Sunday, July 25, 2010

Been a while!

Gosh! It has been a while since I last posted; almost three months! Actually, I have come back to my Blogger "dashboard" several times with the intention of writing a new post, but LIFE has gotten in the way each time.

How do I define LIFE, my LIFE? That is actually a very complicated question which requires a fairly long answer, but if you are willing to read along, then I will try my best to answer it!

When I was pregnant with my first baby (15 years ago!), my mother gave me a "Mother's Journal" as a shower gift. It was a beautifully illustrated, hardcover book with blank, lined pages. Those blank pages were pretty daunting, and the book just sat on my bedroom nightstand for a month. Then, one day when I was one week away from my due date, I was moved to write a "letter" to my unborn baby. As I look back at the letter, I can feel the worry and exhaustion I was feeling at that point. But, even more evident is my excitement and happy impatience at becoming a mother for the first time and discovering just "who" that little person was inside of me. One part stands out, in particular: "Who are you, Little Baby? I cannot wait to meet you, and find out if you are a boy or a girl! I cannot wait to smell your sweet head and cuddle you close to me! WHEN are you going to be born?!?".
Can you tell that I was at the end of a very long pregnancy?

Then, my son was born and I was swept away in a whirlwind of diaper-changing, breastfeeding, swaddling, and laundry. The Mother's Journal lay untouched, again, for months. Until, one day it occurred to me that many years down the road, after my passing, my children might find my journal and wonder, "Did Mom not care about being a mother at all? Could she not just write a few lines every now and then, to record her feelings?". OK, I realize that that is a bit melodramatic, but it's completely true. So, it was then that I decided that I would (very) periodically update my Mother's Journal with short, positive glimpses into my daily life as a mother.

Looking back, I think I was a sweet, romantic little lunatic.

When my oldest was eight months old, I started off my "updating" my telling him how much I loved him and loved being his mother, and then I gave an "accounting" of what he and I did on a typical day. If you want a good idea of how flippin' easy it is to take care of one child, you should read that entry:

"-We wake up every day at 7:30 and I nurse you in bed for a little while.
-Then, we make our way to the kitchen and I fix my breakfast and give you some applesauce.
-After we are finished eating, I give you your bath and we splash and have fun.
-Next, we take Mommy's book to the rocking chair where I nurse you to sleep for your morning nap, and I read for a while.
-When you wake up, Mommy puts you in your stroller, pushes you into the bathroom, and you play with your toy while I shower.
-We both finish getting ready for the day, and we decide what we are going to do while we eat lunch together."

The entry goes on and on like that, ending in, "Then, you, Mommy, and Daddy all lie down together to fall asleep.". Yah. What the heck was I complaining about back then???

At one point I would have been embarrassed to admit the fact the the next entry in my Journal did not occur until seven months after the birth of my third child, but, as you can see I had a very rigid schedule of eating, napping, reading, and showering for all those years, so I couldn't be bothered with writing it all down.

My entry, at that time, was also a bullet-pointed listing of my daily schedule, but it looked somewhat different than my daily schedule with just one baby. At that point, I had two kids in school, a baby, and a dog:

"-We all wake up with Daddy at 6:30, and Mommy tries to nurse the baby while Daddy helps her find everyone's clothes for the day.
-After we eat breakfast, Daddy leaves for work and we keep getting ready for school.
-Mommy helps the 2-yr-old go potty, while the 5-yr-old gets dressed and takes his lunchbox out of the fridge.
-After Mommy and Baby drop off the big brothers at school, they come back home to nurse and take a nap."

Yes. Still napping and nursing. Kind of became a theme, as well as a goal, of mine. 

It was after reading this entry, and a very similar one written after baby #4's arrival, that I realized that I was making my life as a mother sound idyllic and pampered. While trying to remain positive about motherhood, I had not given an authentic accounting of what it is like to be a mother. I suspect that I was trying to make up for all those not-so-perfect-mommy-moments, by re-writing them; all in the hope of my children reading these entries in their adulthood, and thinking, "goshdarnitall, she was a great mom! How she loved us and sacrificed for us, enjoying it all the while!". I am a nut.

Enter the Digital Age and the advent of blogging! 

I guess this blog is my mea culpa

So, LIFE is insane, busy, sticky, hilarious, distracted, messy, prayerful, desperate, fun, exciting, and... REAL. My LIFE is my vocation as a mother, my path to my Eternal Treasure. While I bemoan all the little inconveniences almost daily, I truly love that my LIFE is also the truest definition of who I am. I wouldn't re-write any part of it, no matter what.


  1. That's when you know you have a good life -- when you do not want to rewrite it!

  2. @Elizabeth: That is a very succinct and positive way to say the same thing that took me entire post to communicate! Thank you!!!! :-)

  3. Good Morning! I was cleaning up my blog this morning after coming down from posting on Rants..and I found you. We have so much in common, I love that you embrace your Catholic faith AND have a sense of humor and can be a friend of Rants.., I get a hard time from some of my fellow Catholic pals that you can't do both. I disagree and think you can witness to people through humor by making fun of nonsense. That is my whole blog. I also have been married for 16 years, and like you, have six children and one saint in heaven (a baby who died shortly after he was born six years ago). I look forward to reading more about you in the future!

  4. @Kathy:
    Thanks so much! I read your guest blog on Rants and just laughed and laughed! I really love your take on ALL of it, and so much also applies to being a larger family, or a family who chooses to do some things a little differently! I completely "hear" what you're saying about being a faithful Catholic and having a sense of humor. They way I look at it is that God is the Author of humor, and I think He must love it when we can laugh at situations and at ourselves! I think some people sometimes confuse "joy" and "levity" with "blasphemy" and "gossip"; there *is* a difference and you *can* be a good and faithful Catholic AND laugh at life!
    I'm happy to follow you and glad that you're giving my blog a chance!
    Take care!