Tuesday, May 5, 2009

 More than mom

Have you ever thought that to be a good mom you had to focus all of your energies on your kids? Maybe you've learned this one already and you know better. There was a time that I tried to do that. And do you know what? I wasn't a very good mom. Ironic isn't it? The time when I tried to give every part of me to mothering was the time I sucked at it the most. I've learned some important lessons between last Mother's Day and this one. And they seem backwards to my natural way of thought. Mothering is so much a part of who I am. God created me that way. It's not just something I have chosen, it is something that is entwined into my very being. I am a nurturer. I am a care taker. I love it. But I am also a unique individual. Although my mothering spills into so many different parts of my life, there are parts of me that are not mommy. I love writing. I love creating. I love music. I love talking to other adults some times. :) I love exploring other parts of who God created me to be. And I am learning that although he did indeed create me to be a mommy, he also created me for some other, and very important, purposes. For me to focus all of me on any one thing would be settling for less than I was meant to be. My priorities in life are pretty clear cut. The very top looks like this: God, Dave, my kids, and other ministries God has me serving in. In that order. I must not rearrange those priorities. I can't spread myself too thin. If another area in my life is infringing upon my top ones, especially the top three, I know something needs to change. That being said, I am learning that I am a better mom when mom is not all that I am. This past weekend the boys got alot of daddy. And they loved it. And they thrived under his leadership. In the past three days I went shopping, I baked, I practiced some music at church, I painted at a homeless shelter, I attended a meeting at church, I cuddled and kissed my babies and read them books, I took them for a walk, I taught three parenting classes at The Center for Women, I did some filing and paper work there, I started working on colors and patterns for some room decorating elements at the homeless shelter. And my moments with those three precious little boys were so much sweeter. And I felt full and alive. I felt like Wendi. Believe me; I have had weekends that have looked very, very different than that. It is not my norm at all. Other mothers may have the opposite problem. They may be too busy away from home, too focused on other things, too involved in work. For me, I could see red flags popping up in the "too wrapped up in your kids needing you - must detach a bit" category. Right now it is my job to be raising these guys to be responsible. To eventually be independent. *Shudder* To raise them to some day not need me. They won't always be here. And frankly that thought sets in a little bit of panic. Do you see where the problem is here? Yeah. So what is it that I have learned in the past year? That I don't have to try to do it all, as it pertains to mothering. I don't have to try to take care of every need of every kid even when Dave is here. Daddy time and grandma time is precious to the kids and to daddy and grandma. The kids need more than just me. I need more than just the kids. Guilt is one of my worst enemies. Dave isn't going to resent me for asking him for help. He is, after all, the dad. :) I know it is a balancing act and there can be a fine line between home too much and gone too much. I don't want to convey an advocating of being away form your home and family as much as possible. Not at all! I know that being a stay at home mom is such a high privilege and calling! I am just sharing part of my personal growth process. Because I could so easily lose myself in being a mom. It would be all too easy for me to become one dimensional. Not to venture beyond that title. Yes, they mean the world to me. No, they are not, and will not be all that is in my world. I will be a better mom for it, and they will be happier, more well rounded kids for it. Plus I won't yell as much.

17 comments:

sara said...

this is an awesome post today. And it is such a blessing for you and your family that you can realize this so young!!! It took some of us much longer!

Lisa said...

not only are you and incredilble mother, but an amazing person!

Great food for thought! I never want to be one of those moms whose world falls apart once the kids leave the house - I hope to keep my priorities in the same order as yours, but I know it must be hard somedays......

"Rachel" said...

Wendi, this TOTALLY resonated with me. I was debating taking a Bible class this semester because I felt like as a mom I shouldn't take that time away from my daughter. But you are so right, it's good for my daughter to be away from me some and it's good for me to do other things that just be her mother. I wish I could put stuff into words the way you do. :) Thank you for this post!

Lois Lane II said...

This is like the most perfect definition of a mom. This is the kind of mom I want to be. =)

Amanda said...

oh how i resonate with this...and wendi, how i love the end...the "plus i won't yell as much"...because it does my heart good to remember that no one is perfect, that i am not the only mommy who is a sinner, who yells, who falls short, who wants to start the day over sometimes. so glad for your chance to get some "other" time this weekend. much loves!

Heather of the EO said...

I love this post. It was much-needed. This is something I learn and re-learn over and over because I have a tendency to forget.

This inspired me. Thank you. :)

Noah and Ryders Mommy said...

I loved this post, Wendi.
I think every women needs to see that we are all made for more than just being a Mom. There's more to who we are. When Benji comes home, I want so badly to spend every second with him and as a family. We do spend our fair share together as a family and together alone when he comes home, but it's also so important for me to let him have that alone time with his boys, not only for his sake and the boys, but for mine as well, so that I can rediscover the whole person that God has made me to be. I love people, I love friendships, I love to garden, read books and make crafts and being by myself I am able to focus on myself and who I am in God. My kids are my top priority, but in order for me to give them what they need, us Mom's need to be able to be ourselves with out them as well
I'm so glad you are able to experience that kind of Joy, friend!

Karen said...

wendi!! you are the mom & woman i want to be when i grow up;D you are superwoman..make yourself a cape:) you are so right about making ourselves a proirity sometimes too..i have come to that realization that if i get lost in just being a mommy & a wife i am not as happy as i could be when i take time out for me. you are such a neat person & i love following your blog:) blessings friend!

Jackie @ Our Moments Our Memories said...

Oh, this is good stuff. So true.

But sometimes I still struggle with feeling guilty when I take time for myself. I got a pedicure a few weeks ago, a very rare treat, and while I enjoyed it thoroughly I still felt a little like I was shirking my responsibilities. Silly, I know. I have to grow past that.

You said you practiced music at church - singing or playing?? I did not know this about you!

MoziEsmé said...

I love this! Thanks for giving me a little less guilt in my need to do "my thing" once in a while...

BaronessBlack said...

This is SO true! My Mum always worked, (not a lot, 2 or 3 mornings a week, and often from home), and I remember realizing at quite an early age that my Mum was important to other people too! It sounds like a small thing, but being aware that my mother had an identity beyond our house made me feel that she was a more rounded and multi-dimensional person!

MarjnHomer said...

and when moms yell less at their kids, it makes parentin a whole lot easier.

Arlona Mc said...

As I was reading these comments, I thought about being in an airplane and having the stewardess tell parents that in an emergency they need to put the mask on themselves first in order to be able to help their children. I think that applies to life outside of the airplane too.

Melissa said...

I love yoyur posts Wendi...your a great mom. You have been blessed with a fantastic gift to write andI'm so thankful you share it.

Heidi said...

Hi Wendi - Found your blog from another..I'm a new blogger and am trying to not just be a "snooper" but to actually comment!! What a great post - I am not a mom yet but this post (and your blog) is so upfront about being a mother..Thanks for being so honest with the world!!

Stacey said...

This is such a hard lesson!! I have to keep starting over because I do get frustrated and don't do much of anything for Me. Some days I have forgotten who "Stacey" is. Thanks for the inspiring post!!

T Heap said...

This is a great post! Thanks for your honesty. I know being a mom is the best job, but it is also the hardest. I know that God has given me this role, but He does not see me as "just a mom". I am His precious daughter too!