Thursday, February 14, 2013

Honest Bomb

Since having Lily I have felt like a bad mother toward Matthew because I am constantly correcting him, don’t be too rough with her, hold her like this, I can’t snuggle with you because I have to feed Lily, etc etc the list goes on and on and I know he feels it because he has no qualms about voicing his disappointments with me on the regular. Along with this feeling of poor mothering, I feel overwhelmed that there is something more out there. That along with mother I am supposed to be doing something greater than I am currently. I am 32 and 10/12ths and I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.

I am feeling super conflicted about my life path. Should we have more children? Would Matthew love having a brother? Am I crazy for wanting to have a huge family when sometimes 2 kids makes me want to crawl into the dust filled corner and rock myself like a detoxing drug addict? Or is it because the moments of pure love that I see between them, and the look of Mike holding his daughter so gently and wrestling with Matthew on the floor makes me know that this is a house of love and we could surely add to it. If we have more kids would I then stay at home? What would make sense? Making less money as a family to feed more mouths? Or going to work to feed the kids that I wouldn’t get to raise? If I didn’t work would my kids feel the same way towards me? Would they feel less empowered as an adult to work hard? Matthew asked me why I didn’t snuggle with him last night after he got home from school. I told him I had to make dinner- he asked why can’t daddy? The thing is Daddy does make dinner most nights, I am blessed with a husband who likes and does a good job at cooking, probably more out of necessity since I like my food pretty bland. But he sees that and it sticks with him, he doesn’t know about society’s norm of gender roles, mom in the kitchen dad at work. Does that still exist? Should it? Would we have as many problems in our world if we were able to stay home and pay more attention and have more quality time with our kids? The constant race to have more and be more is suffocating us. Let’s look at Valentine’s day just as an example, I bet a lot of you moms out there felt a twinge of guilt after seeing some of those super extravagant home made valentines the other kids brought in to pass out at their class parties. I know I tried to up my game a little bit this year by not buying a box of premade valentines and actually finding something that Matthew could be part of (really just gluing an eye to a card I printed out).

 We moms do this to ourselves. I don’t think blogs and social media have caused this game of comparison and shaming (of ourselves or others), but it’s certainly heightened things. Even without Pinterest to make us crazy, we size each other up at the play ground, at school pick up, Sunday church, and even by the items in each other’s grocery store carts. Preservatives? Sodium? Are those bananas organic? LUCKY CHARMS???!!!

I am trying to not let others make me feel bad about myself, possess an aura of positive light and smile at my kids all the time – regardless of all the questions swirling in my head. So if you see me, know that I am a ball of contradiction at the moment and my words, actions and thoughts won’t likely all be going in the same direction. I am celebrating the absurdity that is parenting and practicing gratitude for everything that has happened in the past and that is possible for the future.
“Your real, new self (which is Christ’s and also yours, and yours just because it is His) will not come as long as you are looking for it. It will come when you are looking for Him. Does that sound strange? The same principle holds, you know, for more everyday matters. Even in social life, you will never make a good impression on other people until you stop thinking about what sort of impression you are making. Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it. The principle runs through all life from top to bottom. Give up yourself, and you will find your real self. Lose your life and you will save it. Submit to death, death of your ambitions and favourite wishes every day and death of your whole body in the end. Submit with every fibre of your being, and you will find eternal life. Keep back nothing. Nothing that you have not given away will be really yours. Nothing in you that has not died will ever be raised from the dead. Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay. But look for Christ and you will find Him, and with Him everything else thrown in.”
C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

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