"Motherhood is full of paradoxes.
You don't have to justify one if you also
feel the other - we can hold both in our hands."
~Lisa Grace Byrne
My goodness, that says it all, right? There are so many days when I know I love my children, and would do anything for them, and yet just want to get a way from them for an hour!
When my first child was born, I was so excited. And then reality set in and I was exhausted, numb, and felt like I was barely holding on to get through to the next day. All of a sudden, the things I thought I knew about being a mom didn't help me and I felt I was flying by the seat of my pants - a feeling I really hate.
By the time I felt I was finally getting a handle on things, our second child was born...two months earlier than I expected her to appear. Talk about feeling unequipped! It took me so long to feel connected to her and bond with her, I wondered if I would ever be able to really love her with my with my whole heart.
When our third child was born, I expected to feel disconnected with him for the first few months, just like I did with the others. I knew we would be moving soon after he was born, so I just expected the first six months of his life to be a living nightmare for me. But God is so good. In the most difficult of situations, he gave me an immediate bond with my youngest, he gave me that peace that goes beyond understanding, and he allowed me to see that life really is full of paradoxes, and we can embrace them, even though we don't understand them. I am so thankful for the blessings God has given me though the hard times.
I often feel like I should be that mom, you know, the one who is always dressed fashionably, her kids clothes coordinate, she crafts, bakes, has an Etsy page, always has the right words to say in difficult situations, always has dinner on the table and a kiss for her husband when he comes home. I think that the mom we are thinking about would also say that she has those difficult days on the inside of her life when things seem to be falling apart, the days where she can't manage to get dressed, dinner is mac & cheese, the laundry is so overwhelming she just shuts the door on it.
As much as I would want the outside world to see that I'm that mom, I'm really the inside mom, the one who feels inadequate and messy and chaotic. I've had many a mom-friend ask me "How do you do it?" and I realize she sees me as that mom who has it all together, and I am so NOT that together mom. I am just a child of God who relies on his daily grace to get me through each moment. I cherish the times I'm able to get together with other moms, for the chit-chat and small talk that take me out of my bubble and give me a glimpse of what I think of as the "outside world."
So I embrace my paradoxical life - the one that seems put together and yet isn't, the mom who loves her kids and yet wants to be alone for a few minutes, the peace God gives despite the chaos, the yearning for better things amid the contentment of being where I am; the realization that I have a wonderful life, even though it can be difficult.
Can you find the joy in and embrace your own paradoxes?
Linked to: Time Warp Wife