purpose

To the mother who's only good at motherhood.

A few weeks ago, I realized something about myself: "I'm only good at motherhood"

 

You see, I suffer from the SAHM syndrome where mothers, once an integral part of society, become further removed from the outside world. The newborn phase of our firstborns quickly catapult us into a life that is almost hermit-like.

 

Afraid to expose our freshly birthed offspring to any germs outside of the comfort of the home, we spend weeks and months "off the grid". 

 

I've never actually come out of that existence. Homeschooling, homebody, homemaker....that's what I've become. A professional SAHM. Devoid of real relationships and filled to the brim with dreams and self-pity. 

 

Don't get me wrong, I absolutely adore my children, my home, my blessings, my marriage. I've just allowed all of those things to completely turn me into a submissive robot which has no time for anything else. 

 

Not worthy of socialization. Not worthy of achieving anything outside of weekly grocery shopping and keeping them all safe and happy. 

 

My mother and I. Summer, 1984. 

My mother and I. Summer, 1984. 

A friend that's been a sister to me since 2004. 

A friend that's been a sister to me since 2004. 

My only love. Summer, 2004. Engagement photos.  

My only love. Summer, 2004. Engagement photos.  

My first and last selfie, fall 2005. The days I could still rock the side ponytail. 

My first and last selfie, fall 2005. The days I could still rock the side ponytail. 

I've done myself and my family a disservice with my lack of ambition. 

 

I've become a professional SAHM "I'm-not-good-enough-for..." excuse-maker. 

 

It's like I've become allergic to taking risks. 

 

I'm tired of it. 

 

I'm tired of waiting for the community to come to me. 

 

I'm tired of wishing I had a bigger blog, a better body, or a creative way to pay off my student loan. 

 

I'm tired of waiting for everything to just fall from the sky because I honestly only think I'm good at one thing and one thing only: motherhood.

 

So I'm taking risks. 

 

I plan on taking shy and burying it in the ground. While I may never be a social butterfly like I was in my childhood years, I can purpose to step out and simply just introduce myself.

 

In fact, just today, I went on a field trip without my best friend and her children. That's not normal for me. I feel like the elephant in a room full of tiny mice, everyone just glaring at me. "Who's she?" they think as they all converse in their homeschool mothering clique. At least, that's what I tell myself they are thinking. I feel out of place in the place I should feel the most "in place". Mothers, just like me, surrounded by more than your average number of children, we're all living carbon copies of each others' lives. 

 

I'm making a point to do the hard work to make my dreams come true. Blogging, writing, authoring, making money that way and actually having a large audience for my work, that's my heart right now. It's not happening naturally. It's discouraging. I've spent many a night in tears over the 1 or 2 views on the blog I may have received that day. 

 

I'm tired of feeling sorry for what I can't accomplish. I'm tired of being timid and believing "I'm just never good enough." 

 

This picture of my sister and I being program passer-outers at our cousins wedding is just funny. 1990.  

This picture of my sister and I being program passer-outers at our cousins wedding is just funny. 1990.  

One of my best friends from college. One of the best times of my college days, the Yellowcard/Something Corporate concert at Longwood University. 2004.  

One of my best friends from college. One of the best times of my college days, the Yellowcard/Something Corporate concert at Longwood University. 2004.  

 

"But you're good at so many things..."

 

That's what I hear from the closest ones around me. I never believe them. Beyond baby making and having perfected my grandmothers chocolate chip cookie recipe, I don't believe them. 

 

The sister and I. I can't do life without her. Spring 2003. 

The sister and I. I can't do life without her. Spring 2003. 

So, this letter is for me. It's for you, too. If you're that mother, like myself, that honestly believes they've lost everything about themselves sans motherhood. It's for us. We have to stop believing that we aren't when we are. We can. We have so much to offer beyond our houses. All of those things that make us shine in our households, well, those things can be used to encourage the world. 

 

I encourage you, mother who believes she's just "not much" lately, to go bury the lies and live with vitality and fervor. I'm taking baby steps. Let's learn how to walk together. And then, we will run. 

 

Love, Alicia 

Junior year of college. My best friend/roommate and I had matching yucca plants. We gave them Korean names because I always wanted to adopt from South Korea. This is Joo-Chan.  This is also when I had collarbones. 

Junior year of college. My best friend/roommate and I had matching yucca plants. We gave them Korean names because I always wanted to adopt from South Korea. This is Joo-Chan.  This is also when I had collarbones. 

My wedding day and my dear friend from college who was lovely enough to play violin for us.  

My wedding day and my dear friend from college who was lovely enough to play violin for us.  

ps. Go find a few pictures of yourself before motherhood. If you've lost the sparkle in your eyes, find some pictures where you have it in full display. A picture of you laughing with friends, one from the happiest day of your life, etc. Then remember what it was like to be that girl with eyes wide open and dreams stacked to the ceiling.  

 

Sibling love. 2011

Sibling love. 2011

Newlyweds, 2005.  

Newlyweds, 2005.  

My sister loves this picture of me so much. It reminds me how much I LOVE to laugh. I mean really laugh to the point where you're spitting out your drink in your hand. Sometimes I don't laugh as much as I should.  

My sister loves this picture of me so much. It reminds me how much I LOVE to laugh. I mean really laugh to the point where you're spitting out your drink in your hand. Sometimes I don't laugh as much as I should.  

My best friend from college. We were quite the pair. I actually have no clue how we got marshmallow in our eyes. We were mostly absolutely crazy.  

My best friend from college. We were quite the pair. I actually have no clue how we got marshmallow in our eyes. We were mostly absolutely crazy.  

My sophomore year dorm hall. They threw me a surprise lingerie shower. The most fun/embarrassing time. Spring 2004.  

My sophomore year dorm hall. They threw me a surprise lingerie shower. The most fun/embarrassing time. Spring 2004.  

www.amamasstory.com

www.amamasstory.com

 

 

Hand-picked, yet overlooked.

1 Corinthians 15:58b, “Throw yourselves into the work of the Master, confident that nothing you do for him is a waste of time or effort.” (MSG)

IMG_3348.JPG I love this verse. It definitely resonates in my soul. It's an awesome verse for any mother as we too often experience the monotony and drudgery that daily motherhood brings.

wash, rinse, repeat.

We've all heard the following:

"Motherhood is a calling."

"You were handpicked by God to mother the children He has so graciously given."

"When you feel overwhelmed and swallowed deep by motherhood, just count your blessings and it'll get all better. Etc."

Despite those truths, there always will come a time, or multiple times, when you simply feel overlooked.

We don't get paid for what we do. We typically don't get a thank you for the thousands of meals made, the clean clothing that magically appears in the closets and drawers, the countless hours of schooling, the story-telling, and errand-running, etc.,etc., etc.

There are only a few special days per year where mothers are typically openly acknowledged and celebrated: Mother's Day and birthdays.

I usually am always disappointed on these days. Why? Not because I'm hard to please. Not because I expect lavish gifts or time spent away doing as I please (and when that happens, I usually feel completely lost at what to do), but because I just want to be noticed. Simply noticed. And to feel special.

Last year, on my birthday, I turned the big 3-0. We had given a surprise party to my husband on his thirtieth just three months prior. It was awesome and was just really a collection of people that love him, his favorite foods, and his favorite activity: fishing. It wasn't fancy. We met at in indoor air conditioned building space at a local park. I love throwing parties, so it was an absolute JOY to me to be able to do this for him. I loved how our moms pitched in and how the secret of the whole day united us. It was a joyful day celebrating his life. He definitely deserved it. He's a pretty incredible person.

So when I turned thirty, I thought maybe something similar would occur. There was this cake that I really wanted for months. There was only one gift I really had in mind. (I got neither) And I honestly expected, after years of feeling overlooked in this cave of motherhood, that maybe, just maybe, that day I could feel celebrated.

It almost was like a HUGE sign to me flashing with lights that said "YOU'RE JUST A MOM".

Moms don't get "days off", and they typically don't get all dolled up everyday and interact with other adults much. So it was almost a reminder that I fail miserably at keeping up with life outside of these walls filled with children. The only ones that really CAN appreciate me are the ones that take from me everyday.

So I guess there was no party, no cake, and no gift because I am the party planner, the cake orderer, and the gift giver in my family. But what mom wants to do that for themselves?! That would just be plain awkward.

It may all seem petty, but I think I speak for all of us when I honestly express how much motherhood can make us crave feelings of being appreciated, noticed, and cared about.

That was just one example. I'm sure there's been times that you could speak of feeling completely overlooked. It happens to us all.

There's so much giving going on when you mother. You give and give and when you have nothing else to give, you still must give.

I know instead of seeking worldly acknowledgement, I should always remember how much God notices me. How much He wanted me to exist. He noticed me enough to die for me. He noticed me enough to give me my dream of a husband and large family. He noticed me enough and hand-picked me to mother so many of His precious gifts.

As another birthday approaches, I'm praying for a heart that doesn't care to be recognized so much by those who surround me, but by a God who is crazy for me.

I think I'll always struggle with this part of me. {I'm being completely honest.}And for anyone reading this that feels overlooked, you're so not alone. Here's to finding our joy, purpose, light, hope, fulfillment, and absolutely everything in The One. And may it be in those moments, and in those days that we never think the word overlooked.

"Mommy's in time out..."

345-relaxing-cartoon Do you have a time in the day where you just sit in silence? Is this even possible? Alicia wrote a great post about not having time for your friends anymore. (Read it here!)

Because we're in different stages of life than our single/no kids friends, doesn't mean we don't love those friends. Just means we have different priorities these days. It's soo important for us moms to have mom friends in our life.

Since having the twins, I've found a first time mom friend. She has a baby boy who is 3 months younger than the twins. We've scheduled to hang out once or twice a week if possible. It's soo nice to have someone to just talk to, and more than likely vent to. When we feel like the worst mommy's ever, she's there for me to let me know that I'm not crazy and not alone.

Just recently we've decided to trade off each other's kids every Friday. We have given each other 3 hours every Friday to do whatever we want or need to do.

We've been friends for a year now, and talked about it would be soo nice to have time to ourselves. We finally had a revelation and said to each other "why don't we just trade off watching the kids every week to give each other some much needed alone time".

This has been soo great! So, we both get twice a month, some time to just go read if we want, or run errands. If you can find someone to do this with, do it. You'll both love it. Give yourself a time out!

If you don't have a dear friend, please find one. Even if it's through this group of moms, find an online buddy. My sister and I are soo far apart but she encourages me soo much just through text and facebook messages.

Another mom said when she was feeling over whelmed she would put the baby or babies in their cribs, and go sit in her room for 5 minutes. Just to catch her breath.

Wherever you are, whatever you are going through find some support. You're not alone. You're an awesome mom, and no one could be better for your little one(s) than YOU!