Monday, December 10, 2012

An Unexpected Place

I love motherhood. I just want to put that out there.

And I think, if this were possible, for me to be 'just' a mother, I would be happy doing this forever.

But I'm not. I'm still a wife. I think I'm something like an attorney, but I don't know what my status is without having passed the Bar. I hope I'm still an intellectual, a daughter of the Church, someone who fell in love with Truth because of  Beauty.

How can I be all these things at once? 

To be honest, I'm having a bit of a hard time meshing everything together. I adored being just a housewife, as much as I longed for motherhood. I loved putting all my energy into serving God through loving my husband and being active in my community. Laying in bed discussing articles we'd read, leaving love notes in secret places, making sure to have a nightly "check-in" to see if we had loved each other well throughout the day.

What now? 

I have two goals: to be an excellent wife and an excellent mother. Oh but wait, I want to pass the Bar. And I feel there are real needs in my community that I think I should do something about. And I want to run again, really run, long distances. And I'm hoping I can get back into the swing of gardening. And maybe finish my theology masters and -

What am I preparing for? 

This was a question asked at the homily this past Sunday. That we are always preparing for something and that honestly looking at what we are preparing for shows us what we really value, what we truly love.

Having children has always been so important to me, I can't remember a time when I wasn't preparing for it. Storing up wisdom, researching hot topics, observing friends and the families I'd nannied for, keeping up with child development research, reading books on child education and homeschooling. And now it's here and all I want to do is focus on her. I dislike altering her schedule to fit mine and I dislike it when people imply I should. I have a hard time accepting anyone else's demands made of me - I get frustrated when people ask me to do things, thinking "don't you know I have a baby?"  I guard her ferociously. I want her to have the best of the world - I want to give her everything that is Beautiful and Good. I'll sacrifice so much to ensure that happens, but I can't sacrifice everything.

But I didn't prepare for her plus the rest of life, that hasn't actually disappeared. Maybe there was no way to, but I haven't. I don't know how to still offer myself to my husband as his beautiful wife, but then in a few hours, offer that same body to my baby as her source of comfort and food. I don't know how to spend all day thinking about her and then to turn it off as evening comes and think of him. My perspective on my body has changed - I see it as mostly inherently functional, and see its beauty in its function, not its form.

I'm in an unexpected place. I didn't prepare to be here, and I'm not sure how I ended up here. I am always so confident and so much of my life is exactly what I expected, but...the pieces aren't going together a seamlessly as I thought they would. And I'm not sure what I'm preparing for next.

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