lost and found

>> 2.16.2014

I feel like I spend an abnormal amount of time writing and talking and thinking about motherhood, but I guess that makes sense considering I am swallowed up in it literally 24 hours a day.

With the addition of a second child, I am finding more and more that I feel like I've completely lost any sense of who I am outside of changing diapers, sweeping crumbs, and trying to come up with creative activities that don't involve any sort of screen or animated character. I forget that I was once a person with autonomy, someone that had talents outside of being able to carry a screaming toddler, carseat with infant inside, AND diaper bag all at once. I used to write, and read books, and have friends, and stay up late talking with my husband just because we could.

Now, I write about my kids, I read about things I need to do so I am better for my kids, I have friends with kids, and I stay up late talking with my husband because it's the only time of day we see each other without being climbed on, puked on, or cried at (unless its me, crying at him).

I'm trying desperately to regain some of myself, but in doing so, I'm realizing just how much of myself has changed. I look back on that twenty-one year old that flitted around Chicago and I cannot help but wonder at how self-absorbed and so incredibly naive I was. Obviously some of that is normal, since you only change and grow by going through life-altering events, but it also makes me feel like I'm on shaky ground, because I don't know just how much of that silly girl to reclaim. My children are my life, my job--being a mother is what I want to do, and who I want to be. But it's not everything. It can't be everything, because if I lose myself in that, I put the burden of my identity on my kids, and that's something that they should never carry or be responsible for.

So for now, I'll sit here and try to scrape the rust off my fingers, and pick up a book that has nothing to do with parenting in any sense and I'll try to remember that I am capable of creating things outside of human life (even though they have been my best work yet).


trenches and ugly hearts

>> 2.07.2014

I yelled at my son tonight.

I'd been fighting the black pit of rage for the better portion of an hour as he screamed, bit, punched, kicked, and generally created havoc around him while letting me know that he was absolutely not going to go to bed peacefully. Then he woke up his sister, asked to nurse for the thousandth time, and got mad when he didn't think he'd accomplished a certain task to his satisfaction.
And that is when I just snapped and screamed from deep down inside, right in his face.
And then his heart broke, and he cried despair, and my heart broke, and I immediately hugged him close and said, "I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry, Jameson, I'm so sorry. That was wrong, and I am so sorry."
And I was sorry, and heart-broken, but there was this part of me that was still so angry and full of rage, and it battled with the Jesus-portion of my heart that was screaming for me to see past the noise and the emotion and just love on my poor, confused, exhausted two-year old, because he wasn't doing this to me on purpose.

And once again, I was faced with the reality of just how ugly my heart is.


I am a mess of emotion lately.

I've had a few trusted people ask me how I am doing, in regards to PPD, and being on the watch for signs of it to arrive, and I've had to step back and say that I'm really not sure if how I'm feeling has to do with the hormones from giving birth or if it's all just the outcome of circumstances for the last year.
I know this past year was a hard one for many, and it seems that our family was no exception. We've faced storms that I never thought we'd see, and have been barraged on all sides by an enemy trying to absolutely destroy us. We've come close to destruction, and despair, and I have spent more nights than I care to remember crying out to the Lord to just spare us. Just once, dear God, spare us this heartache.
And He has answered--in some ways that are satisfying, and others that are not.

So we continue to hold on, and ride through this hurricane, and pray that it ends one day soon.


My mantra lately has been, "This will not last."

Most of the time, I'm using it to try and remind myself to seize the moment and embrace the sweetness of holding my children tight, or listening to them laugh, or watching them learn and explore. But other times it's simply a chant to make myself hold on, to keep battling through, because this insanity cannot last forever. 
I am deep in the trenches of motherhood, sometimes so deep that it's difficult for me to see the sky. I have minutes where I find such an incredible joy to have the privilege of staying home with my children and serving my family that I am satisfied deep down into my bones. And then the pendulum will swing, and I find myself wondering why I had children, and questioning if perhaps I am one of those women who only *thought* she should be a mother, but really should never have procreated at all.
I love my children so much that my heart often feels like it's going to burst from the emotion of it all, but I would by lying if I didn't admit that there are many hours I spend missing the time when it was just Hubs and I, and dreaming about what I am going to do with all my free time once my children are grown. Humiliating, but true. 

I am still as selfish as ever. 

In short, every day is a battle, and I give you permission to spend too much money at Chick-Fil-A so that your kid can play behind glass while you drink sugary tea and almost relax for the first time in 24 hours.

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