*For context, please refer back to my previous blog.*
The Call to Adventure:
First Time Mom: It only took a few months. My husband and I were sitting together on the couch, the pregnancy test was on the table. We held hands and waited. The double pink lines materialized as a beacon of a new adventure.
Now: The kids are growing up and every stage comes with a new challenge. I feel like I’m being called to adventure every single day.
“With great power, comes great responsibility.” -Spiderman, 2002
“Her children arise up and call her blessed; her husband also and he praiseth her.” Proverbs 31: 28
The Refusal: After weeks of researching what happens next, I quickly became fearful. “I can’t do this. I can’t be a mom! I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m not feeling any movement, maybe I’m really not pregnant.”
Now: Even though time has passed, and my kids are older, I sometimes tell myself the same thing. “I can’t do this. I can’t be a mom. I don’t know what I’m doing.” And there is also a refusal to the call when we can’t admit that the emotional journey as mothers can be too much.
“I’m stress paraylzed…I’m fine. I’m fine. I’m fine.” -Mom’s Night Out, 2014
“Strength and honor are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.”
Proverbs 31: 25
Crossing of the First Threshold:
When your new baby is strapped into your car and you slowly inch away from the hospital. You are now in a new world where you aren’t just going home; you are going home as a family.
“It’s all so magical“-Aladdin, 1996
“She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.” Proverbs 31: 26
First Time Mom: The ginger candies that melt away nausea, the body pillows that help you sleep, or the awesome belly bands that let you keep your skinny jeans unbuttoned in public. And maternity clothes! Wonderful, stretchy, magical maternity clothes that accentuate your beautiful pregnant body and make this journey all the more fun.
Now: First and foremost, God is my aid. He has saved me from many a mom breakdown. I visit his throne of grace many times and find comfort and strength in his arms.
I didn’t drink coffee before I was a mom, but now it is my own personal Gummi Beary juice; my white chocolate mocha magic elixir. Also, let’s not forget the mom skills that you never dreamed would be at your disposal when you were so close to refusing your abilities. After all, we have super-mom adrenaline to rush to our children’s aid and eyes (Sauron eyes?) in the back of our head.
“I stop drinking coffee. I stop doing the standing and the walking and the words-putting-into-sentence-doing “-Gilmore Girls, 2000
“She equips herself with strength.” -Proverbs 31: 17
The Road of Trials:
First Time Mom: Getting through the morning sickness, the tedious doctor visits, learning to breastfeed, middle of the night feedings, diaper changes, and going through the transitions of all your baby’s milestones.
Now: The Road of Trials is more challenging now, because it keeps changing. Before, there was a schedule, and you learned a routine. Now the children are growing at an alarming rate, and even if you have a routine, anything can change it. For example, once a child starts school, there are responsibilities there, and if a child gets sick, you start a new road of trials.
“Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”
-Forrest Gump, 1994
“Give her the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.”
First Time Mom: Whether making a decision between breastfeeding or bottle feeding, solid food at 4 months or 6 months, when to move the baby crib out of your room, you may be tempted to NOT follow your instincts and be tempted to do “What all your friends do.”
Now: Always tempted to do something else. Always giving into the lure of the phone screen or staying under the covers for just a few more minutes, not caring if my daughter will be late for school. Temptations to serve cereal for all three meals for the day. (*Note In moderation, there is nothing wrong with this. Give yourself a break every once in awhile*)
“My precious…”-Lord of the Rings: Two Towers, 2002
“She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.” Proverbs 31: 27
The Belly of the Whale:
First Time Mom: You are a victim of sleep deprivation, unspeakable diaper blowouts, and anxiety telling you that somehow, somewhere you will screw this up. You have forgotten to eat because you are so focused on keeping this little person alive. All of this accumulates into a “Mommy Meltdown.” You feel like there is no way you’re going to raise a fine up-standing human being.
Now: There may not be any baby blues, but the weight of everything can still take it’s toll on a hard-working mama. We always think that we are going to mess something up. Even if it was an epic day of parenting, for some unknown reason, the looming school issues, or teenager issues still manage to pop up in our brain. “Sure, this is great now, but just wait-you’re not ready to raise a teenager. You’re totally going to fail when that time comes around.” There is also an identity crisis that the hero mom goes through and usually leads to another refusal. “So this is my life now. It’s all over for me.” We usually need to swallow our pride and ask for help, otherwise we will remain in the belly with no hope of rescue.
“Admit defeat, and defeat will surely admit you into permanent custody.”-An Extremely Goofy Movie, 2000
“In [her] darkest hour, she rises.”-Proverbs 31:15
The Ultimate Boon: Perfection. The biggest lie out there for moms is that we need to be perfect. We have a picture in our heads of perfectly behaved kids, a spotless house, milestones of perfection all the way up until the reach the age of 18.
“You must unlearn what you have learned.”
–Empire Strikes Back, 1980
“Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.” Proverbs 31: 29
When you finally realize that no mother out there is perfect, and when it comes to your kids “perfection” is not something that the world can define for you. When you surrender to joy, and can believe in yourself enough to stop striving toward the unattainable, fools-gold trophy that is “perfection”.
“The things that make me different, are the things that make me ME“.
-Winnie the Pooh, 2011
“She laughs without fear of the future.” Proverbs 31:25
Master of Both Worlds: You find the balance between fulfilling your hopes and dreams and living among the chaos. You choose to find joy no matter what the rest of your story entails.
“Our fate lives within us. You only have to be brave enough to see it.” –Brave, 2012
“Favour is deceitful and beauty is vain; but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.” Proverbs 31: 30
God made you the perfect mom for your kids. He called you to adventure and bestowed the title on you, before your children knew how to speak. You were a hero from the very beginning. So, rest in this all of you Jedi Moms, Princess Moms, and Warrior Moms. You have the power to be an amazing mom.
“The flower that blooms in adversity, is the most rare and beautiful of all.”-Mulan, 1998
“Her worth is far above rubies or pearls…She comforts, encourages…does no evil all the days of her life.” Proverbs 31: 10-12