This blog post is the second installment of a collaborative 5-part series entitled The Mother Within. Start at the beginning here.
“Am I enough?”
“What’s my purpose?”
“Can I have it all?”
Questions we may all ask ourselves at some point in our lives, no matter our situation. These arise when we doubt ourselves, compare ourselves to others, experience fear, feel like we’re stuck in a rut, or just want to be better. This was the topic of a recent group discussion within RSMB, which included mothers from all walks of life, leading us to believe this is a very common thought process.
While it has been my choice to share my time between work and family, I have had moments where I ask myself these very questions. I could think about how much time I don’t have with my kids while I work and question whether the time I have is enough, and on and on. There are many more thoughts down this road, which can result in isolation.
Instead, what I end up thinking about is the time I do have with my kids. We have movie nights, eat popcorn and make treats. We pretend play with kitchen accessories, princess skirts and light sabers. Currently their favorite thing to do is throw all the pillows off my two-year-old daughter’s bed, which sits on the floor, and roll around or bounce. We pray before bed and say lots of “I love yous.” We sing along to our toddler Pandora station and read books like Madeleine and Corduroy. We tickle, play “jump out from behind the corner,” and splash during bath time. We take trips to the park and one-on-one trips to the store. We practice first words and using the big girl potty. These countless memories and more are wrapped up in the hours and days that make up my kids’ lives. I choose to focus my thoughts here.
Years ago, a friend of mine spoke at a leaders’ retreat about a difficult time in her life. She recalled spending hours in the waiting room of a hospital. She had experienced miscarriage and infertility. Although she was hurting, she felt God opened her eyes to those hurting faces around her in that same waiting room she found herself in. She reached out to people, comforted them, grieved with them. What she shared was really powerful and stuck with me. It was about where she was and what she chose to do while she was there, instead of only dwelling solely on her own circumstance. And she has continued to live in such a way.
Her story is always in the back of my mind. The waiting room message. I think the point is relevant to any aspect of life, not just her situation. Motherhood, marriage, workplace, friendships. Whatever the circumstances, where are we focusing our thoughts and what are we doing with what we have? There’s nothing wrong with asking ourselves these types of questions, but what’s important is what we do next. Let’s be all in, wherever we are, and remember to encourage others around us.
Instead of wondering if we are enough, let’s choose to love with all we have.
Instead of asking what is our purpose, let’s choose to see the purpose in what we are doing.
Instead of trying to have it all, let’s choose to look around and fully enjoy what we do have.