Monday, November 1, 2010

Motherhood.

Lately, I've been thinking about motherhood a lot.  Talking about this subject feels incredibly vulnerable to me, because with motherhood, it's always personal.  In fact, I've debated internally, more over this post, than any other, because it feels very raw to me at this moment in time.  Over the past month, I've encountered some very different circumstances, all revolving around insecurity in motherhood.  (Either mine, or that of someone else.)  Personally, I can't think of anything that yanks insecurity from the depths of my heart, the way motherhood does.  (Anyone else?)
One scenario, (Hypothetically of course. Because I never, ever, ever speak from prior experience.  Ahem.) is when your child misbehaves and another person points it out to you.  Overwhelmed with embarrassment, it's easy to slip onto a lonely island, where rejection soon becomes your only company.  Even if no one has kicked you out of the boat!!  You must fight awfully hard, to combat those waves of insecurity.  They threaten to break over your head, and drag you under as they pass. If you let them, you will drown.  This I know for certain.  Hypothetically.  But for real. (grin.) We all know we shouldn't take what our children do, and lump it in with how everyone around must be seeing us, yet we do just that.  And we judge ourselves harshly.  (Of course, I'm not advocating ignoring your children when they misbehave.  Just to clarify.)

Another situation is comparing.  (I just cringed.) The reality is, comparing=insecurity.  Why?  Because when you compare yourself to someone else, you're comparing your weaknesses to their strengths.  You can never know the reality of someones situation.  For example.  Look at these lovely photos.  Don't they portray an environment of love, learning, and a cozy crafting day?  Don't they fill you with all manner of guilt, because you've never thought of doing a paint-on-canvas day, and wouldn't your children just love that? Ha!  Well don't be fooled.  I could easily tell you all about the darling masterpieces that were created this day. (And don't get me wrong, I'll cherish them... but not for the reasons you think.)  I could show you smiles, and the nice, orderly table we started with.  But the reality is, this day quickly ended in shambles, complete with socks covered in paint.  I even found paint in my laundry room!  I have no idea how it got there.  I ended up yelling at not one, but both kids, for using tons of paint on their canvases, which was now dripping off the edges, and onto the floor, after I'd just told them that "a little goes a long way."  (I've been working really hard to not be a yeller... because it comes rather naturally for me I'm afraid.  I'm an impatient reactionary.  I'm learning to be a patient responder.)  In fact, Adrain came out of his office to see what the commotion was about, and I didn't like his interfering one bit, so I took it out on him.  I'm not proud.  Just keeping it real.
Here, in the blog world, I think we're all pretty susceptible to comparing, because we're comparing our reality to what other people are willing to share, and the way in which they are willing to share it.  And who wants to share the crap?  If by some chance, another person points out your mothering shortcomings, by all means examine what they are saying in case there are changes that need to be made on your end... but if you've done that, and are left feeling raw and hurt, but can't put your finger on the reason, remember there is a possibility that they are coming from a perspective of something that happens to be one of their strengths, and that same area might be an area of your weakness.  If you let feelings of insecurity sweep over you at their words, you will lose every time. Remember that we each have different areas of strength, and don't let yourself believe otherwise.  You are not worthless, just because you might not be able or even willing to do it the way someone else does it.  Lastly, it's always good to encourage each other in this journey.  Because it's hard, and our words have such power.  Galatians 5:14b & 15 say, "Love your neighbor as yourself. If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other."   


Be encouraged you sweet mamas, and don't give up!

34 comments:

  1. I can relate to this post on several levels but mostly the patience/yelling thing. I struggle so much with a lack of patience and I end up yelling a lot (my little boy is only 18 mos & tries my patience more than I ever thought he would at this age.) I am always so jealous of mothers who speak softly to their children and seem to have lots of patience. They usually make me feel super guilty and I just think 'why can't I be like that?' It's something that I struggle with and will continue to work on. I need to pray about it more, that's for sure! Thanks for the great post & encouraging words! :)

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  2. wrote about something somewhat similar today...only I think I needed to READ what you wrote. Just for me. :)

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  3. I was just pondering my motherhood today! I was wondering why I yell so much and why my son pushes my buttons so easily. I don't want to be the mom I've been lately, and I was thinking about that today. One day (hour, minute, second) at a time I will call on God to help me do better...to speak to my children kindly, to remember they are children, and they won't be able to do things the way I want them done without detailed explanation, to beg for patience and wisdom. Thanks for sharing and keepin' it real!
    Blessings!

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  4. What an awesome lesson....thanks for the reminder.

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  5. well said... Amen!
    Blessings!
    Jill

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  6. Great post!! I am having Motherhood issues myself right now but not for the same reasons. I struggle with the decision I made about going to work. I'm not sure that it is really what is right for my kids.

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  7. Just finished reading an incerdible book that has helped me in my mothering insecurities: I pray you are fed by it. Beth Moore So Long Insecurity. It is put out by Lifeway books. Beth Moore spoke right to my mommy heart with this one.
    Shelley

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  8. sister did you write this to me? i have felt every single thing you talked about recently and felt exactly how you described. it's hard being a mom...it's hard being a person. so glad that God gives us new days and that his mercies never fail. loved our chat today:)

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  9. I was just thinking--as I yelled at my daughter who was not getting her math assignment quick enough. . .why is it that it is easier for me to yell at the kids than my husband in my frustrated moments? Something I need to think about and work on and what you wrote, I really needed to read--

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  10. prech it sista!!! I am constantly comparing...constantly falling short. And then laughing my hiney off when another mom says she wishes she had it 'together' like me. HA!

    p.s. I'm a yeller too and I HATE it.

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  11. I love this Sasha! Thank you!

    We have the most underpaid and under appreciated job on earth! If only all mothers could just sympathize and support one another. You know...build each other up....like you are doing here!

    Thank you and God bless you!

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  12. I hear you..it's such a personal matter, but it helps to talk about it. Sometimes I worry I'm ruining my kids. But they are so much like Jesus and full of grace. And same with my husband. Sometimes I get mad when he steals my thunder/interrupts me to bring about peace. Hence the need for mom AND dad, right?

    Loved this post..thanks for sharing your heart.

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  13. I sure appreciated your insightfulness regarding comparing my weaknesses to someone else's strengths. I never thought of it in that light before and your observation is true, striking a chord that says "Aha!"
    A breath of fresh sister - I sure appreciate YOUR strengths! They bless me much:-)

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  14. Hi LMM, your last 2 posts spoke right to the heart of me. Seems that yelling comes natural to me too :) Thanks for making me stop and think.

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  15. Oh my goodness girl- I am barely keeping my head above water and the sad thing is I know that most the time it's because I jumped out of the boat instead of got kicked out! I have been so ready lately to accept rejection. My almost 5 year old son has just started this thing where he HAS to be with me, my husband or our daughter at all times. If we try to leave him anywhere- grandmas, sunday school, peewee football- he cries and cries and cries. And I can almost hear the voices inside everyone else's head about how the poor homeschooled boy is socially backwards. I cried the other night because my mother suggested that "real preschool" might be good for him. And by "cry" I mean I wailed to my husband as I blew snot bubbles "cry"! NOT PRETTY! It has been like I am looking to be rejected- and I didn't make that connection until I read your post. Thank you for being so darn honest- the blog world needs more of that- and I certainly needed it tonight!

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  16. absolutely perfectly said my friend!!!
    i think i often times feel my highest moments and then my lowest moments as a mom.
    i struggle with patience. thankfully my big guy is much more patient than i!
    you gave so much encouragement and said so much truth.
    you are awesome!!!

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  17. Wow! This post speaks straight to my heart. I have been praying for extra strength against comparing myself on all kinds of levels, and your words just echoed what God is teaching me. Thank you for the encouragement and a place to come for honesty and uplifting words. There is a blog balance between being positive and staying honest, and you always find it. Thank you for letting God speak through you. I'm blown away by this refreshing post. (And I'm not even an "official" mama until February). :)

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  18. What a heartfelt post, Sasha. I had never thought of my weaknesses being someone else's strengths and vice versa. Thank you for the powerful words. Continued Blessings.

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  19. I often times read blogs and think, "Wow if only I could do that." I love getting inspired by others and I have been inspired and motivated by so much of what I read from other moms. I do know that we all live in the real world and sometimes not sharing the "nitty gritty" details is OK with me because some of those are just between me, Jesus and my family. Just because we choose to write does not mean we HAVE to disclose every part of ourselves. Some stuff is not worth sharing. But, that being said..I do like to hear that other moms struggle with yelling and hating it...because I DO TOO!!
    Lisa
    p.s. great post, great project, and you are a GREAT MAMA!!

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  20. 'I'm an impatient reactionary. I'm learning to be a patient responder.' This describes me at times. Never heard it in those words, but when I read them, it sounded very familiar. Thanks for the 'keeping it real' post. :)

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  21. Don't even get me started on patience (as I scream "keep your hands off your brother!") and yelling.
    Comparisons are all too easy with the large amount of creativity flooding these blogs. I wish some of you ladies would just give it a rest already! Only kidding...Love all the creative mommies.
    Great post!

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  22. I take a religious class with 100 amazing moms and we have discussed these very things recently - all I have to say is...AMEN SISTA!!!

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  23. Sasha, love your post and how real you are. You are a blessing to so many mamas out there feeling overwhelmed and defeated. We all go through these times. All I can say is that my children are a bit older and, trust me I've made many mistakes, but I can tell you that your love will outshine all the ick you give them. My little piece of advice is as long as your good intentions and your love outshines the "Crazy Moments" I think your little ones will be just fine.

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  24. Wonderful post. So much truth to it! As mothers, whether stay-at-home or work from home or work outside of the home, etc. :) we need to build each other up!

    As far as our kiddos go, I was at a bible study today that asked us "Do you think you are called by God to do great things?" And a mom instantly jumped up and said, "Yes, look at all of these babies and toddlers surrounding us."

    Sometimes I forget that just by becoming a mother, even if I "falter" in my job, I am doing GREAT things!

    Blessings to you,
    Valerie

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  25. That's a good word, Lemonade Makin' Mama. Thank you.

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  26. You are my clone. Seriously.

    Seriously.

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  27. What an encouraging post and one I definitely needed to read and will probably have to come back and reread;) I loved what you said about comparing our failures to others strengths....that is so true.

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  28. this is great! for lots of reasons but 1. what we "choose" to share. everybody's blog looks perfect because we can pick and choose what fun, sweet things we want to post. 2. i'm not attempting to brag on my blog, i just am trying to really find the positives and highlight those things because a. there ARE good things going on and b. yeah, who wants to read negative nancy's blog?! and 3. i would never want to make someone feel badly about themselves because i'm trying to find the "lovely" in my life. so i shouldn't feel that way when i read other peoples' either! **you're hilarious and i love reading your blog b/c of your writing style, your love, your faith, photography, crafts, cooking, frugality, etc. and i wish i could do more stuff like you but i don't let myself feel badly that i haven't yet made a wood sign or salted cupcake. but i say yeehaw that we both have homemade detergent! so yeehaw!

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  29. Wow! Thanks for the encouragement!!!

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  30. I could just squeeze you right now.

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  31. I just found your blog. Oh how I can relate. I am working on the yelling thing and being a more patient mom. I am a bit too OCD at times. I like things the way I like them. So when the kids and I sit down to craft together, I sometimes expect them to be neat and tidy and to take care of the supplies as I would. But, let's face it, they are not me. They are 6, 9 and 11 and not 41!!! I so appreciate your honesty and williingness to share. Obviously I don't like to hear that a mom has had a bad day, but it is nice to know I am not alone sometimes in the hiccups I making in mothering.
    Thanks for blessing me tonight. I am now a follower.
    Jenny at thepetersporch.blogspot.com

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  32. THIS post made me cry. In fact, I told my hubby the other day..."I've got to quit reading blogs. I used to love them for crafty/recipe/mom "talk" stuff but they are making me feel like a bummer nowadays." (**I've dealt with some medical issues the past year and JUST when I felt a little light at the end of the tunnel in the illness department I've had a dragging flu bug since the start of the New Year) UGH! Some days, it is all I can do to love on my new baby boy and be showered by the time my big kids come home from school. The days they walk in the door and I'm still in my pj pants are dark days. What a loser mom I feel like. :(

    Thankfully, there are Hubby's like mine that remind me to keep my chin up and finding little REAL snippets in blogs like this one.

    LOVED.

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