In three days my baby girl #1 starts preschool. Until a few days ago I was totally freaking out. Things were escalating as follows: Am I less of a mom because I'm not homeschooling her? Have I given her enough tools to handle the nitty gritty of a 4 year old social life? Does she know how to "just say no"?! Oh Lord, please don't let her be the mean kid! As you can see I was in a full blown spin out.
Man, this mom gig is hard. I spent so much time wanting and waiting for it, I don't think I gave time to truly thinking about all motherhood entailed. I knew it would be hard, but I don't think I anticipated the constant mental ticker tape running around in my brain. It's this strange combination of keeping track of basic survival, emotional well being, and spiritual leading while wondering if you're doing it all wrong.
On top of this there is this new(ish) level of expectation of perfect consistency and patience flying around that honestly pushes me over the edge. I blame Pinterest, Facebook, Mommy Blogs and Mrs. Duggar. I mean, 19 kids and she's still all smiles and quiet voices?! C'mon! It's just frustrating.
Then I read this. The wind of fresh perspective blew over me and a breathed it in as if I had been suffocating. We are just a spicy family. There's no way around it.
My big girl has an opinion (or a 1023 of them) about everything and my baby girl's personality holds consistent with the statement "all or nothing" . There is no way a can shove either of them into a "sit still and crochet" category. Believe me, I've tried. Somehow, I thought this meant I wasn't doing something right. I thought perhaps I wasn't patient enough (well, is anyone, really?) or consistent enough or soft enough, basically, just not enough.
Where did this come from? When did it start? When did I start thinking we weren't "right"? I grew up in a so called spicy family and loved it. The result was three sisters, three strong personalities, three woman that fiercely love God and their families. When did that become not enough?
It's time to walk back under the umbrella of grace. It's time to remind myself that God is the one forming my motherhood and He knows what He's doing. It's time to look those other preschool moms in the eye and not compare my ability to brush hair-in-motion against theirs. I was made to raise my kids. I was chosen for them and they for me.
Together we knock off each other's rough edges and fill each other with big, bold, shmooshy love. We forgive constantly, we talk truth and we grow exponentially. I think we're doing OK.
Thanks, Jen Hatmaker. Thanks for reminding me that spice isn't so bad. In fact, it's pretty great. After all, how boring would life be if not a little spicy?