The Motherhood Journey
One of my favorite things about being a grandmother is watching my daughter be a mother. It’s a little like watching a blind person slowly recover their eye sight. The other day she looked at me and said, “You know all those times you were worried about me mom and I didn’t understand why? I understand now.”
And there will be more moments of clarity like that, I’m sure.
I think back over the years and remember her when she was three. She had long dark hair and she was wearing a white night gown. It was summer and the fireflies were out and she wanted to chase them. I sat on the back porch and watched her catching bugs and I swear I remember thinking I wish I could freeze this moment forever.
Then she was eight years old and so excited to meet her new twin brothers. She changed their diapers and fed bottles and even managed to get thrown up on once or twice. It was a glimpse through a window of time. I knew she would be a great mother and she is.
My daughter’s next stage was “I want it my way,” and when she didn’t get it her way…she ran away. She wasn’t allowed to go past the two trees at the end of the driveway and the one time she did, I almost had a heart attack. When I found her across the road hiding behind the church I cried. There’s no scared like the scared you get when you can’t find your child and that’s one of many things I hope she never has to experience as a mom.
Motherhood Means Giving Your Heart Away
Kennedy, her daughter is only six months old and already she’s learning that being a mom is harder than she ever dreamed it would be. My daughter is an organizer and every night she lays out Kennedy’s clothes for the next day. She gets all the bottles ready and makes sure I have everything I need to care for Kennedy the next day. Right now Kennedy’s environment is limited but as she gets older more variables come into play and my daughter will find she can control less and less. You give this little tiny person your heart and you want to do everything in your power to keep them healthy, happy and safe and the reality is that we can only do so much. God is in control, not us.
I remember praying when my children were very young that I wouldn’t mess up. “Please, God,” I begged. “I only get one shot at this. Please help me do it right.”
That wasn’t a very smart prayer, was it? As much as I wanted to be a “perfect mom” there was no way I could. A smarter prayer would have been, “Lord help me to see when I have made a mistake and give me the strength not to repeat it.”
When I failed (lost my temper or had a crying fit) it was usually because I let myself stress over silly unimportant things or I failed to get enough rest. Or when I took my eyes off my main goal, which was to raise Christian children in a Godly home, and focused on temporary things like the house being a mess or having enough dirty laundry to sink a battle ship.
A Woman’s World
I remember reading a newspaper column called “Take your daughter to work,” It was written by a woman who took her young daughter to the office with her to show her what mommy did at the office. At the end of the article it said something like this, “You can take your daughter to work to see what a career is like, but then take her home and show her what you do there too because more than likely she will have to straddle both worlds.”
That visual image of having one foot in the work place and another at home stuck with me. It’s incredibly hard for mothers to balance our lives when we are living in such a fast paced world.
My daughter is an awesome mother and I am so proud of her that even as I write this my eyes cloud up with tears. I want her motherhood years to be smooth ones but as sure as I know that the grass is green and the sky is blue, I know she will hit some bumps in the road.
And so, dear daughter, straddle your work world and your home world with as much grace and balance as you can but remember, all of us fall short of perfection.
Motherhood is a glorious, complicated journey. Sometimes you may find that even when you do your very best you fall short. Trust in God and always seek His guidance! I love you Rachel. Enjoy your journey!