So, let’s make sure you remember who is writing this blog before you come here looking for majorly good advice with a blog post title like that!
I’ve called this blog “The Novice Life” for a reason. Despite what the controlling part of me wants to believe, I’m not an expert at anything. I’m a beginner at just about all things.
Make sure you hold that truth in your heart before you adopt anything I say as truth. I’m not claiming to be an authority or in a place to teach anyone about mothethood.
I think I mostly just want to share some of my stories in this space so I remember what this time of life was like for me with my daughter.
Feeling like I’m getting stuff done in my day is very important to me.
That feeling doesn’t go away just because you give birth. In fact resentment can feel like an unwelcome but realistic emotion when this little person takes you away from your to do list that use to make you feel like a whole person when it was checked off completely.
So, while that’s a really important thing for me, it just doesn’t happen anymore.
I have had to learn a lot as I transition away from comfort and predictable to a version of comfortable and predictable that surprised me.
I think the first surprising lesson I learned about getting stuff done with a baby is this….
If you actually want to get stuff done with a baby, you have to start here. If you can spend some time lowering your expectations or standards for yourself and peel away those pesky things that others put on you to make you feel like a good/bad mom… you’re starting from a really good place. I would even venture to say, let the non life threatening essentials go till this sinks in really deep.
Once you learn to have grace for yourself then you may actually notice yourself getting things done. Things like, taking care of your baby with feedings, diapers and love. Just being a mom and loving your kiddos with your eyes, touches and presence. Taking a nap. Keeping yourself fed and hydrated. Loving your significant other with their love language a few intentional times a week. Letting housework go to make time for another art project or tummy time activity.
That feels like a different ‘to do’ list then the one, I tend to make.
Don’t get me wrong. I just made myself sound like a winner. Like I actually have grace for myself and do all those things. Let me stop you.
I do not have that much grace for myself and I do not do all those things.
But I did learn that being a mom and loving my daughter and husband and taking care of myself IS getting stuff done.
That wify, mom stuff seems to come naturally easy to some. And I guess parts of it do for me too. So, I have to give myself credit for those.
But, I’m a do-er so my identity has been wrapped up in getting stuff done and feeling acomplished in my home life. Remeber I’ve been single way longer then I’ve been married or a parent so I’m still working on adapting to this new way of thinking and being and serving and selflessness.
I was raised watching my mom stay home with us and learned to think that list of tasks like cleaning and laundry and vaccuming is what mom’s and wife’s do if they stay home.
So, I walked into this journey of motherhood with the same expectations for myself.
I found out that with those expectations I was tired and a little bitter all the time. I felt resentful that this was my new job and I honestly didn’t like it too much.
But then God broke through one of those prayer sessions as I was crying out to him my frustrations. He reminded me what He’s about. He’s about love and grace and mercy. He reminded me of the story of Mary and Martha and while I’ve always been a Martha, Jesus delights in Mary’s posture, sitting at his feet and listening to the teacher.
Now, I don’t think Jesus dislikes my desire to complete what I’ve started. I feel the approval and delight from Him… like a proud parent who smiles at their kids when their little faces look up at them and say, “Look what I did!”
However, I wonder if He is also wanting me to pause and consider my heart in the doing. Who am I doing it for? Why am I doing it? Is there something more important I could choose to tend to instead?
I am learning about the compassionate Jesus a lot lately and that Jesus seems a little more congruent to his actual character opposed to the ‘interigator Jesus’ I make Him out to be in my head some days.
I like this gracious and kind Jesus much better then my version. He’s the one that shows me about this Grace….
I think I’ll stop there for now because this lesson is still being learned and processed and I didn’t really plan to write this direction….which means I don’t have part 2 written just yet :) But that’s where I find myself now.