Dear Mama... (part 2)
I'm excited to share this guest post by my dear friend- one who has known me before I became a mama and has had a huge impact on my own journey into motherhood (always keeping it real), Lanie Timko.
The last Dear Mama blog, a sort of carpe diem for motherhood, gained a lot more traction than I had expected. It must have resonated with more than just me. So it got me thinking about two things. First, the things I won’t miss or don’t miss. And second, I thought a little bit more about all of the obstacles that we moms face when it comes to fully embracing the small moments and movements of motherhood.
So here’s a quick list of what I won’t miss . . .
- Being puked on
- Being peed on
- Diaper blowouts that go up the back, through the onesie and require a full bath
- Taking a shower or being on the toilet and having little visitors
- Not being able to find what I need even though I am sure I put it back in its proper place
- Someone making a diaper or having to go to the bathroom just before we need to be out the door
- Screaming babies in the backseat while driving- so stressful
And then the second part of this post- here is where my head went this week.
What happens to us that, once the little people we wait a lifetime to meet finally arrive earthside, we suddenly wish the time away for when it gets easier and less labor intensive?
And more to the point, what can be done so our love stories with our kids aren’t littered with visions of days down the road when the kids are finally out of diapers, at school all day, or driving themselves to soccer practice?
And since I myself wasn’t super successful at always staying in the moment with my littles, I don’t have the answers, but I do have a few things that helped me stay wholehearted and still help me to keep my footing.
- Let yourself be loved. When we are busy meeting the needs of our little ones, we need to find places where our hearts can be filled. This might look like:
- Making space for healthy friendships full of life and encouragement where the connection is easy and the energy is positive.
- Leaning into your connection with your partner. Date him. Teach him in specifics the ways you need him to love you and care for your heart.
- Cultivating friendships with older moms who are out of the intense season of parenting little ones, but who aren’t so far out that they can’t remember (This remains one my most powerful resources.)
- Protect your identity. It’s vital to develop and accept your irreplaceable role as Mom, but it’s equally essential that you maintain a strong sense of self. You might have to scale back, but if possible, stay active and involved with activities and adventures that make you “you.”
Deal with your stuff. Sometimes our children’s existence surfaces our own childhood hurts and disappointments, even subconsciously. Something in our connecting and parenting feels off and we recognize a massive gap between our ideal and our reality. We want to be with our kids, but at the same time, we can’t wait to get away from them. In this case, it’s important to seek out pastoral or professional help so that we can unpack the weight of our own junk that’s interfering with our being able to enjoy to the fullest the beautiful but brief window with our little ones. The hard work will be worth it when you get to the finish line and know you did your best to live and love wholehearted.
Thanks for your time,
Lanie Timko , mom of five, NCC