Thursday, January 26, 2012

On Childbearing.

I write a lot about how much I like being pregnant. But I don't feel like that all the time. Pregnancy isn't easy for me. My hips don't work right when I'm not pregnant and when I am pregnant those hip issues cause me extreme pain and difficulty in moving while pregnant. My mood swings swerve in between being unable to feel happy to being numb, to being so happy I sob uncontrollable, and occasionally I have outbursts of rage that come from a really ugly place and then disappear almost immediately.

I write a lot about how empowering the birth experience was for me. The day of my son's birth was the best of my life. But I remember, in the back of my mind, how overwhelmed, exhausted, and defeated I felt during labor. I remember, every now and then, that labor was the worst I felt in my life.

I write a lot about the immense joy that motherhood brings me. But there's also times when Gideon frustrates me to the point where I just set him in the recliner, tuck a blanket around him, and give him a cinnamon roll. Mess be damned. And those poopy toddler diapers? I've cried from simply smelling it from across the room, cried from sheer laziness.

There's the article circling around the web called "To the Mother With Only One Child". As I told one of my friends, it might be the pregnancy hormones, but I was crying by the time I reached the end of it. (Have you noticed a crying trend recently? Motherhood did that to me.) This quote especially spoke to me: "Dear mother, don’t worry about enjoying your life.  Your life is hard; your life will be hard.  That doesn’t mean you’re doing something wrong—it means you’re doing it right."

It reminded me of all the reasons that the hard things about childbearing and child rearing are a blessing. I am becoming a better person. I am dying to myself everyday and it's not horrible, it's wonderful! Everyday I have the chance to say "I will take whatever I want to do, throw it out the window, and replace it with whatever is best for you." to my Gideon.

And what blows my mind still further is that I am shaping this person, this little soul. Another one of my favorite quotes on parenting is "You are not managing an inconvenience. You are raising a human being." I have the most amazing privilege, and one that I wouldn't trade for any other career. I am shaping people. People who will go out and do things and go places and love other people.

All that to say this. Mothering is hard for me. While I would love for you to be encouraged while reading my blog I don't want anyone to look at what I write and think that I lead a charmed life with no troubles or that I am some sort of super mom who deals with her troubles with exemplary grace and patience. But I do LOVE what I do and that's what I try to focus on when I blog. I believe with every fiber of my being that everything I am doing is important. More important than anything else I could be doing.

Life is hard. But it is rich. And it is full of joy and purpose.

7 comments:

  1. Very good read. :)

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  2. Thanks, Elisabeth! Excellent read. :)

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  3. Carrie, Reading to KnowJanuary 27, 2012 at 8:28 AM

    AMEN!

    Actually, I liked reading your post better than the other one. (And not just because I know you.) What you said gives a fuller picture. And you are closer to the situation that she describes which makes everything you said more real.

    Good words.

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  4. Very well said, Elisabeth! Thank you!

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  5. What a great thing for me to read! As a mama of TEN I am still surprised at how lazy & selfish I can be. But would I rather be doing anything else? NOPE!!! :-)
    Love your transparency ..... and I did chuckle (or cringe actually! ) at the cinnamon roll part. :-)

    Hugs from one Mama to another!
    Janet

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  6. I like your honesty. it is always fun to hear what you are up to.

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Muse with me. Please?