Saturday, May 11, 2013

In the School of Motherhood

A sketch of my sister and her little son
Before I became a mother, I was a wimp.  It's true! I only had myself to look after and I resented anyone wanting me to look after anyone else.  And I was so scared! The thought of being responsible for the survival of another human being was terrifying.  I felt like I was doing good to care for myself.  Unfortunately, I failed to see that I was actually very good at looking after myself and I preferred to focus on me.  And without that challenge, I was happy being selfish and average.

I had made it through college, but had done it kind of half assed (sorry, Mom and Dad) and had considered doing an MFA but was too big a coward to want to work that hard or be under that kind of scrutiny  So, I didn't do it.  I wanted to "hurry up and get my life started!" I said those words a lot that last semester.  I honestly believed getting married was going to fulfill me completely (sorry, Hubby).  Can I hear all the married ladies laugh out loud at that? Yep, I hear ya! Naive, I know.  Poor guy.  Bet he had no idea he really did have to be Prince Charming 

So my art became a relic left under a dusty sheet at the back of a closet on the backside of my brain.  But that was sort of okay.  I didn't have to work at it that way. I could just complain that this life that I was in such a hurry to get started was now in the way of doing what I had dreamed of doing all of my life.  Wow, the irony is thick on that one.

Back to becoming a mother.  Okay, I avoided that as long as I could but finally had to do something about it, which was to basically cooperate with God because, it took 3 years for it to happen.  Don't know why, it just did.  No mystical revelations in that.  It gets a shoulder shrug, because I know women who have suffered with infertility and who yearn for motherhood.  All I can do is say, I'm sorry.  Pregnancy is still a mysterious thing and bringing a baby into the world even more so.

I am really getting off track here! Motherhood is such a massive subject.  No wonder other people devote entire blogs to that subject alone!

I am now almost 10 years into motherhood, because in July it will be 10 years since I knew I was pregnant with my first child.  And in these 10 years I have risen to the occasion of raising 2 amazing children like so many women before me have done. I have stayed up night after night with fussy babies and survived that loss of sleep which I had previously thought I could not live without.  I have learned some really humbling things about myself, like I can get mad at the drop of a hat and want to injure someone because of it.  I have learned that little kids are crazy smart and I can be just plain crazy.  And I have seen the raw creativity children are capable of.  My kids have been such an inspiration to me and my artwork.

Above it all, I am able to see now that I can rise to the occasion of creating art and then put it out there to be seen and even judged and know I will survive it.  Motherhood is the most difficult thing I have ever done or ever will do. Being an active artist who puts her work out into the world is going to be an easier task.

I am so thankful for my children, this mother's day.  Without them, I'd not be a mother, so it is their day as much as mine.  And it is a day for their dad too, for obvious reasons! But with the insight of time and age, I can see that God has worked all of this out.  Maybe not so I can be an artist, that is probably not so important in the grand scheme of things, but so I will see he has planned things out and it's not me.  I am acutely aware of some of my weaknesses and I know it is by his design if I overcome a weakness or two, or if I learn to trust him more.  Motherhood has made me stronger, weaker, angrier, more honest, more creative and more daring and more joyful than I had ever been before.  If I succeed at anything else, it will because I became a mom.

Thanks so much for reading my thoughts on motherhood.  This is dedicated to all mothers, past, present and future  who have known or will know the transforming power of that title.  It is also for every woman who yearns for that title for she is already a mother in her heart, even if she's not born a baby.  And that also transforms.  Blessings to every mother who has overcome and become stronger and more who she is meant to be because of that divinely ordained maternal calling.

I would love to know what your thoughts are concerning motherhood.  Leave a comment and share! Thanks for stopping by to have a read.  Happy Mother's Day!