As someone who was leaning towards having zero children, this mom thing has been an interesting turn for me. I have previously mentioned my struggles with this new stage of life, being one of those women who was never excited by the prospect of children. Well, well, well, how the turntables. Unpopular Opinion toddler mom edition
At this time I am officially a toddler mom – it’s a whole different world on this side of things. This whole motherhood thing gets easier and harder at the same dang time. Unpopular opinion toddler mom
I am no longer guessing at everything but I’m usually guessing at most things as kids change every few weeks in size, development, interest, etc. and he says words that he thinks are words that sound like they could be words and some I understand and some I just pretend to. Every object in my house he gets his adorable little hands on will either be eaten or at least slightly destroyed – there is no inbetween. However, I feel like I’ve got a grasp on most of what it takes to keep a child alive, thriving and fly. Plus he can now tell me if he wants a snack, if he pooped or if he is no longer interested in something (usually this is communicated by throwing it on the floor. We are working on it…welcome to toddler-hood).
This is also the super fun part. Watching a personality form before my very eyes is mesmerizing. This fun, silly, innocent, bouncy being is a breath of fresh air moment by moment and, even when he frustrates me the most, everything is forgotten minutes later because he’ll inevitably do something that lights up the part of my soul that loves him so intensely deep, it lives somewhere up under my solar plexus. The day he learned to give me a hug was, without exaggeration, one of the top 3 best days of my life. The timber of his laugh is the most assuaging balm.
In this new season, it’s not necessarily that I’m being hit in the face with new realities every day (that’s more like 3 times a week now, so it’s slowed down a bit). The crux of the challenge at this juncture is that I’m encountering the same reality everyday – and perhaps that’s more challenging than the former situation.
I encourage women daily to take up space – it’s part of my mission in life, but I never thought of the full scope of that which is – How do I respond when I am required to take up small spaces – called to sacrifice in certain ways that no one (even including my own husband – not because he’s not amazing, simply because mom & dad are very different roles) can full grasp? What is my heart posture when there are things I need to accomplish for work and practices that will advance my goals but my current station makes them wildly difficult to complete for 1,000 different reasons. This is peak #momlife unpopular opinion toddler mom
When the weight of all that must be done in the name of motherhood is on me – and that is what I’m called to first, not my career. When I’m tired tired and I have to still be, not only nice, but a servant lover to my husband – when I’m called to occupy a space smaller and more invisible than I want to:
Is Christ actually enough? All those times in the past when I asked God to use me however he saw fit….did I mean it?
And I have had to repent. I’m doing it right now.
In the midst of the laundry, sweeping up the mix of cheerios & macaroni from the floor again, the grocery shopping and all that goes along with the invisible load of mothering – I find myself at times desiring the things God placed in my heart to do for my future more than desiring the mission he has placed in my present. Forgetting that things work backwards in God’s kingdom. The mundane is actually the marvelous.
It is a constant repositioning of my heart and a renewing of my mind – and I’m not good at it. I’m not. I am still trying to understand how the ‘need to achieve’ me and ‘need to mother’ sides of me co-exist harmoniously.
So, the answer?
Idk ya’ll. What I can offer you is this: Motherhood is the most practical reminder I’ve ever had that God is the head of my life, not me. I walk it out everyday – even though at times my attitude is less than stellar. Having a toddler is dying to self 42 times a day – and then my husband comes home and I die 42 more.
But isn’t that what we are supposed to do anyway? That is the reality of the faith we ascribe to – not a pitfall of procreation. It is the very essence of who we are called to be.
I’m reminded of 1 Corinthians 10:31:
31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
Eating and drinking are not amazing activities. They are probably the most basic of the basic – and, even then, I am to use the basic; the 3rd load of laundry, the 4th dirty diaper, the 5th attempt to cook something that resembles a meal, as an opportunity to glorify God. To acknowledge His glory and realize that what I find boring is what He finds beautiful.
And this is not a call to you, mother or one day mother, to abandon the many great things God has set out for you to do – no, not at all. It is a challenge to see the calling of motherhood, not in conflict with your future path, but in concert with it. Because, truly, on days when I have taken care of my motherly role to the best of my ability – I gain a peace and a satisfaction that I have not previously experienced.
It is also not an invitation to appoint yourself as a martyr. By all means, work your village so you can do what needs to be done.
It is simply a reminder that, when you feel at odds with the way your focus should be set up, remember that God is still in control. He still knows the plans He has for you, He is still working things out for your good. And no amount of your striving or stressing will help. Work it how you got to work it to be good, but don’t trade what God has called you to now for what He was always going to do for you later.
Can you trust, momma, that God is using you right now. In the everyday magnificens of monotony? And even in the struggle of it all, do you trust He will keep you?
That’s the trouble. That’s the gift. That’s what’s to love and what to learn through. Parenthood continues to be a beautiful paradox – I’m just settling in.