faith, photography

Searching for Community or Searching for Myself~Losing “Me” in Motherhood

For so many years I thought that the true me was going to be the mama me…I thought that everything in life up to the point of mamahood was preparing me to be a mama…I thought that it was my calling and I would be excellent at it.  I remember begging God to give us a baby and promising Him that I would be “x, y, z” once I was a mother…

Mamahood finally arrived and it is SO MUCH MORE joy filled than I ever imagined!  Cuddling up with my little snuggle bug, reading little board books countless times (to the point of memorizing them), rocking for so many minutes a day in that gray rocking chair, singing Jesus Loves Me till I lose my voice, pushing a stroller to the park, learning to decipher toddler speak, clapping and shouting “hooray!” about the smallest achievements of my precious little, cutting grapes in half, coloring together, sharing bites of whatever I’m eating…ALL. OF. THIS. and more, I am discovering I am made for!  Am I an excellent mama?  How can I judge that?  I will tell you that I love my baby more than anything and I do my best.  But, mamahood is hard, and lonely, and challenging…but what isn’t hard?

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I’ve been rocking this mama thing for almost a year and a half now and by rocking it I mean my house is a mess, my hair is usually dirty and on top of my head in a messy bun, but my baby is fed and happy and while I love it so much, I have recently started to feel pressures and immense insecurities.  BOOM. JUST. GOT. REAL.  Yes, I just admitted to having insecurities.

As much as I try to figure out where these pressures are coming from, I can’t I mean except for the obvious, Satan who seeks to destroy us and put us down…I think some are coming from within myself and some come from outside forces.  The biggest issue is these pressures and insecurities are making me feel even more lonely than motherhood can make one feel and are even isolating me to my own desert island of worry.

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Knowing the truth in my heart, that I am a child of the Lord and that He doesn’t want me to feel this way, I thought I would just get it out there on a page, be vulnerable, and start working it through…with the Lord…and hopefully if anyone else out there feels the same it can encourage them to step out and try to work through it also.  Also, my hope is that the Holy Spirit will guide me and my big foot in how to stomp out these horrid lies from the devil that are causing these pressures and insecurities.

So I’m just gonna lay it out here in this little space and preach truth to myself and hope that if anything at all, it at least says to the prince of the air that I’m not under his control, but would also love for it to encourage other mamas who also may be isolating themselves to a desert island of worry.

As I have been finding myself stranded on this little desert island of worry lately, I find myself confused there and unable to even put into words the true feelings I am feeling…I hate to admit it but I am often feeling like I don’t know who I am anymore or like I have lost parts of me…I know I have gained new parts of me too, but its all a work in progress and changing and that can be difficult…but with prayer and alone time with the Lord I am able to see a little clearer, and I discerned at least 3 lies that I have been believing…with the Lord’s help I am am hoping to squash these lies and move forward to live an even fuller life with Him.

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The first lie I have been hearing and even believing most days is that I bring NO VALUE or WORTH to our family.  I’m just a stay at home mama…I’m not really bringing in any money to our home so my worth is ZERO (like my non-existent paycheck).  Had you asked me about being a stay at home mama before I had Agnes, I would have told you that I believe its a high calling to raise littles and that we as a family would do whatever to make it that I would be able to stay home with the kids…truly I still feel that exact way deep in my heart!  I want to stay home with all my kiddos until they are school aged and be there to support them and help them grow and give them the care that I believe only a mama can give (insert personal feeling here, some mamas go to work and I do not judge that at all, just stating what my preference is).

You are probably wondering if my husband has asked me to go to work or asked me to provide the family with some income…the answer is NO. NEVER. NOT ONCE.  He has not asked me to make money, he doesn’t expect me to, he is very happy to go to work each day and works hard to earn money for our family.

Why do I suddenly feel like I am not good enough because I’m not producing a monetary paycheck?

Like I said.  BOOM. GETTING REAL HERE!

This lie has somehow crept in and really filled my head and heart with awful thoughts about myself and my worth.

The second lie I have been listening to and taking on myself is that I am not remaining current in the world and will have no value after “mama”ing like the job of being mama ever ends, just cause my kids will grow up…that if I don’t work on my skills and career now, I will be obsolete when my kids are grown and out of the house.

STOP!  This lie is so weird for me personally because I have NEVER been a career driven woman. NEVER.  I have worked since I was 14, and I would consider myself a go-getter, but I haven’t ever felt pressured to pick a career path and stick to it…I always knew I could work hard and do whatever I set my heart and mind to…this lie has totally killed that attitude of “I can do it” in me.  Now I find myself thinking I can do NOTHING…I feel stupid, uneducated guess that bachelor’s degree needs to be hung on the wall as a reminder to myself, and how about my graduate certificate, like I have no skills…really I feel like I probably shouldn’t even apply at McDonald’s cause I don’t meet the standards…even typing this out now I see how silly these thoughts are.  I am embarrassed to say it but this lie of not being current because I am not working on a career while “mama”ing goes against all that I truly am…SO WHY AM I BELIEVING IT and letting it eat away at me?

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The third lie oh there are many others, but why completely let all my anxieties out on the page today and spiral myself even deeper into the jungle on this desert island is that I AM ALL ALONE!  This one is kind of true…I know I said these were lies from the pit, but this one is partially true for me…I live thousands of miles from family and most of my friends in a foreign country where I barely speak the language at a two year old leve…well I guess its not completely true cause I have some people here but stick with me here…I DON’T HAVE THIS TRIBE Y’ALL yes I said y’all no I’m not southern SPEAK OF!  I don’t have my pack of mama bears that all stick together!  I don’t have this village “they” say it takes to raise a child.

Now my friends that I do have (if they are reading) are going to email or call and say “what about me?”…I love you ladies…I so value my Tuesday night group of Bible study ladies and my Wednesday morning Bible study group too…I love my church friends…But if I’m being honest and I really am telling it today I sometimes LONG for this “tribe” y’all speak of…I long for a bestie that I could just lay it out on the line with much like I’m embarrassingly doing now for all the interwebs, bet I’m gonna have ladies knocking down my door to be my bestie now and be real with and talk deep things with and talk poopy diapers with…I LONG for someone that counts on me to take her kids when she is in a pinch and would do the same for me if needed…I LONG for long chats over coffee in my messy living room wearing dirty sweatpants and that is okay…I long to BELONG!

How am I getting through this?  How am I going forward and truly living when I face these insecurities and pressures daily?

First, Me and Jesus we are tight is that what the cool kids are still saying “tight”.  He is who I run to when I am feeling worthless, inadequate, and alone!  He tenderly whispers truth into my heart over and over day in and day out!  I spend as much time in the word as I can, and it points me to Christ.  I am worthy, because Jesus.  I am adequate, because Jesus.  I am not alone, because Jesus.

John 14 talks about the Holy Spirit, and I have the Holy Spirit living in me, to counsel me, comfort me, to speak truth to me.  I do know deep down that my worth comes from the Lord and He sees me as fearfully and wonderfully made…He sees me as perfect because I am covered by Christ’s blood…He will never leave me or forsake me, He doesn’t leave us as orphans…I have all this truth in my heart, in my Bible that I spend so much time in, in my mind…but in this season I am having a hard time.  My heart is not properly guarded maybe and the lies keep slipping in through the whole in the fence…

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I can’t help but wonder and really think that other mamas face these same lies…

With these lies I find myself acting in fear or not acting because of fear…

Can I get an AMEN?!?!  Not that we should be praising this situation, but does anyone out there feel me on this?!?!?  Why do we mamas put these pressures on ourselves on each other…why do we mamas who know the truth have such insecurities…WHY WHY WHY?

How can I be in my thirties and feel so indecisive and unsure about everything?  My two year old knows what she wants without question…in fact last night we were at Tesco grocery shopping and she wanted a plum, so before we could catch her she grabbed one off the produce shelf and took a big bite…Oh that I could grab hold of opportunity in life like that without hesitation and fear and take a big bite!

I want to feel like I have worth, I want to feel like I am adequate, I want to have deep lasting friendships…I want, I want, I want…yet I have, I have, I have ALL THINGS in the Lord…yet I’m still left feeling unsure and indecisive and blah, blah, blah…

Mamas–how do we overcome fear that holds us back, how do we overcome insecurities and crushing pressures from all sides, including the inside?  How?  How do I take the knowledge I have of Christ and His promises for me from my head to my heart and live in them at all times?

Don’t worry, I’m not wallowing over here okay I am in sweatpants, hair is in messy bun on top of my head, but its clean and sweats are clean but I am wrestling with this!  I am searching and seeking to work this all out!  I am pleading with God to get my head straitened out and I am begging Him for community!  I am having an AMAZING time “mama”ing and watching my baby grow!  While I am loving my girl and the miracle gift to us that she is every second, I am experiencing real hards in this season…but I’m not giving into the lies of the devil…I will get up every day and ask for God’s fresh new mercies and keep pressing into Him, believing He is working all of this out for my good.

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5 thoughts on “Searching for Community or Searching for Myself~Losing “Me” in Motherhood”

  1. Mariah it must be hard being away from family. Let me tell you there are so, so many seasons in life and trust me when you hear older people say they fly they do. Our babies grow up so fast (mine now have babies). Savor the moments because they’ll all come back to you with grands remembering all these precious times. Don’t let Satan destroy your high calling and season right now because you are investing in that little one. Sometimes I have to change my “I wants” to “I get to”. I’m retired and “I want” to have more time to write, more time to organize my home, but “I get to” watch five precious grand babies and some weeks like this next week it’s 4 days and company is coming and the house is a mess, but so what. I know my “get to’s” are those things that God wants me doing and investing in those babies/toddlers lives. I “get to” rock them, read to them, teach them about Jesus, love them, hold them when they are sick, and hopefully leave legacies. You’ve got this and I believe every Mom has those feelings at sometime, but you know whose you are. Hugs to you and that little one.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think every mom goes through this at different phase in life. I was a stay at home mom when my kids were little. I felt like it was the best and worst decision at times and sometimes at the same time. I had moments where I felt like I was the best mom in the world and others where I wanted to crawl under a rock and forget the world. Being a mom (working or stay at home) is hard. we often take on so much of the burden and it’s typically not pushed by the father/husband it just is how we as females deal with parenthood. I found I needed an outlet, so I blogged, I joined a gym that had a place for my guys to play with other kids while I worked out, I also talked to my husband about it and he took over bedtime and made sure I got time alone on weekends. You are so not alone in these feelings. Just find your place and know that this too shall pass

    Liked by 1 person

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