motherhood

Striving

Welcome to my new blog!  I’ve made some exciting (for me) changes as of late.  The address is still the same (sweetmamak.com) but if you have my website bookmarked, you’ll probably need to re-do that with this address. 

If you want to receive all of my writings delivered to your email, enter it on the right sidebar.  (If you’ve already done so, check your email to make sure the move didn’t take that subscription away-sorry!)

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Life lately has been, well, hard to describe.

(disclaimer: I’m going to attempt to honestly lay out my current feelings below. No need to be concerned.  Just want to share in case others can relate)

Things have been hard.  It has felt like work.  There has been a cycle of good news and bad news that we just can’t seem to escape from (or has life always like this?  Sometimes I wonder if the mellow life I remember prior to becoming a mom actually existed.)  Good news for our family immediately preceded by bad news for our friends.  Excellent news for our friends immediately followed by a crushing blow for us. 

There has been a lot of rejoicing amidst mourning.

I’ve been scared a lot lately this year.  Like sick to my stomach, heavy cloak around me, scared.

There’s a special kind of fear that surrounds your children being sick.  I’ve become well-acquainted with that fear this year.

I’ve caught myself holding my breath, anxious for this week to be over, that news to be delivered, those situations to resolve.  And just when I exhale, it seems, a new sucker punch leaves me once again breathless.

I feel very unsettled.  Despite the work we’ve accomplished on the house, there is something about living amongst “projects” that messes with your psyche.  It is hard to find rest in something that constantly screaming you, “paint me!  decorate me!  finish me!”

My heart has been pushed closer to Heaven’s presence.  While I once looked around at the life I had amassed on earth and thought, “I am really going to miss this someday!”.  Now I find myself aching for the day when I no longer have to fear a stomach bug, when I won’t sleep restlessly over the fear of the unknown, where all of our relationships will be completely restored and we will never miss another’s presence.

As the days grow shorter and the cold seeps in, I dread the darkness.  The time change always comes unexpectedly and leaves me reeling for a bit. The trees and bushes look sad and shameful; their former glory amassed in piles around their feet.

Winter always carries a foreboding and melancholy feeling for me.  Will it be bitter and sick and long?  Will it close in on us and imprison us in our homes?  Will we crawl out from hibernation in April starved, blinking, and weary?

Today I found myself falling into a dark cycle after yet another round of illness.  I rallied my instincts and took the girls outside for an hour of play when the sun was still bright.  MG drew suns and skies with smiley faces.  I gulped the oxygen that had just a hint of winter in it and I’m going to try to make it last until April.

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And if it doesn’t?  Well you know where to find me.

-smk

When I look

When I look at this photo, I see

 

-my baby turned girl. Walking with ease upstairs to bed

-her sleeping attire.  The nightgown she picked out to wear because she wanted to “sleep in a dress like Sleeping Beauty”

-the six sponge rollers that will curl all of her waify, wispy hair as she sleeps. “I want to have curly hair like Bea”.

-the hair that is still streaked with the golden strands of babyhood.  I haven’t been able to bring myself to cut it yet.

-a coy yet confident smile.  This one no longer elicited by cues or bribery.

-skinny, little legs that are hardened and bruised from the recent afternoons outdoors.  The pudgy limbs I endlessly kissed have disappeared forever.

-a little girl who is enchanted by the newly discovered ideals of beauty (curly hair, dresses, lipstick).  She has just begun her trajectory into the mystery of femininity.  May she walk away with innocence maintained and heart unscathed.

-a little baby, still clutching the hand of her beloved doll Stella.  I will fall to the ground and weep on the day she declares her independence from this childhood vestige.

Sweet, sweet MG.  May she have babies upon babies to care for one day.  May she cook pea snacks and pizza lunches in her large pink kitchen just like she does in her miniature one.  May all of her babies be soothed with the rocking and shushing she has perfected in her young life.  May she never run out of the pacis and lullabies and teether toys that her babies always seem to need.   May she be given at least one that loves babies the way she does so she may relive this joy all over again.

And may my heart always remember the way my house looked with little makeshift baby beds in every corner; little, balled up baby diapers in every bag; and empty, plastic baby bottles behind every piece of furniture.

And may Stella remain for many more days,

-smk

 

Happy Mother’s day!

Happy Mother’s Day!  I am so incredibly blessed to have the mama I do and my “stand-in” mom-in-law too.  And two(ish) babies on top of it?  This is definitely a cause for celebration.

But  while Mother’s day is a  day that brings so much joy to some , it also brings much sorrow to others.  To the friends I’ve celebrated with and the friends I’ve grieved with this year, I remember you both on this day.

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This year, I’d like to send a special Happy Mother’s day to all of the moms of toddlers.  You are the women of my heart because I know exactly what fills your days.

It is answering  the same question a half-dozen times in a row, ten times a day.

It is swearing that you’ll never be able to pick up another cheerio, raisin, or cracker off the floor, yet  you do it anyway.

It is passing by that one neglected corner of your house day after day, wondering when you’ll ever, ever get to it.  All the while knowing that someday you will, but also knowing that what you are currently doing is more important.

It is picking your battles wisely with someone who has zero reasoning skills.

It is mustering up the inner desire to read one more round of “Pat the bunny” or sing another enthusiastic rendition of “Wheels on the Bus”.

It is sacrificing  conversation with other adults to mop a feverish head, clean up another potty accident, or to play tea party with a needy one.

It is buckling and unbuckling those darn car seat straps trip after trip after trip.

It is wiping the same sticky hands and the same dusty prints day after day after day.  All the while lamenting how much bigger they’re growing.

It is baking cookies, dusting furniture, and picking up crumbs.  Always with a shadow behind you who, for better or worse, has their hand in the flour, their wet rag all over the tv, and a bite of graham cracker dangling from their lips.

It is putting your head on the pillow at night, wondering if you did enough, said too much, pulled away too soon, pushed too hard, gave enough grace, showed too much mercy.  Your job satisfaction is solely determined by your own approval rating.

It is waking up, knowing the quality of your day will be determined by the progress made, the minutes napped, the tantrums mine-swept.  And knowing that you have no control over any of it.  And being okay with that.

Be encouraged.  You keep it up because you are doing the best that you can, day after day.

These days are long and tiring to be sure, but something tells me we will look back on them as the best in our lives.

Happy Mother’s Day to all.

Week Wrap-Up

This week has been busy + productive!

Daddy was off on Monday AND Tuesday so we had an extra long weekend—FABULOUS!

 

I finished MG’s quilt and we are working on painting her new room and bathroom.  She is wildly excited about everything “BIG GIRL”!

quilt copy

On Monday, N pulled down all of the boxes of baby clothes and toys down from the attic.   They were fairly well organized in boxes by size, but due to some dresses and other things lasting for multiple seasons, everything needed to be re-sorted.  It was a 4+ hour project.  But I’m happy to say that Mayby has a stocked closet of 0-6 month clothes and toys ready to go.  It was so fun seeing all of those clothes again and I’m so glad  she will be able to re-wear a majority of them.  Precaution was taken to HIDE them from MG as the two pieces she happened to stumble across, she was already claimed for her little doll posse.

On Wednesday I had my glucose tolerance test.  MG accompanied me for the hour+ appointment.  I was a teensy bit nervous to bring her along, seeing as it is such a long appointment, but I had nothing to fear.  I have come to the realization that we have crossed over from her being my “little charge” to my “little buddy”.

She asks all kinds of curious questions, “Mama, juice?”  No baby, this is yucky juice.  I love hearing about all of her observations.  She thinks the wavy walls are snakes and the window ledges are benchesAnd her special treat is picking out a dum-dum for when the doctor comes in the room.  She always picks pink.

It also doesn’t hurt that there is a fully stocked kitchen and toys–most importantly a baby–in the waiting room.  We breezed through the appointment and she was sad when we had to leave.

To reward our efforts (me passing, she attending), we enjoyed a cozy lunch at Culver’s.  Another fun thing about this age is going out to eat.  She will eat slowly and thoughtfully, watching everyone around her.  N and I are always amazed at how much conversation we can have at a restaurant now!

And she was so thrilled about her cheeseburger, fries, and a “big girl” cup of water that she continued to give me spontaneous hugs and kisses throughout the meal.  Have I mentioned how much I love this age?

Although it still makes me a little sad to change up our comfortable routine, I am excited about having two curious, excitable, loveable little girls in my brood.  I hope MG teaches Mayby all of her sweet sisterly ways.  If hugs and kisses count, she is well on her way to being fully stocked.

 

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Twelve weeks and counting!

 

Happy October: Day 9

Motherhood is the weirdest, wildest, most challenging, but happiest ride I’ve ever been on.

 

When someone affirms this, or speaks to my heart.  It lifts me up and fills my heart with happiness.
This article spoke to my heart.
Favorite quotes to entice you:
“Christian mothers carry their children in hostile territory. When you are in public with them, you are standing with, and defending, the objects of cultural dislike. You are publicly testifying that you value what God values, and that you refuse to value what the world values. You stand with the defenseless and in front of the needy. You represent everything that our culture hates, because you represent laying down your life for another—and laying down your life for another represents the gospel.”
“Children know the difference between a mother who is saving face to a stranger and a mother who defends their life and their worth with her smile, her love, and her absolute loyalty.”

“Live the gospel in the things that no one sees. Sacrifice for your children in places that only they will know about. {…} If you tell them the gospel, but live to yourself, they will never believe it. Give your life for theirs every day, joyfully.”

Being a mother IS a mission field, a picture of Love, a deep and sweet calling.

My favorite thing about being a mom is watching MG do things that she has never been taught but has simply observed: talking on her made-up telephones, putting on make-up, dusting with rags, changing her baby’s diaper.  Each one is so little, but brings me so much joy because it reminds me that I am making a difference in her life.

That’s my favorite things about being a mom, what’s yours?