Mad in Motherhood

Learning how to embrace our crazy beautiful lives. . . without going mad along the way

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Stop the madness #1 – No more Super Mom mentality

Here we are… It’s the first Monday of the month, Which means it is Stop the Madness Monday and I will attempt to encourage you to turn away from the thoughts that will drive you MAD in MOTHERHOOD and embrace God’s truth instead.
WHAT NOT TO DO: Never ask for help and certainly don’t accept it when offered.
Stop the Madness: Here’s the deal… No one is actually Super Mom – As in a super hero with special powers who can do absolutely everything in half the time it would take an army to, and without breaking a sweat. No one.
You are amazing. You are a giver and a lover. You are a multitasking phenomenon. You are a personal chef, trauma nurse, chauffeur, spiritual leader, and laundry master all rolled into one. You are Mother…. And you are HUMAN.  Just because you CAN do all of these things (and then some) doesn’t mean you should feel like you HAVE to do them all day, every day, all on your own. Nor, should you feel like a failure if you don’t do them all on your own.
I remember the early days of motherhood… exhaustion, confusion, frantically trying to figure out how to take care of this small person (and all her poop and spit-up) and how to maintain the house, and not forget about my husband, all while counting the days since I last had a shower. Then someone would would kindly offer their assistance and June Cleaver’s voice would come out of my mouth saying something absurd like, ‘Oh, no thank you. I have it all under control. In fact, think I’ll make a lasagna from scratch for dinner tonight, after I do the 17 loads of laundry that are piling up and spilling into the hallway.’ Ridiculous.
Side Note: Anytime someone says ‘I have it under control,’ they are begging you to politely knock some sense into them.
After about a week, I pseudo-accepted the assistance…. Mustering up enough energy to ‘tidy up’ before that angel of a person came over to help me ‘clean up’ for real. I thought to myself. ‘No one really wants to come clean my house and do my laundry. They want to come hold the baby and chat, so I should put on my big girl pants and clean up before they get here and see the disaster in which I am sitting.’ All my thinking was wrong. After some coaxing and several weeks of trying to be ‘Super Mom’ I changed my tune to. ‘Help Me, Rhonda’… (or anyone for that matter).
I told you before, that I had never imagined so many people would be folding my underwear. Well it’s true. I have never been the kind of person to ask for help, and I have never been very good at accepting it when offered. I have also never thought my self to be a prideful person…. but I am learning that ‘pride’ can wear a lot of different masks. I told myself things like, ‘I can do the dirty jobs that no one else really wants to do’ or ‘they’re just offering to be nice’ and what I was really doing was pridefully shortchanging every person involved. I wasn’t getting the help I so desperately needed to make my life easier and I was robbing someone else of the opportunity to love and serve me. Whoa.
God calls us to live in community. To love each other. To help each other. To serve each other. To encourage each other, And to challenge each other.
Community is precious. It allows us to be the body of Christ and to live to our fullest ability.
So, when I humbly accepted my shortcomings in this season of early motherhood as opportunities and not failures, I felt a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. If my inlaws want to take turns folding laundry and holding babies, awesome! If my friend wants to get a babysitter for her own kiddo so she can come clean my kitchen and bathroom, amazing! If my other friends want to bring a meal over, Terrific – I love all food! I am eternally grateful to you for seeing my need and so graciously meeting it. And because of the lovely give and take/help each other out mentality in living in community, I too will help a momma out…when I get my head steadily above water.
We have to remember to take care of our own Stud Muffins and little ones first, before we go running off to save the universe (again, remember ‘Super Mom’ = Fictitious) So, this may be the season in life where you need to receive the help. Like me, you have probably had many seasons where you were able to give the help. Those seasons will return (although it may not be for a long while). Ride this one out. Before you know it, you’ll be needing less and less help on a dire basis and you’ll be doing more and more on your own. Save your energy to be the best YOU that you can be for your family. Your friends and others will understand. And if you’re like me, enlist the help of someone on to help with some of the areas of housework that are really bogging you down. Seriously. I joined today. Because I humbly accept that my house manufactures more dirt than I can handle right now.
An honest look at my house:

I documented my dining room floor sweepings every 2-3 days for 10 days.
Note: The small pile in the middle is due to spending an entire day out of the house, plus eating 2 meals out. Sheesh. Too.Much.Dirt.

Oh please, sing along if you know this song 🙂
You’ve got to know when to hold em
Know when to fold em
Know when to walk away
Know when to run!
*Tis true for playing cards and Super Real Momma’s.*
If you need it, run to someone and ask for help today! And if you are on the other side of chaos, offer Christ’s love to someone who may need a little help, but is too scared to ask.


So, I guess I’m a Blogger

I’ve never really gotten into the whole Blogging phenomenon. I tried Xanga once – yikes, I feel old – but I found that my thoughts as a college freshman really weren’t all that spectacular.  Words fumbling around the screen with little direction or motive. Even today, I am that person who proof’s their Facebook posts at least 7 times hoping they are grammatically correct or incorrect in a socially acceptable way because my high school English teacher is now a friend and may read what I post. But I just embrace the incorrectness and ask for forgiveness. I have also never enjoyed reading other peoples blogs… until recently. When I became a stay at home momma of two.

My oldest (we’ll call her Cutie Pie), a very comical, loving, knock your socks off two year old with Shirley Temple spunk has Hydrocephalus. I should say mild hydrocephalus. The mild part is the important part. The doctors caught this during pregnancy, so for 3 years now we have been monitoring her closely to determine if she needs a shunt or not. I praise God, that she hasn’t had any major issues so far – other than not being able to pull a normal size shirt over her head – but she has had a ton of tests, procedures, exams, and specialists following her. So you can imagine, my reading material for the last 3 years has revolved around Medical Journals and Websites.


Dr. Cutie Pie

Then, along came my youngest (we’ll call her Miss Squeals A lot), also very spunky, sweet, & entertaining but throw in a little extra sass and determination. While pregnant with Miss Squeals A Lot, I found myself longing for other mommas to walk this road with me. Surely, I wasn’t the only one to feel like I don’t have a clue as to what I’m doing with these two little humans. I have a psychology degree and nearly 10 years of experience caring for children, yet it seems that none of that has prepared me for this. I know all about what the books say, but guess what… scholarly wisdom doesn’t apply to every child, in every situation, ever!

Miss Squeals A Lot… currently not squealing because my coffee table is in her mouth

Miss Squeals A Lot… currently not squealing because my coffee table is in her mouth

So, there I was, holding Miss Squeals A Lot and sitting in a puddle of spit up and cheerios, feeling lost in the madness with Cutie Pie hovering over me asking “You OK Mommy, You OK??” when I turned to the wonderful land of Blogs. Enough with the textbooks, give me some real insight, please. Enter Jen Hatmaker and the funniest Blog entry ever. I laughed until I cried. Seriously. After just that one entry I felt like she and I were life long BFFs (to which I may refer to her as from time to time). I was so grateful to hear someone else share their story of crazy, beautiful chaos and couldn’t help but see myself as THAT parent. I thought my current state of pandemonium was a phase that would pass. Turns out, its called Motherhood – and it’s absolutely amazing – but was not going to vaporize anytime soon. I was at that place of going mad, getting mad, making other (small) people mad; when I heard God say, “Snap out of it, woman! You don’t have to do this alone. I’m here.  Your BFF Jen is here. And lots of others too.” Hmmm. How bout them apples?! I’m not alone or crazy. I should add here that I have an incredible husband by my side – I may refer to him as My Stud Muffin in the future – and our parents have been invaluable in lending a helping hand – I never dreamed so many different people would be folding my underwear!

I began to immerse myself in Blogs and articles geared towards parenting and motherhood and being a better wife. As I continued to absorb the wisdom of my fellow mommas and began to let go of some of my expectations and demands, I noticed that I was finding joy in the midst of my madness and I wasn’t the only one. You know the saying, ‘If Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy’? Well, there’s truth to that, Except replace ‘happy’ with ‘content’ or ‘joyful’ and make it ‘If Momma ain’t CHOOSING to be ______________…’ fill in the adjective that fits best.

My hope here is to compile my thoughts and impart the wisdom (gained from experience) on to other challenged Mommas. And also point you toward some of my favorite bloggers and articles. You know that other phrase, ‘It takes a village to raise a child’? Also true. And by ‘village’ I mean a whole collection of friends, family members, and BFFs whom you acquire via Blog posts!

This is it. It’s official. As soon as I hit that magic little button labeled ‘Publish’, I’m a Blogger. Or something 🙂