Friday, October 16, 2009

Dream Mom

When my sons were young, I studied books and listened to speakers on time management. I became convinced that if I could just change my habits and my tendencies, I could build the life I longed for. I learned where my personal weaknesses were. I worked hard to change. I kept trying to be the person I thought I needed to be -- someone not like me at all. The more I tried, the more miserable I became. I began to feel sorry for my family because they didn't have a mother like the one I thought I should be. It took several years for me to realize that I was not going to change my nature. I had been given a personality with unique strengths and passions. I was not going to become someone else. For better or for worse, I was who I was.

It took me several more years to understand that my strengths were a gift to me and to my children. If I let my strengths guide the way I worked and played, this brought joy and abundance into our lives. Whenever I tried again to focus on correcting my weaknesses, this brought frustration, tension, and discouragement. Finally, I gave up trying to be like someone else. What I didn't do well I arranged to get done in another way. I began to concentrate my energy on what I did best with the time that I actually had.

As I did this, an interesting thing happened. I started to understand that the way I was designed was a happy thing for my kids, because I was their mom, their very own. They didn't want someone else. And ultimately, neither did I.

What had happened to my vision of the dream mom -- the one I thought we wanted? I realized that even if I could be her, I wouldn't want her life.

Our best life would flow out of who I really was, day in and day out -- in the midst of busy schedules, messy rooms, and interruptions. Oddly enough, this set me free to find a happiness that was sturdy and real, and a set of work habits that took us to our dreams and beyond.

Can you relate to this?


  1. You know I can relate... ;-) The realization is merely the first step, though. Figuring how to live out of who I am - that's the hard part. There are still things that must change, that must get set aside for love...

  2. I have been thinking a lot about this lately--how I cannot try to fit another person's goals for their life into my life even if they are good goals. God has different lives for us all to live--and they can all be blessed, purposeful, glorifying to Him.
    I appreciate your thoughts, as usual.

  3. I like who I am. I don't know if I always did, but I'm pretty contented now. Sometimes, I feel that I depend more on "the praise of men" for my worth rather than my position in Christ. But, that's a bit off topic.

    Beautiful writing, as always!

  4. Yes, yes, yes! I struggle with this greatly, and I'll admit my struggle became much worse when I started reading blogs a couple years ago. As much as others exhort that what works for them might not work for you, I can't help but notice their spotless homes (at least relative to mine) and their descriptions of seemingly calm, contented home life.

    Per your suggestion, I'm going to write down my strengths--without considering whether they seem to be domestic in nature--and then make notes on how they help me be a good mother. For instance, I can't sew, and frankly, I'm not interested in learning. But I'm passionate about education. I wish I had a decorator's eye, but I don't, and my house will probably never be a showcase unless I pay someone to make it look that way. However, I've always been very diligent and responsible, which is a crucial characteristic for a mother of a child with severe food allergies.

    I'm rambling now because it's late, but just wanted to say thank you. I truly see a road to contentment that was not there before I read your post.

  5. Wonderful, heart-felt comments. I love these, every one of them.

    Thank you so much for sharing with me.

  6. Oh yeah - I can definitely relate. Thanks for this encouraging post!

    Take care,

  7. Totally. This is one of my biggest struggles. I've figured out my strengths that work well with young boys and homeschooling. Now to keep those multiple weaknesses from being too much of a drag....

    Thanks for these insights. kr

  8. Oh yes... as a Picture Peddlin, word meddlin, homesteadin' mess of a mother... I find that to forgive myself the nature which sets me forth
    each day into cluttered corners of home management..... is utter bliss.

    I was raised by a very tidy mother... and it caused me such suffering
    that I vowed to creatively clutter my little log cabin with as many things
    as possible. For in the vast abstract spaces of my mother's overly clean
    tile floors and blank walls.... there my mind grew stale, empty, and lonely.


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