My [raw] Motherhood Essays #2

edited to add: I’ve received such wonderful feedback on this already and I am so appreciative of that. I did want to reiterate though that I realize this “resting period” is a season. With our son we had him in China at 6 months of age and did a lot with him. This time is just different–and that’s okay with us. It’s still early 🙂 

(Read my first essay and my third essay, if you love this one!)

It was a summer with one item on the bucket list and it wasn’t a traditional item either. A summer where I learned to just say, “Oh well.” A summer where whatever happened happened and I learned to say, “Next year.” As I planned for this summer I even kept my hopes and lists down and yet I still felt the sting of disappointment. Disappointment that was soon turned into a smile exchanged between my husband and me because we knew….we knew it was just a season.

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When I found out I was due with our second baby at the beginning of the summer (bucket list: check!) , I shrugged it off and said, “No plans. No commitments. We’ll just stay home all summer and adjust to life with two. ” And while that is what we did for a large portion of it, I soon realized my whatever attitude might not be enough to glide through.  I came up with a tiny list of things I’d like to do over the summer. I made it small and simple:

1. Blueberry pick.

2.Work on my photography.

3.Go hiking.

4. Roadtrip to our friends’ house 4 hours away.

5. A day at the beach

Instead this is what happened: We arrived to pick blueberries on a somewhat rainy day just as the baby needed to eat. My husband and son started picking without us and by the time I was done, the rain was in full swing. They returned to the car with a small bag of berries and I never left the car.

Work on photography? If you count pictures of my new baby, that’s about it.

Oh, we went on a hike. It actually went really great. But the amount of time it took to figure out food for a gluten intolerant child with limited options, picking a place to hike that was over an hour away and a baby that was still eating every two hours…well let’s just say we did it only once.

And as for our road trip to see our friends, I got the phone call en route that my grandfather had passed away. That road trip turned into two back to back trips and sleeping in five different  places that week.  I did, however, get my beach day in.

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If there was one thing that could make me slow down, it was the birth of my daughter. My daughter has showed me that I cannot do everything. Nay, I should not do everything. Even more, four months later I still find myself quitting things and saying no to things as I just try to survive and navigate “mom of two” life. I find it ironic that my daughter’s name in Hebrew means “resting” or “rest of God.” I feel like that is literally being thrust upon me and I have no choice but to “give up.”

It can be a negative or positive thing depending on your outlook. I never wanted to be someone who stopped doing things because I had children. Go ahead. Laugh. Judge me. While I admit it part way has to do with pride, it also has to do with the belief that I think too many people really put their kids in front of themselves too much and stop doing things. Please. Let me explain.

I want to give my children the world. I want to be selfless and teach, love and show them what it means to be a kind human and love Jesus with all their hearts. My prayer every day is that my children will be in Heaven with me eternally. I will do anything in my power to be a catalyst in that relationship.

So when I talk about people putting their children in front of them I mean this: we are parents but we are also wives, friends, daughters and workers/volunteers/etc. here on earth. We need to take care of ourselves. We need to still find our identity in Jesus and pursue passions and talents of ours. As parents though, I realize we might not be able to pursue it 100% as we did before. But we can still pursue it to some degree. I believe finding that balance lies in conversation with God and your husband and possibly a mentor if you have one.

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Ok, that was a long tangent. I digress.

 I am learning to rest. I am learning to say, “not this season” or “just because we can’t do that now, doesn’t meant we never will.” I may or may not have started that mentality with some kicking and screaming. But I am at peace now. I am at peace that I made it to the beach once this summer. I am at peace that we ate outside for one meal. I am at peace that a new summer wardrobe was not bought. I am at peace that we didn’t even make it to the zoo.

I’m learning to focus on specific things in life and not 842 of them. It’s making me really think about what I want to spend my time on and where it should be. TV has become a luxury at times.

I look at my son and he has no idea he spent his summer playing at a water table we found on the side of the road and going to the same park repeatedly. He’s happy he has a new sister and his family eats dinner together every night, even if we ate pasta salad entirely ten too many times.

I look at my husband. He knows what I have learned. His summer was not what he hoped either. He made it on maybe five motorcycle rides this summer, a number entirely too low for him. He is the most laid back, kind man I know though and I am grateful our children have his attitude and character to look up to.

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And I look at my daughter amd I think, “You did this.” She slowed us down. Her presence made us rethink our commitments and hammer down where we are meant to focus our talents. She is teaching us to rest. Even if I am kicking and screaming.

xo, bethany rose

22 Comments

  1. Julie Warnock

    October 12, 2017 at 2:26 am

    So well spoken! I can completely relate! Others may not always understand the decisions that we make, but we always go back to the idea that we do what is best for OUR family!

    1. waves + lilacs

      October 12, 2017 at 12:50 pm

      Absolutely! We have to and know that God will show us what’s best 🙂 Thanks for reading, Julie <3

  2. Christine

    October 12, 2017 at 10:42 am

    Such wonderful thoughts! It’s so easy to get caught up in the many things to do and miss the things that are most important at the time. I love that you got to slow down and still got to do things you’d hoped to- a little different than planned. That seems to be the way it goes with kids- at least for me. I love that you’re see the good in those moments!

    1. waves + lilacs

      October 12, 2017 at 12:48 pm

      So true and yes, differently than planned…and thankfully that doesn’t necessarily always mean bad I am learning! It’s all about perspective. Thanks for reading 🙂

  3. Caity

    October 12, 2017 at 7:13 pm

    I truly love this! I felt the same way starting parenthood; my husband and I are both adventurous people who love the outdoors and travel and things like hiking and rock climbing. You are right when you say we must learn to not settle for always focusing on our kids, while at the same time being content with how things are different with them in our lives. Your pictures are beautiful by the way!!! Make a few small, specific priorities for you family. it really helps to write/talk about what is most important for you and your family. Our kids teach us so much! <3

    1. waves + lilacs

      October 16, 2017 at 8:45 pm

      Yes, I agree with you…communication is key and prioritizing is so important. I think sometimes we think we need to figure it out all at once and that’s just not always what happens!

  4. livewellplaytogether

    October 12, 2017 at 7:15 pm

    This is so beautifully written! We are expecting our second and I know it will change how we do things this summer. I feel like I am always having to be reminded to stop and rest. I think it is important that you mentioned that as women, we have so many roles and were created to do amazing things. The work of motherhood is great though and I know you know that well. I so value and appreciate your honest transparency as you continue to learn all these things in this season!

    1. waves + lilacs

      October 16, 2017 at 8:41 pm

      You are so right, mama. The work of motherhood has to be one of the single most important things ever. We are *literally* raising the future!Congrats on your second! I look forward to seeing him/her 🙂

  5. sunshineandmunchkins

    October 13, 2017 at 2:20 am

    I love this. Nothing like a baby to teach us that we need to slow down if we want to enjoy life a little more.

    1. waves + lilacs

      October 16, 2017 at 8:39 pm

      So interesting how that happens, isn’t it!?

  6. Reg

    October 16, 2017 at 4:21 am

    Love this post so much. Thanks for reminding me to slow down.

  7. Katie

    October 16, 2017 at 12:46 pm

    Very well written! It’s good to get slowed down sometimes. I’m constantly telling myself to slow down and appreciate the moment because one day these days will all just be a memory.

    1. waves + lilacs

      October 16, 2017 at 8:39 pm

      SO true! Just the thought of it makes me want to cry a little!!

  8. Callie

    October 16, 2017 at 3:52 pm

    Love this, Bethany! It is so hard to slow down sometimes, but I think we miss so much when we don’t take those seasons to rest.

    1. waves + lilacs

      October 16, 2017 at 8:38 pm

      I think you are right, Callie. Time flies so quickly as is! <3

  9. Minakshi bajpai

    October 18, 2017 at 10:24 am

    Everything that parents does for the sake of their kids is the best one. You also doing great and took right decision. Only you can think the better way for your family.

  10. Mikaeya

    October 20, 2017 at 10:43 pm

    So beautifully written Bethany. I too am the “do 1,000 things at all times” category but having children (twins at that) has made me smooth off some of my type A edges. I still have work to do to be able to say I truly am slowing down and being present in the moment but man have I come a long way! Continue enjoying your time with your littles during this slow season!

  11. waves + lilacs

    November 10, 2017 at 2:30 am

    First, I apologize for my tardiness. A bunch of comments to my blog slipped through the cracks. Second, We all always can work on things but it sounds like you are making your way there and that is so awesome <3

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