From the moment we become mothers, our world begins to orbit around our bellies. We consume books, articles, and advice from our friends. Most talk about their birthing experiences or nursing. Yet, how often do we pick thier brains about what it takes to mother day in and day out? Do we ever ask, “How do I keep from losing myself?”
We don’t hear stories about how to discipline a cranky 18 month-old. We hardly ever hear how to balance being a nursing mom to sexy mom in the bedroom. Nor does anyone tell us how to keep our identities from being consumed into all things motherhood. No one told me how I would be counting down the days, weeks and minutes to my getaway in the mountains at a writer’s conference.
As I peeled my kids off me in the airport and brushed my husband’s lips with mine, I couldn’t get on the plane fast enough. As we flew through turbulence and I wondered if I would quite possibly die (If you have been on this plane ride, you would have been filling out your will–trust me), the guilt ate at me.
It was then that I realized, no one ever really taught me to balance motherhood with the rest of me. Have you ever felt that way? We want to be the best mother’s possible, raising children who are godly, successful and well rounded; but what happened to the rest of us? It reminds me of when Jesus put Martha in a time out (Okay, it wasn’t really a time out but he did tell her to chill, to balance priorities with his word). Read the story here: Martha, Mary & Jesus. Martha is annoyed that her sister left all the work of hosting Jesus and his disciples on her shoulders. Mary was found sitting at Jesus’ feet.
Yes there is the daily domestic duties, work, and raising our kids, but if we don’t take time out to refresh ourselves–to enjoy our other passions (including sitting at Jesus’ feet), what are we teaching our kids about us? What are we teaching them about themselves. As I soaked in the presence of God this past weekend, I took long walks to be alone with God, to focus on the weak areas of my heart. As I sat by the fire and reminciesed the view of the snow capped mountians, I realized we need to put ourselves first. No that doesnt mean retail therapy and getting a babysitter. It means to be intentional about ensuring we are balanced in mind and spirit before we can pour ourselves out for our kids.
So it’s back to meditating on Ecclesiastes 3:1-8. How do you keep yourself from being lost in motherhood? How do you balance your passions, God, and life itself?