So, I've been casually reading a small book since Charity was born called, Finding Your Own Mothering Style by Susan Besze Wallace. A simple little book for new moms, this book is refreshing to read for the amateur parent. Last night I read a chapter that is completely applicable to my current life situation. The chapter is entitled, "Keeping Perspective - The Woman Behind the Mother"... perfect, right?! So descriptive of me at this time in my life. So, I wanted to share with you some quotes from the chapter that I think are either very insightful or very eloquent at describing the emotion toward life that I find myself facing regularly...
"As you cultivate your parenting style and your new community, it's important to remember the you beyond the youngsters. There are plenty of pastimes that may have to wait for less busy times, but its important to find some time for yourself in this era when selflessness is so often required."
I find this to be so very true. I have often told my husband that I have finally begun to understand what true selflessness means as a mom. It's not about me any more. I have had to be completely self sacrificing if I want the best for my child. At times, it has been easy to want to wine about this, but I know that in this case, "the end justifies the means", and in addition it is a great life lesson that Lord is teaching me about self sacrifice.
"My friend Angela went through a time when she felt busy as a mother but lost as a woman. 'I realized I didn't have to give all of me up. I had to step back and say just because I'm not working doesn't mean I have to let go of everything I was,' she said."
...Busy as a mother but lost as a woman... How much I identified with this statement! This fact was the inspiration for my blog!
"Some moms just want the opportunity to talk politics," (or for me, theology) "to feel valued as an individual with thoughts and opinions, or to simply spend a day unslimed by a little person. If this is you, you aren't alone. Find a partner and stimulate those brain cells beyond Elmo. Have a grown up meal with a friend. If you don't desire those things, consider why. It's worth the effort to connect with your God-given dreams because what you have to offer matters profoundly to your family and your community and continues as your children grow."
And for my favorite quote in the whole chapter:
"Over the years I've come to see motherhood as not defining me but refining me. This insight is key to preserving your identity in these early years. You are still who you were before children, but the process of parenting can make you a better woman."
...I can only trust that as the Lord grows me as a mother, I will be that better woman... a better version of Maribeth. Every day, little by little, He refines me more.