May 24, 2007

And Then The Light Pours In.

This motherhood thing is like a big, fat, terrifying roller coaster- with its ups and downs and loopty loops- and the whole thing feels so out-of-control, but, the reality is that it's not. There is a tangible track that's been laid and the car follows where it is told to go. And it's bumpy and scary but also exhilarating and enlivening as long as you're trusting the design of the thing.

And, after talking to my own concerned mother last night, I realized that the ride doesn't end when your kid turns 18 and moves out of the house. My mom still worries about me and my precious brothers. She still wonders if there were things she could have done better. She still prays and prays that we will be happy and healthy and safe. Hearing her tell me that she is still on the roller coaster was, in some strange way, a comfort to me.

Because my mom is a mommying PRO after raising three kids successfully into adulthood. If anyone should have this thing figured out, it's her! And yet, she doesn't. She still finds the ride as bumpy and thrilling as when she first got on. So, I know that these feelings I have are normal, and I know that I will never reach a place in life where I can say "Oh, Okay.. now I get it! I've got this mommying thing DOWN!" and be able to click on the cruise control button. In some way, I think that just accepting the fact that it's never going to be easy or perfect is a huge step in the right direction for me.

To be honest, I think I believed that being a mom would work out like most everything else in my life: I would sail right through it without too much effort on my part. I would get an 'A' on the test without even having to study. (the story of my life in high school.) Most things in life have just seemed to "work out" for me, and this is the first time I've had to really lay my life down for someone else. Someone who is two and can't even communicate what he needs/wants me to do for him. And I think I have been subconsciously waiting for it to get better, to get easier- and in doing so I just keep setting myself up for disappointment... setting my hopes on a naive expectation, when I should have been spending more time embracing the character God has been trying to form in me.

I am wanting to look into some part-time work... something to get me out of the house a couple of days a week so that I can have more of a balance in my life. So that I can be excited about being a mom again. I think this is important because, like my mom says, your kids can definitely tell when you aren't excited about what you're doing at home. It would be good for both of us.

Looking for a job and arranging for childcare seem like huge obstacles to me right now. I have a tendency to become completely overwhelmed when faced with picking up the phone and calling... well... anyone. Doctors, friends, babysitters, movie theatres for dang's sake. I don't know why I'm like this, but its crippling and it has kept me from balancing out my life. I'm going to need to get over this fear if I have any hope of getting out of the house. And to tell you the truth, I really don't know if I can do it. But I'm going to try.

After sharing my heart in my last post, I felt a weight lift off of me. And your wonderful encouragements and prayers and "Amens!" made me feel less alone. Prior to my last post, I felt as if I had been crouching in a fall-out shelter, just waiting for the end-all explosion- when in reality, it was a nice Spring day outside and I'd crawled in there on my own and shut the door and single-handedly convinced myself the end was near. After allowing myself to be honest and share how I was feeling, the door opened, and the crisis I'd created was suddenly no where to be found. So, thanks for your help. Thanks for listening and not judging.

I'm learning that communication is powerful. Our minds get ahold of things and distort and twist them before we can even bat an eyelash. The only thing that can set things right and get everything out on the table is communication. Are you feeling frustrated with your job or your spouse or a friend? Are you feeling alone or jumbled or depressed? Sit down and talk about it. Be honest. You'll feel so much better after you do.

The door will finally swing open, and the fresh air will do you good.


Cam said...

I'm glad you've been sorting through some of the feelings and coming up with some possible solutions.

Oh wow, I didn't know there was anyone else on the planet who is as scared to make a phone call---even to a friend!---as I am! I am the same way! It is crippling! I get Philip to do as many of the routine phone calls as possible, and sometimes he gets annoyed that I won't just make them myself.

oakie joel said...

a big yes to communication and openness... although i'm not a parent, i think i deal with some of the same things. we all just want to know we're not alone. that there is a light at the end of the tunnel or around the corner. can't wait to see you guys when i get back!