Here's a funny little bit of truth: Before I became a mom I believed that once you gave birth to a child you instantaneously knew how to do all things mom.
Poof. You just became mom and instantly acquired all tools, know-how, wisdom and patience right there on the spot. As if Cinderella's fairy godmother showed up and bippity boppity boo. There you go. Mom outfits, mom-sense, mom know how. A nice little package all tied up with a sweet pink (or blue!) bow and tucked into a minivan with a correctly installed carseat.
It's ok. You can laugh.
To some degree that is true. The moment that first child is placed into your arms you are mom. You are their mom. There is noone else who holds that title, responsibility or honor. It is yours forever and it is a blessing and a gift.
The list of things you don't know is great. The list of things you don't even know that you don't know is greater.
And the time, energy, commitment, energy, stamina, did I say energy? required for the job cannot be acquired or learned ahead of time. No friends, much of this gig comes as a major surprise.
You suddenly realize three days, or three months, or seven years into it all that this requires on the job training. Training that you suddenly feel inept, inadequate and sometime too tired to engage in.
There are some days it feels a little bit like a rigorous boot camp that you had no intention of signing up for, but now find yourself smack dab in the middle of.
Or maybe you thought that boot camp actually sounded like a neat adventure, even if it would be a little stressful. Somehow your vision of what boot camp would be was very different (and a whole lot easier) than what it actually is and you find yourself wondering if you're really cut out for this after all.
If I've learned anything in this seven year boot camp...ahem, journey...it's that:
1. There is SOOOO much that I don't know
2. While you become a mom in title, stature and position on the day your children are born, becoming a mom of wisdom, know-how, confidence and consistency takes years and years, maybe even a lifetime, to learn.
I've been thinking a lot about the word becoming lately. Perhaps because I've been feeling a bit inadequate, disorganized, overwhelmed and inept at this job of stay at home mom, wife and housekeeper. The track that plays over and over in my head sounds something like this:
Geez, you should really have it together by now. You should be on time and not forget appointments. You should have a house cleaning/management system that is working for you. You should know how to love better, be more engaged and less distracted by the "to-do" list when those sweet little faces are asking for attention.
You shouldn't be so irritated when they call you up one. more. time because they can't sleep...the "good" mom would just go up and tickle their arm or rub their back until they slip into a deep slumber and you'd never think twice about it.
You should have more family vacations planned and be friendlier to the neighborhood kids when they ring your doorbell...during nap time...again!
Oh, by the way, you should be able to handle all of this and also engage in your "passions" on a regular basis, be a more consistent blogger, exercise 4+ days a week and know how to navigate the current vaccination schedule without frustrating your doctor (sorry, that was a slight soapbox rant about my doctor there!).
Goodness, you might have had an excuse six years ago, but by now?! Come on!
I know, not very helpful, right?
Somehow I allow myself to believe that it was ok to struggle when learning how to become parents to our first child, but by number three, well, we should have this thing down!
Back to the word becoming...do you know what the formal definition is?
Becoming- noun. Any process of change. Any change involving realization of potentialities.
We become moms on the day we give birth to our children and then we are always, always, always in the process of becoming moms throughout our lives. Becoming the moms we want to be. The moms we hope to be. The moms God intends for us to be.
It is a journey, a process, a lifetime of learning and refining.
When I think about becoming a mom in that light if offers so much hope. So much grace. So much space to...grow.
I can let go of all of the things I'd like to be better at, or that I feel like I'm not doing well and I can put them into the bucket of the things I am working on and be ok with that. I can see my potential to be more patient, loving, organized, and energetic I can rest in the fact that I am not as stuck as I may think, but moving towards those things one day of learning at a time.
Sometimes, I think we are so capable of giving our children grace to grow and so incapable of offering it to ourselves.
It's like this quote says...
I say, lets treat ourselves the same way.
Here's to Becoming moms!