Monday, October 6, 2014

High Hopes #MindfulMotheringMondays

I had high hopes for this fall.

After a couple years where frost froze apple blossoms before they had a chance to bloom, I was looking forward to taking my kids back to the orchard. One of my favorite childhood memories with my parents and something my kids ask about each year. I thought maybe this would be the year we'd make costumes for Halloween - my gang has been chattering about being characters from the Narnia books we've been reading together. And I've got about a million patterns queued on my Ravelry page with Christmas ideas. Projects for cozy late nights at home in the deep darkness of Fall.

But this year looks a bit different. This year I'm finding myself once again sidelined. Not quite up for dragging six kids and huge bags of apples through the orchard. Not even thinking about costumes yet. A bit nauseated by knitting, which is cruel and unusual, but also too tired at night to stay up and attempt more than a row at a time anyway.

It's enough to squash those hopes right up, like a rotting apple under a toddlers shoe. All sickeningly sweet and so not what you're looking for. I just wanted a lovely fall, full of all the stereotypical fall things that I unabashedly love. Instead my house is a mess, fieldtrips impossible, days exhausting. It's disappointing and, worse, guilt inducing.

There's nothing quite like a side of Mommy-guilt with your morning sickness. Ask me how I know. 7 pregnancies and I still struggle to see past the worry that the big kids are shouldering too much or not getting enough. That we are missing out on everything good and it's all my fault. Because that's how it feels some days.

But on a cold Sunday afternoon when the kids had asked to go apple picking and we said no, no because Mama is tired, no because the babies need naps, no because it's just not a good time, my Jonah took matters into his own hands. He brought down a blanket from the upstairs cupboard and spread it over my knees on the couch. Then he went and made a little snack plate for me, slipped a movie in the Blu ray player and cuddled right up beside me. "You never watch movies with us," he said. "I like it when you do."

These kids teach me so much. Remind me so much. Show me so much mercy and point me to the right answer in more ways than I can count.He found a way to make the most of the day we had and worked within the circumstances to turn it into something special.

Life doesn't just happen within the parameters of planning. Sometimes just keeping your hands open to whatever life has to offer ends up blessing you more than you could have anticipated. No matter where we are and what we are up against, today there is a way to make the most of it. To choose joy, to choose fun, to choose love. To choose to cut loose expectations receive unexpected graces instead.

Finding ways to love the moments you're in is the way to unlock more joy than a perfectly posed photo of all six kids in front of an apple tree ever could. After 7 pregnancies, I'm still learning just this: Today is alive with more grace than any of us could ever fathom.

I can choose to focus on what isn't going my way - but to do so is to choose blindness. Instead, with the help of these kids? I'm keeping my eyes wide and hands open. There is goodness to be had in this moment and place and I don't want to miss a drop.

{It's Mindful Mothering Mondays, a day to take a deep breath and write out your mothering journey, whatever form it takes. A day to link up for encouragement from others who are in this same phase of life. A day of writing out the trials and triumphs and what you're learning right where you are, right now.

You might post recent struggles or thoughts. Maybe just a picture or a quote. Or maybe you'll just come here and read the links that others post. Whatever form your participation takes, this is a day for you.
We are all in this, together. Together, we can encourage and build one another up, be honest with our shortcomings and strengthened by community to keep fighting the good fight.

I chose Mondays because what Mama doesn't need a little encouragement on a Monday?

I hope you'll meet with me! Here's what to do ~

Link up your post below in the comments. Remember to put the link to the exact post you want to link, and not just your blog url. Include in your post a link back here so others who want to join in can find us! And visit some other Mamas who have linked up.

Post the community graphic within your post, so people who are reading your Mindful Mothering post can come back here and find the rest of us! You can use the hashtag #MindfulMotheringMondays on Twitter and Instagram to connect further.

Invite the writers of your favorite blogs to join in!

Share this meme with others on facebook and twitter. This community is for all moms, and the more that participate, the more we will be able to enjoy!!}

Grab the graphic here:


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  1. Congratulations! What wonderful news. Babies are such a blessing. I don't have nearly many littles as you (only 4) but I understand the guilt about the older ones. I try to remind myself the biggest blessing is the family we've given them. Love what you wrote. YOu always inspire me. :)

  2. I was in your shoes this spring. We had a new house, a lovely new garden spot, and I was too sick and tired to plant anything. But I keep thinking there's always next year. Next spring I'll have another chubby baby in a sling and we'll all go out and work in the garden. There are seasons of the earth, and there are seasons of motherhood. But oh, that first trimester is so very hard.

  3. Wow, congratulations. That is wonderful news.

    Love this post, a wonderful reminder to keep our eyes open to the good things in our lives. Thank you.

  4. Congratulations with all my heart dear one!

    I'll be praying for you in this season. I admit my heart leaped a little at your word "...sidelined..." That is the exact feeling I've been struggling to push down right now. My precious girly is now 3 months, but has been similar to your Rosemary - needing my arms full time. I feel like I'm missing out. Missing out on fort-building, brush-burning, getting a hair cut, having a quiet anniversary date out... occasionally it doesn't feel like a season. It just feels like life. On a light note, I sometimes wonder if I'll have the time and ability to garden or sew or draw or take a shower. Or eat. Or breathe. before I'm too old and wrinkled to enjoy any of it. Haha! So silly I know, but how it feels is real isn't it.
    The wonder of it all is that my children are my babies biggest fans. Every time. That says a lot, doesn't it? And I know (as you have experienced with your siblings too) that THEY are my best gift to THEM. Each other. They will have each others' friendship forever, and honestly? That will be a pretty wonderful thing to enjoy being a part of even when we're old and wrinkled ;-)
    Hang in there. You're giving them an amazing gift!

  5. So many congratulations. Rosie is supposedly my last but I would have another in a heartbeat! Take care my lovely and rest when you can xxx

  6. <3 Keeping you close, this is a tough time.


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