as being a mother. So what does it mean to be a mother? Answer it, and embrace it.
I could go on and on about all the highlighted sentences and paragraphs on which I related to in some way but this is a blog, not a book. So I’ll encourage you to pick up the book and read along with me. I’d love to have a dialogue about the book. I’d love to encourage each other.