Friday, March 14, 2008
I'm reading a wonderful book called "I am a Mother" by Jane Clayson Johnson. It's all about what a wonderful journey motherhood is. It reaffirms many of my hardcore beliefs since childhood, but it has brought into new light some of the things that I've struggled with over recent years as I've embarked on the journey of motherhood.
Often, I have felt as though my time is misspent, especially next to the steep accomplishments of my brothers. They are scholars who have traveled the world, are widely read, and spiritual giants. They are married to women who are smart, loving, and beautiful. I, on the other hand, spent one year teaching school after graduating from college, got married, taught two more years, and then began my journey of motherhood. Since that time, I have had little time outside my home to pursue any more "enlightening" endeavors, so to speak.
I recently had a conversation with an old friend of mine. She is now married with no children yet. This was just before the birth of my fourth child. We had found each other online and were recounting the events of the past few years of our lives to each other when she asked me this question: Besides being a mom, what do you do?
I was dumbfounded. Nothing! I don't do anything else! I thought hard and long about what else I could talk about. I don't do anything that is separate from mothering right now. My days are full of wiping little noses, soothing crying children, assisting preschoolers in the bathroom, changing diapers, doing laundry, cooking and cleaning. Aside from my blogs and email, little else I do is my own. I then began to think of my life as drudgery.
Then I was handed this book. As I've read it and thought about my life and my plight, I've had some realizations. Mothering IS who I am right now. Instead of trying to find time "for myself" in between all my tasks, I should be embracing the opportunity that I have at this moment in time to spend with my children. Motherhood defines me. I've prepared all my life to be this person that I am now. I need to embrace that and stop worrying about doing all these other things I think I should be doing...like writing a book, reading lots of books, traveling the world, or spending oodles of time hanging out with friends.
My single ambition right now is to forge these young minds in my charge to become all that they can become. That might mean success in the business arena for my sons, but I hope that means motherhood for my daughter. My mother prepared me, and now I'm certainly glad she did. Now I must embrace my calling of motherhood.