Monday, May 5, 2014

The Mom I Wanted to Be

When I had my first baby in my belly, I had decided.  I wanted to be a mom who....
  • Ran marathons
  • Talked intelligently about world politics and literature
  • Made my baby fit my schedule, not the other way around.

At all costs I vowed I would NEVER...
  • Talk about nothing but potty training and teething
  • Have the screaming tantrum kid at the store
  • "Let myself go"

The truth is I am not quite 3 years into this motherhood thing but a couple things are for sure:  I have not yet run any marathons, and I will talk about how much I hate potty training to anyone who will listen.

Confession:  I had a sort of underlying condescension of "moms" in my heart before I had my own kiddos.  I was sure anyone who was tired or in sweatpants just wasn't trying hard enough.  They were the weak ones, who had let themselves go. 

I've let my self go, and I don't regret it.

My babies needed to eat and sleep and play and be cared for.  With this all consuming (albeit simple) list, motherhood forced me to think about myself last.  To let my "self" go.  I've had to navigate self-judgement, loneliness, feeling underutilized and unattractive- things I never expected to be part of bringing my babies home. It was messy and painful and confusing, but something beautiful happened. 

In my hurt of being unheard, I learned to listen. 
In my pain of feeling unseen I learned to be aware.
In my desperate efforts at perfection that always came up short, I learned to let go of control.
In my void of being unrecognized, I learned to release the opinions of others.

It's taken me a couple years, but now I truly know the mom I want to be has nothing to do with running marathons or fitting into my old jeans.  I want to be a mom who...
  • Uses my mama heart to love everyone I meet like God loves them- as his children
  • Has space and grace to be approachable
  • Feels comfortable in my own soft, stretched skin
  • Speaks love, truth, acceptance and grace over every life around me 

What's on your list? What kind of mama do you want to be?