Friday, May 2, 2008

True Confessions of a Minivan Mom

I had an interesting conversation with a friend last week. Actually, this is someone I don't know that well, but we are on our way to developing a friendship. We were talking about motherhood and the joys, and annoyances, that come with it. The topic of our conversation is not one that is unfamiliar to me. I've probably had this same talk with a dozen other moms. It all centered around the fact that while we desperately love being mothers, there is still a part of us that screams for an identity outside our children. We long for purpose beyond poopy diapers and snotty noses. We want to make a difference in the world and fear that somehow we're not living up to that desire.

This was a very big struggle for me after I had Sloan. Those first few months when the entire focus of my life shifted off of one path and slid down another were hard and confusing - actually, I think this lasted a couple of years. Once Sloan got a little older and I finally felt like I was impacting his life, rather than just sustaining it, it seemed I saw a little more purpose in my role as mommy. But there is still a longing to have an impact on the world, while also raising lovely, God-honoring children. I sometimes miss "me" time. Parenthood really is the largest act of unselfishness in the world (at least it should be anyway!). But so often, there is this stigma that surrounds motherhood. We are all so afraid of becoming soccer moms. At least I was. I still get a little panicky when I realize that I am driving, gulp, a minivan! Weird.

Of course, there is also no place I would rather be...most days anyway. I adore being a mom. I gave up a large part of myself because that's what I wanted to do. That's what all of us do as mother's - whether we stay home or work, we all sacrifice in order to provide as much time, attention, love and grace for our children. And the truth is, our identity should not be wrapped up in our kids. That's not good for them, or for us! As a child of God, I believe that my identity should be placed in Him, as His daughter, allowing Him to mold me and use me as He sees fit. I want to be available to do whatever He calls me to do. I also understand that I have been blessed with certain talents and gifts and I want to use those and not waste them. It's a balance between pursuing those dreams and keeping my primary purpose as mother to three in focus. That sometimes feels like an overwhelming task!


kellimcgill said...

Beautifully put, Kelli! Thanks for this post. It is nice to be reminded of this occasionally
-Kelli McGill

Tiffany said...

Amen girl! I think it's really important to have dreams and goals and to spend time WITHOUT our children, investing in them. But it is also important for our kids to see us investing in those dreams. If we don't teach our kids to have dreams and goals by modeling it in our own lives, then who will? Probably not someone we want to teach them that! As moms, we feel guilty for taking time for us and that has to change. Girls night out and time for mommy projects needs to happen so that our kids can see that and realize we are more than just their moms just like they are more than just our kids!

the broomes said...

It really is mind-boggling to think that we are both drivers of mini-vans. What has become of our crazy, care-free personalities?!!!? I just read a book that gave me great perspective on this season of life. I don't know if you've read it- it's Feminine Appeal by Carolyn Mahaney. Great read. Check it out if you get a chance. It's both challenging and encouraging to us mommas of young children. ...:)