Friday, January 17, 2014
Full Time Mommy Rollercoaster Ride
Before having children, I think I lived in a dream world concerning motherhood. As I reached motherhood, I was thrown for a loop and was so discouraged from all these unrealistic expectations. If you've never ridden on a roller coaster, then you can explain what your first ride was like, especially if you expected it to be a certain way, and to your surprise it turned out exactly the opposite. I think I spend the first few months of mommy hood in much disarray. I found myself depressed, not clinically depressed, but just plain exhausted in every way. I found myself friendless, lonely & most days I sat just crying, asking God, "why?" I can see how high my expectations were in thinking my child would be perfect in behavior and demeanor and how easy it would be to just love and care for this little miracle. But when reality set in I found myself on the biggest roller coaster of my life.
Not anything to compare to any job or career I had before children, this was totally new territory for me. I only thought mommy hood should be the easiest & greatest role and job in the world. Well, I was right about the greatest but totally off on the easiest part. So here I am with a 6 year old and a 2 year old toddler still trying to figure things out. So here is the best way to describe motherhood to those who have not experienced it yet, in case no one has prepared you, let me help out!
Being a full time mommy is quite a bit like riding a roller coaster. In fact the ups and downs of emotions, mental strain and physical demands can become slightly overwhelming. There are so many times in the day that, while I'm on this unending roller coaster ride, that things are actually fun and enjoyable. Then there comes these horrible moments and seem to feel like eternity, while we're rising up to the top. Emotions are escalating, anxiety is building and the fear of falling off the top seems almost inevitable. You reach the top only to see the bottom of your stomach is about to fall out, so, you just close your eyes tightly, open your mouth wide and scream at the top of your lungs. For what seems like the worst thing you've ever been through plummets your mind, heart and body into a brief relief. Then only moments later you find yourself going at astronomical speeds as the coaster winds, tossing your body this way and that. All amidst the struggle to control the gravity, you find yourself completely at the mercy of the ride. You find yourself unable to control anything that happens to you on this crazy, unforgettable, life altering ride. Then there comes a point in the ride that you find that you've survived. You didn't die. You found that by letting go of keeping your feet on the platform and stepping into this coaster, actually took you places you would have never gone before. You experienced things in your own life that you needed to let go of, some attitudes you needed to adjust, some hidden emotions you needed to release. You found yourself completely helpless and in total trust of the strength of the perfectly engineered roller coaster. For if you never let go, you would have never held on tightly.
So, it is with motherhood. You let go of the expectations, the perfection, the control freak that you are. And you find yourself holding onto the one thing left, God. You find that in those moments of, what seems like abandonment from the grip that total gravity control has on you. you find the arms of Christ holding you together. Perhaps it was this very experience that let you to know your complete need for a Savior. A need that goes beyond all comprehension until this moment.
I believe God want to reveal who he is and the best way is to allow us to go through times in life where we find who he really is. If we don't need him in this life, then we won't want him in the next. It's in these twists and turns of our roller coaster that we experience our inability to control life. In a fallen and broken world, these trials of life are meant to help us discover that we need to reconnect with our maker. We need to look for God with reckless abandon. Leaving the cares of this life behind and completely trusting in him. Even if life gets worse and at times frightening, we know that one day we can look forward to the time we can step off this roller coaster and into a place of no gravity. We can say goodbye to this life and say hello to the face of Jesus. We can look back at the ride and see that Christ redeemed us from gravity and the weight of a sinful, broken world.
I'm so glad that I can write these words after sitting on the floor outside the strong willed child's bedroom and breathe a sigh of relief with my eyes still wet from the tears shed after I've tried 50 different techniques to teach my toddler to stay in her bed and not throw fits for 2 hours. All the while the 6 year old keeps getting up from his nap time, mouthing words of anger from refusing to take his short nap.
Today it seems I'm on a thrill ride that seems as if my kids are about to kill me on the downhill speed of 100 mph.. As my mouth is wide open and I'm screaming as the wind is pushing my face back, my kids are screaming, my chest is pounding. An exhilarating yet profound experience. Learning each day to "let go" and learn to lean in closer to God. For in these few moments of down time I can imagine I'm riding the lazy river floaters for just a brief time, even though it appears I'm not getting off this ride anytime soon! Maybe at the top I can get a breather! But still realize I've got to trust in my Creator, knowing he designed me for this, for motherhood. The plan from the beginning. To train and teach these beautiful miracles, you know that's what we say right when they're born, then shortly after wonder what alien the hospital sent us home with!
Seriously, though, to take time to focus on God, let go of too many outside commitments and just be Mommy. To stop looking for something else to satisfy the need to be accepted elsewhere or the feeling of achievement aside from family, or the feelings of being someone important or publicly recognized. To understand that this is YOUR purpose, this is God's will and you will finally begin to be fulfilled as you just "let go" on your roller coaster ride and let yourself live the adventure of a lifetime. I'm preaching to the choir today as I remind myself that I have to let go, daily. We have to look past our circumstances and choose to enjoy the ride. Allowing ourselves as women, to control our emotions by changing how we think about our circumstances.
Please feel free to write your thoughts here, I'd love to read them!