As we headed to the store, she asked me if she could bring her "Cutie Baby." I didn't see why not so, I said "yes, of course!" As we walked up and down those isles, she carefully held Cutie Baby under her arm, kissing that plastic head about every 15 steps. She shared her cookie with Cutie Baby and as I loaded our cart, she told Cutie all about how she'll always love her, forever and ever.
The way she is with her baby just makes me wonder if I'm really living this Mothering thing like it's my life long dream come true. Am I living it with the joy I always anticipated? To be honest, I don't think so. Often, being a Mama feels stale. Some days, I forget everything that's beautiful about this job. And I don't think I ever fully see just how important all of this is.
As she walks her baby, sunshine falling on her back, smiling at her shadow, I realize that sometimes I live this Mothering thing like it's a burden, and not my life long plan come true. See, I was that girl- the one who always knew that when she grew up and got married, she would be a Mama. And now that I'm a Mama, sometimes the world tells me that it's not enough- that I could possibly lose myself in this. And how could people think that they're going to lose themselves, if they fully put themselves into something that's more important than anything else? I'd say that you wouldn't be losing yourself, but instead maybe discovering who you really are.
Somehow during these first 5 years as their Mama, little lies crept into my head, telling me that Mothering isn't really all that important. Sure, on the good days I know the truth; that this shaping lives stuff is literally life changing, but on the hard days, it's felt so...almost like a trap. It's been easy to look at big fancy people, doing big fancy things and believe that those things really are more important than this. And honestly, lots of people DO believe that. "Oh, you're just a Mom? Wow, I'm so impressed that you're even wearing makeup today!" Um, what? Yes, us Moms sometimes don't even wear Mom jeans. Did I just blow your mind?
Writing on my blog about Mothering has scared me. I've believed that if I wrote too much about how important I really think being a Mama is, that I would be seen as "just a mom", and that I wouldn't seem like I'm enough. I've wrestled with feeling like I'm not worthy to write about being a Mama, since I'm not a perfect one. I've been afraid that if I wrote about how I think what goes on under our roof, when no one when is looking, is one of the most important things in the world, I'd have this expectation on me that I need to be perfect. You know scared that someone in "real life" would see me, the gal who writes about Mothering, being impatient with her kids and then it'd all seem phony.
But, the truth is....I do think that if you're a Mama, it's been something that God has gifted you with and I believe that we need to not let it go stale. I've felt that joy slip away. I've felt when it doesn't seem special or important. I've had the days when I flat out don't like this---any of it. I've wondered how I could have wanted this all my life and then not be happy in these answered prayers. And I've looked at these 3 kids, this house, all of it and I've known, even in the times when I'm not content, that this is all one GIANT GIFT and that I need to act like it.
The way she is with those babies makes me want to be better. I want to be what she believes Mothering is. She does it with joy, because she wants to. She doesn't see it as a drag. She gently rocks that baby, fixes her food and spends time with her because SHE LIKES IT. She actually thinks it's fun.
No one tells her it's not important. Instead, she has people telling her how well she does it. She has cheerleaders at home and in the grocery store. Lots of people stop us, smile at her and tell her what a good little Mama she is. I tell her that she's so sweet with her baby and she believes it. She loves this and she never considers if it's enough. She gets together with her friends and they play with their babies, not whining about how hard all of it is. She loves this and she helps me remember that I do, too.
She makes me want to take the stale out of Mothering.