some thoughts on life and motherhood

Posted on September 25th, 2014 by mountain girl  |  6 Comments »

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There’s been an emptiness inside me these days.  A feeling of life fading a little, a decrease in productivity, a sense of stagnancy–those blahs I’ve referred to a few times lately.

I have friends who are in the busiest, most fruitful season of their lives.  One girl and her husband are raising seven kids, homeschooling them all, living on a farm and raising chickens and goats in a mostly self-sufficient lifestyle.  (Costco only once a month!)  It’s the life I wanted to be mine.

It’s not my life.  Part of it is my hap in life wasn’t to have a lot of kids, though I wanted to.  Part of it is my kids wanted to try public school.  Part of it is where I live–goats attract mountain lions, bears eat compost, and gardens have a short life up here.  Partly I haven’t tried hard enough.  Whatever the reason, I’m far from being a self-sufficient farmer mama with a tribe surrounding me.

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David is studying for certifications for his work, moving forward in his job, and being regularly promoted.  I think that for David and for many men, this time in life is a good time–they are coming into the strength of their careers and relationships and have more respect and honor than when they were younger.  Life is moving forward.

And I guess that’s what I’ve been struggling with.  Zia is in school now, and Cash is no longer a tiny baby, though he’s still so dependent on me (he has a meltdown if I try to slip upstairs for 15 seconds to grab something).  It feels like it should be a fruitful and productive time, but I feel strangely empty.  Where do I go from here?  My work was as an artist, but that was years ago, before kids, and I’m so rusty now.  Worse, I can’t seem to rouse the creative flow, and that just stinks.

So it’s been a strange time, trying figure out what comes next.  It’s been such a raw emotional stage, but at the same time I’m starting to feel like maybe it’s been a good and necessary time.  I think that often in motherhood, there is so much busyness that you just do what you need to do, one thing after another, to keep up.  And you lose the sense of what you are actually doing, and why.  And then suddenly there comes a lull, like with me now, and you wonder about your worth, and if you actually have skills, and where you go from here.

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Julia Cameron, in The Artist’s Way, writes about the importance of “Morning Pages” in a creative life–a practice of pouring out your thoughts in steady stream-of-consciousness writing for three full pages each morning.  I don’t usually keep such a discipline, but then, I’m not usually at the end of my rope at 3 am, either.

It’s amazing how it helps just to put it all down–and leave it there.  And then comes clarity.  At 4 am I thought of the woman I heard on the radio yesterday, living in her car, sending her kids to their friends’ houses each night for a sleepover, so they wouldn’t have to sleep in the car.  And she was feeling grateful that she gets to listen to Christian radio each night as she goes to sleep!

I thought of my life.  I sleep in a good man’s arms every night, with my arms wrapped around my baby.  I get up and feed my kids good food every day and send them to a good school.  I get to stay home with my two year old.  And I will always be their mother.

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My job will never be obsolete–there will always be times when they need me.  That might sound quaint and trite, but it is huge.  I’m not 39 with a great career and no love in my life.  I’m 39 with three kids to love and a strong husband who loves me, and that is the life I want to be mine.

It doesn’t mean I’ll only ever be a mother and a wife.  But I have that place of love and strength to work from, and it’s one of the main places (second to being God’s child) where I find my joy and sense of identity in life.  I can be anything and do anything, and I’m sure I’m not finished with art and creative work, but one thing I know: I will always be a mother to Caleb, Zia, and Cash and a lover to David.  And I’m going to be a good one, and a better one, and go forward in who I am.

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6 Responses to “some thoughts on life and motherhood”

  1. appleshoe says on :

    Beautifully written my friend. Just remember, it’s not the destination but the journey that counts. Be well.

  2. Lyssa says on :

    You are absolutely right about so many things here. The morning pages: “putting it down and leaving it there”, bringing clarity. Finding satisfaction in gratefulness for what we have. Rejoicing in our families. Going forward in who you are, with the strength of Christ and the love of your family behind you!

  3. Amber Rhodes says on :

    What a lovely post! Your writing is brilliant. I enjoy it very much.

  4. Colleen says on :

    What I’m learning is that different stages come and go…. when you are in one that is a little tough, it seems like you are stuck there forever but then one day you notice you are out of it!
    I love the stage I am in right now with my three kids and Garren growing in independence but still needing me. I am a little nervous about the stage to come around Christmas when we grow to a family of 6….. I always feel like I go through a tough time with my hormones and trying to figure out how to manage life with another child to take care of! Its a joyful time but also stressful for mommy! I don’t want to get frustrated at my children easily! It seems like that happens to me when i have a young child crying for my attention! It’s hard for me to let things go…. like having a messier home for a while or letting laundry pile up etc…

    I just try and put each stage in Gods hands! Do every little unnoticed thing like changing diapers and dishes for Him!

    I don’t think everyone talks about their “Blah” stages but I think its healthy to!
    great post!

  5. mountain girl says on :

    You’re going to be a family of 6? Congrats! I hope your pregnancy has gone well. And I know what you mean about getting frustrated at your kids–there is no feeling worse than that! Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a good last few months of your pregnancy!

  6. Colleen says on :

    YES! Crazy! It has gone by really quickly! Did you stop by my blog and see our “big news” announcement? My husband put together a cute little video! =)

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