There is a two way street we walk as moms called Community. On the beautiful days, we stroll through its widely manicured lawns of encouragement and skip merrily down the gently paved sidewalks of I’ve Been There And I’ve Got Your Back, Gurl. The breeze is sweet and the sun is warm and -ahhhh- the soul is soothed and the heart is light.

Then there are the stormy days. The ones when cracks of insecurity appear in the pavement and pebbles of jealousy make the sidewalk a bit more slippery. Clouds of Well, The Way We Do It Is Better roll in and the deluge of Attachment, Schedules, Formula, and Crying starts to pour. We look around at the whipping wind and stinging rain and think, “Wait, what just happened?”

Community can sustain us, or it can drown us. I am living a daily tension to fight against the fear of what others might think (or what I think they are already thinking) but also to embrace the support of women who have gone before or who are trekking right along side me. ‘Cause that two way street? It’s my choice which way to walk down it. I choose to let Community give me life or death, blessing or cursing.

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In the middle of a particularly stormy day – emotionally – I slumped down to sit on the floor of the garage and tears leaked out as I confessed to my husband that it’s hard. It’s just hard. Even when I want it to be fun, it’s hard.

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My idea of success as a mother is suffocating me. It’s like a broken compass that constantly turns me the wrong way down Community Street and all I see is stormy clouds and angry skies. My current idea of success? If I have a day with no technology and a day where the napping kids actually sleep as they should, then I am successful. Those two markers – technology and sleep – are defining my aptitude as a mother.

What a shallow place to live. And what a thin line of grace I give myself and our family. I cheat us out of so much because I allow failure to follow me every day.

So what is a successful mom? Where is my heart are the roots of these beliefs? What other confessions are to come, and what truth will take its place?

Surrounded my Community, my journey continues.

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