Thursday, June 13, 2013

Motherhood: Paris

I wake up to a small face inches away from my own, big blue eyes searching me, a long whine escaping his mouth, pulling me out of peaceful sleep and into the reality of Thursday morning:

He's not the only one who woke up on the wrong side of bed.

Maybe it's stemming from being jarred out of sleep so early.

Or maybe it's from feeling like I'm walking a never-ending road of healing.

But most likely, it's all about Paris.

John is leaving for Paris soon on a work-related trip ... and I am not.

So, currently, I detest Paris. Or maybe I just detest what Paris is doing to me.

I'm staying home with the boys and likely waking up to mornings like this every morning, which would be sweet if we could forgo the whine {and I'm embarrassed to admit that most of the whining comes from my own lips} but

I'm tired.

I'm still climbing my way out of the post-miscarriage anxiety and depression haze

I'm still trying to heal from this balance issue.

And I'm not ready.

Here's the thing about motherhood in this season of life:

I desperately want to mother, but I suck at doing it alone.

And here's the thing about Paris:

I want to go to Paris, but I am in a season so drenched in mothering that I cannot see past its thickness.

I told myself a few months ago when John first asked if I wanted to come along riding on his coat tails of frequent flyer miles that Paris could wait but the kids couldn't; they wouldn't be 3 and 5 forever.

A few months ago, fresh from the loss of a third baby during pregnancy, I thought that was a travesty. I wanted to soak up every ever-loving minute that these boys were small and mine to keep safely in the nest. Savor every moment, you know.

Today, with Paris looming in the near distance, I think it's a darn good thing 3 and 5 don't last forever, because my patience with 3 and 5 lately has been slim ... and I can only imagine what it will look like when I'm alone with 3 and 5.

We weren't meant to mother alone, and I know this keenly during times John is home and I am feeling well.

But when he's away and I'm still sporting tender wounds, the magnifying glass sharply focuses on my intolerance and my impatience and my limits.

Enjoyment and savoring? Those come harder when I'm simply in survival mode.

My writing off of Paris was a little short sighted. Because here's the thing about Paris and motherhood and this season of life and the intersection of all three I didn't know to put together:

there's only so much tolerance, so much patience and so much enjoyment a mother can experience when she hasn't set her own limits well.

So I'm taking a lesson from Paris, setting aside my grievances and setting my limits; I'm giving myself permission to receive the help I'll need and abide within these margins I've set.

I'm coming to understand that what I need to be a good mother isn't really a trip to Paris.

And what I need to be a good mother isn't simply to survive mothering in Paris' wake.

Rather, what I need is to recognize my own limitations, accept them and gracefully allow the gift of help from those who also know the importance of me staying within the lines right now so that there's enjoyment and savoring in the surviving.

7 comments:

  1. Dear Hy,
    I'm sorry you are still hurting and feeling those wounds of loss. When my husband is away the days stretch out like an eternity. At first I enjoy the bliss of freedom, but after a few days, I'm completely bored of myself and crave his attention and adult conversation. If you need a friend, I'm here for you!
    Once I was lost in Paris as a teen. It was a very unsettling experience but also the first time I completely depended on God to guide my steps. I walked and walked on those city streets in blind faith, and He led me back to our hotel, just minutes before my group was leaving to see the ballet. I will never forget the moment of sinking into the soft theater seat and the gratitude I felt while eating an ice cream, watching a thrilling cossack dance. Such sweet relief!

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    Replies
    1. Jennifer, thank you! Thank you for offering your hand of friendship ... and for that story about when you were lost in Paris; it's so applicable to life in so many ways. We just wander around, but when we trust God, He leads us. Beautiful visual!

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  2. I felt similar when Nick left for Italy except I didn't get the option of going with him. I just felt the strain of doing it all alone again and studying for finals and doing it while he was in the one place I've always wanted to be. But now that the resentment has cleared and finals are over- I am breathing in deep long breaths of time with my boys. And I'm enjoying every minute of it. It took time for all that pain and resentment and frustration to clear.

    Time.

    That is what I'm getting to. It all takes time. It isn't our time. It is God's time. You WILL heal. You WILL give yourself a break. And YOU WILL feel like yourself again. It takes time. XO!!!

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    Replies
    1. Time, indeed, Alita. Thank you for your gentle and loving reminders about time and God's time.

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  3. Paris will come again. And you aren't supposed to be able to do it all alone. (Somewhere along the line we forgot that it takes a village. And doing it all on your own is HARD!) Just let things be simple and try to enjoy this week with them. Sending you some grace and ease!

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    ReplyDelete

There's nothing better than good conversation ... but not while talking to myself. Will you play a part in this discussion?

AND will you pretty please have your email linked to your account or leave it for me so I can respond?

Thanks for taking the time to make these thoughts into conversation.

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