Friday, October 24, 2014

Learning To Love Today

I liked her a lot. I liked how her house smelled like rising dough or cinnamon buns, and how she always had a project she was working on. I liked how she knit her way through her kids' schooling every day and churned out homemade gifts at Christmas time. I liked her cloth diapers drying on the line and I liked her valiant attempts at gardening. Yeah, I liked her.

I liked being her. Being that Mom scratching a creative itch every day and turning her home into a place that showcased what mothering joy looked like. I miss her a lot, actually, these days.

For a while after Rosie, I figured it would take me time to find my groove. I picked things up here and there but it never really resurfaced - and the differences between the woman I had been and the woman I was now continued to grow. I wondered - am I lazy? Indifferent? What's my problem, anyway? I loved doing all those things. I loved being that Mom. What changed?

I vented my frustrations to one of my closest, life long friends. "I miss my creative energy. Where did it go?" She spoke truth right to me and I'm still turning it over and over in my mind, amazed at how much it impacts.

"You keep taking on new stages in life without leaving the old ones. It makes sense that you're being stretched in many different ways right now."  She's so right, and it took me six babies to find the truth in it.

I always said adding another baby wasn't an issue. I get babies. I can do babies. Babies are, in many ways, no sweat. Yes there is crying and diapers and whatnot, but I've had enough by now that they don't really drastically change life that much. No, it's not the babies.

Meanwhile, my bigs are getting older. I'm not in complete control of our days as I once was, with all of my littles content to come right alongside Mama in all my plans and dreams. The bigger kids are stretching in their own ways, testing independence and requiring a lot of my attention, prayers, and energy.

This is not an anti-large family statement at all. It's simply fact. The Mama I was with four littles is not the Mama I am with a middleschooler, three elementary kids and two babies (with a third on the way.). I'm a different Mama now. Life is different now. Change just keeps on happening and you'd think by now I wouldn't be surprised. You'd think I'd be able to accept it with grace and find new ways to love where I am today.

I think it took acknowledging the change for me to truly see it, and to find ways to love my current space. Life is a lot more work now, but I love learning with my kids and watching them grow. I love seeing my big kids with the babies and how their friendships with one another are evolving over time. I'm loving partnering with my husband to make decisions about how we want to raise middle school and high school kids and watching us both stretch and grow beyond our comfort zone as we face our own experiences and upbringings and forge a new way, together.

It's glorious stuff, really. Maybe even more glorious than cinnamon rolls. But I'll never know because that's one thing I'll never give up.

Sometimes that Mama comes and visits for a day or so and it's always amazing to see her. But she's only a small part of who I am, growing and changing every day and year that goes by. I'm grateful for that piece of me and for the new ones I'm uncovering every day.


  1. Oh my, Lydia! So much here: "I loved being her... I miss her a lot, actually..." Yeppa.

    Do you know what may arrive in the place of that missing woman? Someone with a lot more humility. I know. I am that woman too.

    What your friend said to you, that will be sticking hard to me I think. It is a truth I hadn't acknowledged quite that way. I am often reminding other mothers that "this is a season", but that encouragement was starting to sound a little dry to my ears since "this season" (at least the babies and toddlers) has been going strong in my own life for over ten years now and may not end for a while yet :-D That's the thing about season, it's only a "season" once your out of it. Until then, it's forever, right?

    As I have been known to say to my gracious and understanding husband "it's not that I wan't to not have babies and toddlers, it's just that I want freedom to create, time to visit uninterrupted with a girlfriend, the ability to go somewhere without planning around baby food and potty stops... it's just that I want all that that too!"

    One friend of mine who has seven children, told me (when hers were all under nine years old) that she'd decided to pack away her sewing machine for a while, realizing that it wasn't a time in her life for that particular thing she enjoyed. Putting it away was an embracing of what her life currently held, and helped her not feel defeated every time her hope to sew was foiled.
    That isn't the thing I would pack up :-) but I appreciated the concept - the reality that every season can't hold everything and that's ok.
    As a side note, this friend's children are now ages 8-17 and her sewing machine is back, along with soap-making and some other fun new things!

    Hang in there beloved sister! There is more more of Jesus with the less of you, and it is beautiful to behold :-)



    Some of my own recent thoughts on the amazing craziness of many hoodlums:

  2. Lydia
    I get this, I really do. Actually I went through a stage of grieving for that mama I was, truth is though I'm now comfortable with the mama I now am. Reality is parenting children over age spans is a huge stretch, my oldest is 21 and youngest 10 months with many in between. The changing of many hats is the hardest thing I do, love it, but a constant juggle to meet the various needs. It's not necessarily even the amount of children but the stretch of age span.

  3. SO Beautiful and such a reminder for me as we have three and my oldest is just 4.5. These little years are super special. XO

  4. Thank you! When a blogger writes out what I cannot put into thoughts, let alone words, it truly is a gift. Thank you. As a mom of children ages 11, 9, 7, 5, I appreciate the encouragement. Thank you! Thank you!

  5. Mourinho: Chelsea fans are too quiet, it's like an empty stadium

    Agen Bola Terpercaya Cityholidaybet Reported - Jose Mourinho has accused Chelsea fans of not being vocal enough in their support of the team, likening games at Stamford Bridge to the experience of playing in an empty stadium.

    The Blues maintained their four-point lead at the top of the Premier League with a hard-fought victory over QPR on Saturday, Eden Hazard winning and converting a late penalty after Charlie Austin had cancelled out a stunning Oscar opener.

    Chelsea were pushed hard by their west London rivals after a significantly less ruthless performance than often seen at Stamford Bridge this season, and Mourinho believes the home support must take their share of responsibility for his team's lack of killer instinct.

    “Everyone knows how much I feel connected to this club and the fans," the Portuguese told reporters. "At this moment it’s difficult for us to play at home, because playing here is like playing in an empty stadium.

  6. Another amazing post! I have asked my mom friends of large families what child pushed them 'over the edge'. No one has ever asked what I meant because we all know what it means, which is just what you wrote about. Everyone I have asked has said the same thing. It is child #6. :) It isn't exactly that it was child #6, as you said, but something really changes then and it is very humbling. For me, my kitchen floor went from basically cleanish to very dirty. I really do miss my clean floor, homemade gift, line-drying diaper, homeschool field trip, meals for everyone going through a tough time days, but it is all so, so worth it. It has certainly been a good lesson in humility and letting go for me. :)


Thank you so much for stopping by! I love hearing from you! While you're here, don't forget to click "subscribe"!