Motherhood. It changes us. We bend beyond limits we never imagined, we love so fiercely there is nothing like it. And guilt plagues us daily because we can’t do it all. At least for me it does. Guilt because clothes are not ironed, I can’t purchase a certain expensive toy, or I lost my temper. Perhaps if my expectations weren’t so high or I knew what to expect, motherhood would look a little different. So here is a letter to my younger self (a maybe a letter to your mothering heart now).
Playing house is easy. Your Barbies stayed poised and sat in their seats. No one spoke out of turn, nor was there ever such a thing as sassing. Each Barbie took care of her room, keeping the Cottage perfectly swept and clean. The chandelier sparkled, the fireplace roared while the dinning room table was already set for breakfast the next morning.
Still in her high heels and frilly apron, Barbie tossed her long blond curls behind her as she took Baby to his crib where he immediately went to sleep and slept through the entire night.
Barbie still had the energy for a romantic night with Ken, still in heels and doning a string of pearls, all the while entertianing for dozens of guests. Motherhood seemed efficient, routine and easy. Barbie made it look easy.
And then I became a mom.
I probably don’t need to drive this point home because I know of my perfectionist tendencies, but I’m telling you right now—motherhood is messy. It can’t be completely organized, boxed and tied with a ribbon. Instead, the next two decades of your life will be spent attempting to keep the contents within the general area of where you thought you wanted to place the box. Make sense?
Simply put, you will have sleepless nights, so many that you won’t know what week or month it is. The feeling of exhaustion will rub your emotions raw and every chore, thought, or mishap is amplified.
You’re children will rarely be clean. Yes—scrub those little bodies and expectt they will be dirty within five minutes of exiting the tub.
There will be fights. Baby didn’t sass Barbie but your children will. They will mutiny over your request of eating vegetables. Ehey will say or do something in public that makes you want to hide for the rest of your life.
Because I know you’re fears of raising a special needs child, I want you to know there is no such thing as normal. There is average and most of the population is average, but who wants to be average? You spent your childhood discovering the best of your gifts and abilities. And you couldn’t wait to share it with the world, because those gifts combined with your spirit is what made you—uniquely YOU.
The Worst You will Ever Encounter
The same goes for your child. For all of them. Moms will comment, others will gossip, and still others will celebrate the differences of your kids. I also want you to know this: Discovering your children has special needs won’t be the worst thing you encounter as a mom. Nor will it be any of the following:
It won’t be a baby with colic
It won’t be a strong-willed child
It won’t be a rebellious teenager
It won’t be martial spats
It won’t be sordid details of your messy past
It will be your high expectations. It will be the guilt that consumes your heart as you try to drift off to sleep after a hectic day.
It will be learning to let go of the image media has given to motherhood.
Because you’re a high achiever and accomplishments are meant to be achieved—you will need to define your mission for motherhood, this includes tackling the word perfection.
The most difficult thing you will ever encounter as a mom is learning how to embrace the mess. A beautiful mess.
Clean floors, fantastic living room décor, coordinated and clean outfits, and a simple bill pile is not what makes motherhood wonderful. It’s leading like Jesus.
Love & Lead Like Jesus
Jesus had no home, he washed in the rivers of the Jordan, reclined on couches for dinner and slept in boats. He led his disciples through submitting himself to the will of Father God while growing character in his disciples through story telling and relationship. This is motherhood. Creating a legacy by following Jesus.
He loved with a perfect love which cared not for the opinions of others, nor did it flicker from disobedience.
I want you to remember this: you are a woman with a high calling—to lead like Jesus, to love like Jesus, no matter who is watching or what the culture is telling you, no matter the mess, simply love.
GIVEAWAY ALERT: Because I want you to be in touch with me and tell me what it is you want to see in Facebook updates, I am giving away a Target Giftcard.
1. Simply share this post on your Facebook page. This earns you 1 entry.
2. Share on your page and on a friend’s page. This earns you 2 entries.
Winner will be annouced Friday at 2:00 pm, October 4th 2013 and instantly sent via email the giftcard.
If your women’s group is looking for a speaker this year, here is a flier you can send them: