My legacy as a mother will extend far beyond my life here on Earth. I have learned through the years and from my own mom that what you teach your children stay with them for the rest of their lives. Please take this reflection post with a grain of salt. I have only just begun this journey but I feel the need to encourage those who feel as though their work — yes, Jesus it is work — as a mother doesn’t seem to matter.
Four kids under six
I was a young Mom with four kids under the age of six with no sense of purpose. At my lowest point – my relationship with my husband was extremely rocky, we were at the brink of divorce, and I wanted out. It was not until we decided to do Christian counseling and a recovery bible study group that things slowly got better. I would like to say that our relationship continued to get better through the years but that would be a complete and utter lie. It would take over 10 years of multiple relapses, codependency work, refocusing our relationship with Christ and setting clear boundaries that our marriage began to get better. While we are still working on ourselves daily, I will say we are in the best place we have ever been. If you knew my husband and I at the beginning of our relationship, you would say we are now the most boring couple ever and I would agree with you. We have worked hard to be boring. I like boring and mundane because that means that we truly understand each other.
The invisible woman
There were many times when I was knee deep in diapers, tantrums, and sleepless nights that I felt as if none of it mattered. I resented the fact that my husband could drive to/from work alone without having to listen to The Wheels on the Bus for the umpteenth time. I resented that he could eat lunch by himself and look at his phone in peace. I resented that I did not have adult interaction until my husband came home from work and even then it was a recap of how exhausted I was. I felt invisible. It wasn’t that I wanted praise for what I was doing, I just wanted to be acknowledged and understood.
Looking back I also see the symptoms of depression and anxiety that I never acknowledged or didn’t want to acknowledge. My first reaction was always anger. Compassion and empathy were never a response I gave to my kids. I wish I had known the signs of mental illness back then. I may had been able to truly be present instead of resentful. I have learned through therapy that anger is the secondary reaction that masks my true feelings of sadness, guilt, and shame.
I mean who wouldn’t be ashamed especially when you were the center of the tsismis (gossip) — yes Titas (Aunts) and pinsans (cousins) I heard all of it. It would take me years to find my self worth through my relationship with Christ and not listen to the tsismis. Now a days, when I hear the latest tsismis, I will go to the source and ask a directly question. To me, this is my way of ending the tsismis and not allowing negative energy into my life and the person being talked about.
My perspective on motherhood had change when I gave birth to my son. I am slightly more patient and slower to anger. My girls will say that I spoil my youngest and I would say that I am trying to rewrite my motherhood story. Parenting is definitely a learn as you go job and I am thankful for my past experiences to help me parent all of my kids today. I could list all of the ways I should have parented my older kids but I don’t think that would be productive. I am learning to be more self-compassionate and accept that I am doing the best I can with the abilities at the time.
I would like to leave you with a You tube video that was shared in a MOPS Mom’s Night In. It seriously brought me to tears because most days I do feel invisible but I have learned over time that my job as a mother is so important. This role is more important than being seen because I want my kids to know they are accepted, loved and seen just as they are – at home. Keep pushing forward Mamas! You’re doing amazing!!!