What if being a mum is enough?

Pomegranates in a Terracotta Bowl by David Loftus


This morning I read two things, a post called What if being a momma is enough? at She Looketh Well, and Women's Liberation Through Housework by Rena Corey at a newspaper site posted by a friend. Here is what Michelle wrote (in part):

"I have often heard it said "I am looking forward to the day when I can really minister or follow my dreams" or "this ‘mothering’ is just for a season..."

It is one thing to be willing to lay down all your hopes and desires for being a mama, believing that the Lord will bring them about someday. It is quite another, I am finding, to fully embrace being a mama.

Laying down your little box of desires to hopefully pick them up again certainly is a worthy and admirable thing, and definitely a great step. But what about not just packing them away in a pretty little box, pining away for what could have been and might yet be?

What if you actually totally let them go and completely and fully embrace your calling of being a mama?"

Having looked around the blogsphere today there are plenty that have the box things still unpacked, which I notice. Possibly they in their circumstances don't need to do it, not sure. Myself my box is packed. Has been for awhile. Though I have some time, I don't have the energy. I am not going back to scrapbooking in the foreseeable future. I have given these things a lot of thought lately.

I must second Michelle's thoughts:

Don't let this discourage you or condemn you. We are all somewhere on this spectrum, and wherever we are is by God's perfect will. Rest in that and know He will bring you to that place where you find complete fulfillment, complete joy, and peace in His perfect will for your life.


I did entertain thoughts of maybe going out to dinner, hence the purchase of the new to us house. But I think I am over that now. If I do shift there, I wonder if I will keep this attitude or is it the lack of money talking?

I actually wanted to stay having babies and having my box put away. My husband is a lot older and does a lot of the work, and he was concerned at this remote location how I could look after the older teens at uni for example. I worried about blood loss and the delivery hospital being 1 1/2 hours away. So, my youngest being now 7, this box is an issue. However, my energy wouldn't sustain extra activities just now. I was taking a year to work things out in my mind when she started school two years ago. Then midyear we bought the house. My husband works on it any spare moment. I pay two lots of bills, think about two gardens. So an ongoing thought process.

And the other article:

"Myself, I am not a Martha fan. I could never hope to replicate the perfection of her housescapes -- not with six kids and a pack-rat husband. Towels never will stay draped elegantly on the towel rings; more often they're pulled off by toddler hands and left on the floor in a soggy heap. Wicker baskets scattered around the kitchen aren't content to hold only a few polished apples or a still-life arrangement of bananas and grapes. No, they attract all manner of household detritus, until they overflow with old mail, unsigned school papers and the latest pizza coupons (what does Martha do with her pizza coupons, anyway?)." From: Women's Liberation Through Housework by Rena Corey


I worry about my fruit bowl a lot. Sometimes I fix it. I do enjoy it fixed for however long it lasts. My fruit bowl is a Depression Era glass bowl. It reminds me on one my Nana had but in a different colour, and I found it at an op-shop. I did have a fruit bowl of my own, a present. Rustic like the one pictured. It was broken quite a few years ago.

My lost point I think is that what happens after you ..."actually totally let them go and completely and fully embrace your calling of being a mama?" then found yourself a bit lost afterward, years afterwards. What is the natural conclusion? I don't actually want to get the box out, but is it somehow expected? Does that only mean that I have to clean more? What else does it mean? I know what I used to be like. Do I have to go back to that, or modify it somehow? Remember I have parented three extra kids as well for some years. What about the fact that I am older with still fairly young children? I should be looking past my Mum's generation of Mums who had all their children before 30 and look for role models back further.

Maybe I am fine how I am, more relaxed about things. Maybe that is a positive thing. I think working out where we are to live, as I have mentioned before is the first thing, and the other stuff will follow. On that subject we have a few weeks of renovating left. The weather fading quickly. Other renovating would be nice, lots of it is painting though. If our house was ready we had interest in someone renting it yesterday.

My conclusion is that encouragement must be a big help. So thanks Michelle and all those other great bloggers out there. I am able to read way more than I was able to before, and that is wonderful.

I like Michelle's comment:

"WooHoo! Amanda, you go girl. Great comment and encouragement. I just wanted to let you know that more than likely when you least expect it the Lord will bring some of your 'hobbies' back into your life. And when He does, it feels like such a treat. There was a time when I made soy candles like crazy and it felt like such a gift from God to be able to do it. Or even this blog, I fully realize that it is a privilege to get to do this with my time and that He could close the door at any moment. So I cherish the extras I get to do."

Comments

A lot of thought provoking things here. I've been "at home" now 22 years.

There are things I would do differently - like take things out of the box that shouldn't have been in there and put some things into the box that should have.
Tilly said…
I think I still have half of my stuff out of the box. I manage to knit, albeit somewhat sporadically. I would love to continue my family history research at a serious level but I just don't have the time so that will have to wait. I used to read a book per week but now it's more likely 2 or 3 per year. I used to love to garden too but at the moment I can only potter about in the garden. I think all those things will fall back into place once the kiddies need me less. And in the meantime I just squeeze in what I can manage.
Joyce said…
Hi, Linda,
I have often puzzled over these same thoughts, as well.

I have come to the conclusion that I will fully embrace my calling, whatever it is, at any given point.

Years ago, there would have been no time for blogging (If had existed!), because I was so busy caring for and home schooling all our little ones!

Now there is less for me to do at home, so I'm working part time as a para educator. Still, my focus is upon my calling as a wife and mother, but the particular things I'm doing have changed.

It's the whole 'seasons of life' thing, I think.

Thanks for the challenging thoughts!
scrappy quilter said…
Great food for thought!!
Linda said…
I knit before my first was born, it was sort of a celebration of coming, I made his cardigans. It was a lovely time. I find knitting may be one of those things that should be the staple of a simple life, like cups of tea. However, I don't think I have knitted since. Before that I made my step-children jumpers and my husband and I something. Then I got sick of worrying about moths. At one point I was making some baby things for the girls, some acrylic. I think I bought wool for booties and the shop keeper said no one bought wool or something.

I remember reading again when my youngest was one as a way to pass time while the others were at school, helped me. We had little money and it was cold. I had a nice view from my room. That is how I got by the year at the farmhouse, my daughter was in the next room playing, she never really came into the room though the door was open, she had videos and toys and a view of her own, a very large room, the warmest.

It is interesting you mentioned family trees. When I had two children and two stepchildren I cowrote a book. I was young and could do all the other things. But one another was on the way or just born, I started to get tired and gave that stuff away. The book had been finished by then. My second stepson left home after the book launch.

I know I was tempted to keep doing that sort of thing instead of having the third baby but chose to have the baby instead, and stop doing family research and all that went with it.

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