Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Musings on Motherhood

Here I am again, writing after two months have passed since my last post, and still not sure what to do with it. Let it just be the blog of my California years? Let it be "my place" to write apart from our family blog and just not worry about the frequency of posting?

The thing is, my life is consumed with motherhood of my two beautiful boys, and nearly everything I think to write is about them! But last week, my husband and I went on vacation for five days alone. We left the boys with both grandmothers while we relaxed in Clearwater, Florida. One day, as I lay beneath the shade of an umbrella on the beach, I began thinking about all kinds of things I'd like to blog about (all of which escape me now) on The Starshine Report. Just having a little space from the constancy of motherhood, and suddenly my creative juices were flowing!

I hope this doesn't make me sound like a mommy-martyr. Not where I want to go with this at all. But can I just take a moment to say, "Wow! Motherhood is HARD!" I don't know if I've ever felt so hardworking, lazy, satisfied, guilty, fulfilled, lonely--and all at the same time! It's the hardest thing to describe, but it's true.

All in the course of one day, I can feel:

~Hardworking: Feeding two little mouths three times a day, changing diapers of two, doing their laundry, etc. It's not news to anyone that moms have the hardest job on earth.

~Lazy: Even though, I'm working like a buzzing bee, I long for "me" time, and I manage to reward myself with it--usually when the boys are napping, but sometimes they don't nap at the same time, and Mama still wants to check e-mail or Facebook or watch Glee. So sometimes I do that while the boys are awake, but I feel like that makes me a lazy Mom, because shouldn't I be engaging with and playing with my children while they're awake? I can't help it though. I have myself to take care of, too, and I don't ignore myself.

~Satisfied: Nothing has ever made me feel so proud as my two beautiful boys. I show their photo to anyone who will look at it. Each milestone they reach makes me glow! Holding my baby is heaven. And kissing their cheeks is pure joy.

~Guilty: Wow! I had no idea so much mommy guilt was in store for me. When it comes to feeding, napping, disciplining, WHATEVER it is...they don't come with an instruction guide, so I'm constantly second-guessing myself and hoping that I'm doing right by my child, and I know I don't always get it right, so I feel guilty about that.

~Fulfilled: Motherhood is very fulfilling. Looking back over the past eight months and seeing how my kids are thriving and growing gives me an immense sense of fulfillment.

~Lonely: Being a stay at home mom can be isolating, and I feel a little lonely. We've been in our new community for just over two years now, and even though I've met some great women who are now friends, they are moms, too, and it's so easy to get wrapped up in our own worlds. And in truth, the more I stay at home the more I want to stay at home. It's kind of a downward spiral that results in isolation. I find that I have to sort of force myself to get out and go do things. (Just writing that sounds so pathetic, I know.) I'm always happy when I do, but it's an effort.

I'm actually typing this post at a Panera Bread Restaurant that has WiFi. When Brian came home from work, I left him with the boys to have some quality time together, and here I am, alone with God, my thoughts and my computer. I'm really glad I got out! My mind feels clearer, and LOOK! I've just completed the first blog post for The Starshine Report in two months--YEA! I'm thinking that these little dates with myself might need to happen a little more often!


The Lefflers said...

You described motherhood perfectly! You aren't alone in your feelings. You are doing what you are supposed to be doing. Remember that the baby/toddler years are a season. One day you will drop your babies at school and have more "me" time. Your quiet times will improve in length and frequency. You won't be so tired. You will have lunch with friends and get your haircut.

3 1/2-4 yrs was a magic number for me. I have prayed that I will enjoy every age of our children but I feel great relief as they gain independence.

Hang in there and keep on plodding along. Remember Hebrews 12: Fix your eyes on Jesus, run with perseverence this race of motherhood set before you, consider him who endured...

You are doing a fantastic job. I know you are because I know you love Jesus and you love Brian and you love your boys.

And it's healthy to take time for yourself even when they are awake. I make Josh play in the playroom or in his room (a pack 'n play or his crib when he was younger) for a certain amount of time. Use a timer so they know there's an end time and start will small increments of time and build up to longer. He can't come out or talk to me for that period of time but he knows before and after I'm all his.

Love you lots and will pray for you. You are a dear, Tracy.

Dana Cheryl said...

I love reading about your life and the love you have for God, your family, your friends... Whether it's here or at the other blog it's still your unique perspective and ideas that shine through. I love that we as believers and followers of Christ can encourage one another and support one another.

This is a season that will go as another comes to take its place. Each will have challenges and triumphs. I appreciate you taking the time to share those with us.

Liz said...

You truly got motherhood down so well! I especially here you on the working hard but still feeling lazy part! And the lonely part. I work 2 days a week, which only leaves me with three days a week at home, and I feel like I don't have time to get out anymore or my house will be a disaster & laundry will never get down. It's an endless spiral. I hope you keep this blog for those rare occasions that you do get a chance to step away from mom mode.

kmrf said...

A. all mom's need to be told by an honest person "you are doing a good job". Seems like your friends have that covered.
B. As long as God is 1st in your life all else will follow even Mommyhood. I always have an inspirational christian book set aside to pick up in those free moments. Power of a praying wife, Crazy love, etc... Also took a minute to read something age appropriate each day from the bible to the kiddos. It just seems to put everything into a good perspective for my overactive, exhausted little mind.

Sharon said...

You are so blessed in so many ways and even in the challenge blessings flow. Keep blogging inside and outside of Motherhood."Mother" is just one of the roles you have, albeit the most noble. Keep writing, even if it's about motherhood. The act of writer makes you an AUTHOR too. Want to know more of your facets that I love? FRIEND, DAUGHTER, SISTER, WIFE, ACTRESS, SONG WRITER, MISSIONARY, TEACHER, PHOTOGRAPHER, ENTREPRENEUR. How you manage to do all this is amazing!

J at said...

So well said...these feelings are common, especially in our culture where we do so many things alone. I wonder if moms in more communal cultures get lonely, or feel guilty, or worry about finding a minute for themselves?

Maybe there's a mommy group you could join. I never did that, because I didn't find a group of mommies that I felt like I had anything besides motherhood in common with, but I didn't try very hard. My sister found a great one, and when they moved 3 hours away from the group, she has still kept in close contact with some of the women and their kids.

J at said...

When it comes to the blog, I say write whatever you want. You wrote from the heart about what you were going through in CA. Why not write from the heart about what you're going through now? If it turns into a mommy blog, so what? Or if you want to make it some of that, and some of whatever ELSE is going on, that's good too. A good blog is honest, and yours have always been that. Whichever way you decide will be great.

Denise said...

Well, I think everything has been said in the previous comments! But I do want to encourage you also. Keep doing what you can to get out and engage with other moms. The isolation can lead to depression and that is a long scary road. Take care of yourself! :) You can't be there for your husband and babies if you're down. Enjoy the season!