Yesterday I felt like I broke down some walls about motherhood. It was another big victory. I can see now that for a long time- years- there has been a lot of fear in regards to motherhood and music. And in both, I started functioning with not my full self. It wasn’t intentional. I think I got scared of my desires with music and was afraid that I couldn’t be a good mom and pursue this growing passion in me. I thought they threatened each other- and yet I wasn’t willing to give up either one. Well that’s not totally true: I knew that if one thing had to get the short end of the stick, it was music. I was in a “pleaser/don’t screw it up” mode often, and I was afraid that I was failing at it all. It turned out that being MYSELF is where the joy and peace were waiting all along. I was trying to mother the way I was supposed to (and music too) and couldn’t figure out why it was feeling like motherhood was literally going to kill me. I resented the cost- to my body and spirit- and knew something needed to change, but I didn’t know how.
I love these little people deeply, but I through the last several years, I have struggled to enjoy much of my mothering. Part of it has to do with poor health for a long time, but it’s not just that. Yesterday I tried to access more of my excitement about being a mom. I asked a lot of “what matters”? as my mind sifted through laundry and dishes and kisses, and bandaids. I have known for a while that I’ve been doing too much with too much stress, but as I have been looking for a new normal, I’ve been baffled as I tried to sort out what matters. As I journaled, I started having big ideas about how to change the way things are currently running in our home, and got very excited about a new program I wanted to establish. It was big, fresh, and dynamic, and I felt excited in a way I hadn’t in a while. But as I stepped back and looked at it, I wondered if perhaps I was missing something. I asked myself “Could the regular things be just as special if I am present and open? Maybe no sweeping changes are needed. Maybe I just need to uncover my love for mothering that has been buried in fear, and find the joy in the normal, everyday things. It was simple, it was pivotal, and most of all, it was peaceful. It was the heaven-sent message I have kept getting for about two years- “Slow Down.” The peace, the joy- it’s there and available in each moment.
You know what I discovered? As I continued to ask myself what mattered, I realized that every little thing I choose to do from my mother heart matters! A kiss, here, a note there, a bed made there…it matters because it’s an act of love from me to them. Big things, small things- all of them matter. They don’t have more value if I rush around and do more of them, and then I’m burnt out and frustrated. They matter as I give what I have to offer that only I can give- because it is coming from my mother heart.
Here’s my 3 takeaways about motherhood that I have learned through my thoughts this week:
1- Bring all of me to mothering. I will feel settled and peaceful mothering when I do it Laura’s way, and with all my quirks, passions, personality and love. MY love is what they need- and that is enough.
2- Each small and simple thing matters- not just to get it done, but because it is a holy offering from my mother heart. Often only God will know, and that is enough. It changes my heart more than anyone else’s.
3- My work, like the big cathedrals in Europe, will not be finished in my lifetime, so pacing is important. Each day I have some to give and also need to nurture and refill myself. Both are important. (Have you read, “The Invisible Woman: When Only God Sees”? A great read for Mother’s Day if you haven’t read it. The cathedral reference is an idea I got from that book).
Happy Mother’s Day!