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Lessons Learned From Motherhood, or, Yeah… I don’t have it all together…

We spent the entire weekend celebrating! My sister is a Christmas Eve baby,and it being her 30th this year, we had a big surprise party Friday (check out the Candy Land Theme Cake we made her).
Then both sides of the family needed to celebrate Christmas early due to traveling away for Christmas Day, so Saturday we spent at my parents, and Sunday at my in-laws. Everything was delightful. The family. The food. The decorations, presents, laughter… it was all there…. perfect-perfect. 
So why do I scurry around the house feeling so behind schedule? So inadequate? In the young mom’s group from my church, our pastor’s wife recently spoke to us about how feeling inadequate is actually a blessing. With all the merriment and work that goes into creating a holiday household, I confess I feel like I can’t keep up.
I used to”do-it-all” – I handmade my own Christmas cards (more than 50 a year!), baked several kinds of cookies, decorated every room including the bathroom, wrapped presents… the whirl of the holidays didn’t really get to me. This year: no cards made yet… one batch of cookies went awry… two boxes of decorations still closed…. and I’m still trying to find the perfect item for at least four people on my list. Yes, I know, Christmas is 5 days away. No wonder I am feeling inadequate this year. Something about a baby in the house… Maybe something about a blog… no, can’t be that!

Comparing Christmas Present’s rough and shabby edges with Christmas Past’s gilded light makes me feel quite inadequate this year. Until I heard the message at the young mom’s group. About the blessings of inadequacies… and I am trying to take them to heart. What are they?
Compassion – before having a baby, I was an organization hound. Easy when you only have yourself to think about. Babies don’t exactly follow the plan though. They mess their diapers when you’re heading out the door. They refuse to eat, making lunchtime go on forever. Or they won’t nap, so you can’t get a little rest yourself, or fix dinner. I am blessed with a very active baby, so there’s no such thing as “put him in the playpen” while I get work done (yes, for about five minutes that works – that’s enough time to go to the bathroom, thank you very much!). Understanding my own struggle to get the day’s tasks checked off has given me heaps and gobs of compassion for other moms, those I know and those I see in the mall or grocery store, trying to corral three little munchkins and balance four packages while opening the car doors. Yeah, I’ll be one of those moms someday, so I had better learn compassion now!

Teachability – because I feel I am falling a little short this year, I have been seeking answers. Looking to experienced moms and friends. How do they do it? What can I learn? I realize I have a lot to learn! As a teacher myself, I know the hardest student to instruct is one who doesn’t realize their need to learn. The blessing of knowing I don’t have it all together is that I am thirsty for knowledge that will help me.
Humility – not that I thought I was perfect before, but I have very high expectations, and when I don’t meet those expectations, I get frustrated with myself and my circumstances. It’s been humbling, but good for me to set more realistic expectations for myself as a mom. To remember it’s not all about what I can do in my own power. To reach for the Strength that lies within me and seek spiritual guidance through the stress, the failures, the burnt dinners (sorry hubby!).

These are the lessons I’m learning as 2010 and my first year of motherhood start drawing to a close. I think they are good lessons. And alongside those too-frequent feelings of total ineptitude, I feel blessed and hopeful for the future.
What lessons has motherhood taught you?

Danielle Meek

Wednesday 22nd of June 2011

That cake looks delicious!

T Rex Mom

Tuesday 21st of December 2010

Thank you for these reminders. I also like to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas and if I can carry that with me and the whole year through, then a missed card here and there doesn't seem so bad.Merry Christmas!


Tuesday 21st of December 2010

what a great birthday for your sister!!i learned i'm not as confident as i thought, and i'm more confident than ever. its a different kind of purpose than what i imagined. much more complex. but also more wonderful.


Monday 20th of December 2010

Looking at that beautiful little boys smile, I'd say you're doing a pretty good job at what's important. I started with one little baby and ended up with 11. Mom-hood has been a wonderfully-frustrating journey!Merry Christmas, Becky J