My Heart is Full

I have been thinking about a lot of things lately. I feel like my last post was somewhat of a downer. I'm not apologizing for it, because hey, sometimes life gets you down. We went from dealing with a sick baby and then being sick ourselves for a week, then last week was spent trying to get everything ready for my children's theater class performance, and also spending pretty much every single moment of the day alone with my little boy because my husband has had some crazy work hours the last two weeks. He'll also be out of town all week next week, on my birthday. It's all good though, because we're going to go celebrate Saturday night before he goes out of town, and then have my cake, which are molten chocolate lava cakes, when he comes back. So in a way, it's like I get double the celebration!:)

I checked a book out from the library this week that has helped me tremendously. It is the LDS Women's Treasury: Insights and Inspiration for Today's Woman, a collection of "talks, articles, poems, and book excerpts, all focusing on the joys, blessings, and challenges of being a woman". It has a lot of things by LDS members and non-members alike.

I think I read a book excerpt, called "A Deliberate Choice: Staying at Home" by Beppie Harrison. It was perfectly, exactly what I needed right now. I know it sounds crazy because my son is now 17 months old, but I feel like after having read this, I have finally adjusted to being a stay at home mom and for giving up, for the present time anyway, my career. I felt strongly it was the right thing to do for myself and my family when I quit my job, but, it has been an adjustment for sure. I feel like in a lot of ways, I have just been wandering the last 17 months, inside myself.

I absolutely LOVE being a mother. Probably more than my high school self ever thought I ever would. I have loved making cookies with my son, reading stories with him, playing trucks, going on walks, going to the park, playing in the snow, watching Elmo and Backyardigans, dancing to Toddler Radio on Pandora, tickling and giggling. I absolutely cannot imagine my life without my little boy and pray that I never, ever have to.

I have missed my job as a former teacher tremendously, but have grown used to my new life. Teaching the children's theater class helps. The thing I have had a hard time adjusting to is not having my life be as organized, structured, and scheduled. Heaven knows I have tried; hard.

As far as chores go, Mondays are the bathrooms day, Tuesday is dusting, Wednesday is laundry, Thursday is finishing the laundry and ironing, Friday is grocery shopping, and Saturday is vacuuming and mopping floors. This little bit of scheduling does help me.

As far as activities go with my son, I try to go somewhere with him every single day, if I can. I think that is one reason I was so down the past two weeks, because I was trapped in my house. I hate winter for the obvious reasons; cold, can't go outside as much or for as long, especially with a little kid, and here in Northern Utah we get horrible, foggy, smoggy inversions, that really make you feel trapped inside your house. Usually I stretch out some of my errands throughout the week, partly so I have somewhere to go with him every day, and also because he's good for about an hour and a half, and then he's done. We do try to go to the library every other Tuesday. We call it donut Tuesday, because we get a donut after the library (this is probably one of the many reasons I've put on weight in the last 6 months, hee, hee).

Back to my point. Reading this article/book excerpt, whatever it is by Ms. Harrison was so great for me. It's long, so I really can't sum it up. All I can do is explain the thoughts and feelings that washed over me after I finished reading it. There are two quotes that really stood out to me.

          "My children will outgrow me, as I have outgrown my mother; the absolute dependency of the infant gradually ebbs and dwindles away and is replaced by the friendship of two adults who know each other with the greatest possible intimacy. This time with them close to me is so short, I want to cry out. I cannot bind them close to me; I can only nurture and treasure the love we have for each other, which will join us when the elemental need is gone."

This was a HUGE smack in the face that I needed. I bawled when I read this last night. I love this time of my son's life. He is so innocent, sweet, sensitive, tender, fun and loving and loves me absolutely unconditionally. It makes me so sad that some day we will not have this bond anymore. But then it made me think about my relationship with my own mother. I feel like this quote completely describes my relationship with my mother. I only hope that as my son gets older and is some day my age, he will feel this way about his relationship with me.

It also made me remember that time goes by SO fast. I cannot believe how fast the baby stage came and left, and now we are full blown into the toddler stage, which I know will also fly by. Today was a great day, even though my insomnia has returned full blown and I'm exhausted. Usually when I'm so tired like this, my patience is short and I don't have energy to play with my boy. But today, I found my energy being renewed time and again, when I felt like I was going to crash. I found that my Little Buddy was doing hilarious, sweet things. I took joy in watching him laugh over something that he found hilarious, and I still have no idea what it was. He cracks me up.

I never thought I would have turned pretty content with 'just being a mom'. I know that my 30s will be spent raising small children, and my 40s and early 50s will be spent with interesting adolescents. After they are gone, I still have, God willing, a good 20 years or more to go back and teach. In the scheme of things, the next 20/25 years of my life will go by in a flash and my babies will be gone. Putting it into this perspective has made me realize how time really does fly.

Her closing statement really got to me to:

       "But I can tell them that that life work of being a wife and mother is one of the most joyous, most demanding, most satisfying opportunities that exists, and I am passionately grateful that that lifework is mine."

Over New Years my family was sharing interesting things with each other and something my sister-in-law said really stuck with me. She stated something to the fact that she is so happy being home with her kids, that there is nothing else in the world she would rather be doing, that it makes her happy. As she said this, she had a genuine, serene look of happiness, peace, and contentment on her face.

A while ago my sister stated that she is fine sacrificing a lot of her own wants, needs, dreams, and desires for her children right now, because in the end, would she rather have awards and accolades, or children who eventually turn into kind, compassionate, intelligent, thoughtful, well-functioning adults?

I am so grateful to have 3 sisters and 2 sister-in-laws that are such wonderful examples of what it means to be a mother to me. I am so grateful for my own mother and her mother. Every single woman is different. No one will be a mother in the same way, and I am really grateful for that.

As I said my evening prayers before bed last night, tears streamed down my face as I thanked my Heavenly Father for my beautiful little boy. It took us a while to get him here. I've known for years that he would always come to our family and it was this deep knowledge that got me through the struggle to get him here. The past 17 months have been some of the hardest of my life, but they have also been without a doubt the absolute best 17 months of my whole, entire life. Looking back on everything, I have never felt so much pure love and joy, so much so that it engulfs my entire being. The love I have for my son, as I'm sure every parent has for their child, overwhelms me.

I am grateful to be a mother. I am grateful for my husband and my son. And I am "passionately grateful that that lifework is mine."




Comments

Thank you for this beautiful post, Suzie. It brought tears to my eyes and joy to my heart.
Mel said…
What a great message. This is something I really needed to hear right now, too. Thank you.

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