3/12/09

I can't tell you why . . .

My husband and I have a friend we call The Professional Mom. She LOVES being a Mom. She is all aboutMom, all of the time. It’s like the day her first child was born she found her true calling in life, and she's never more happy than she is when she's taking care of her kids. And I kinda want to be like her, but here’s the truth: I can’t even begin to understand how she is like that. It’s so far away from the person I know to be me. The person I finally got to know after thirty years, is not completely fulfilled and totally satisfied by being a Mom. She's just not. She sure has tried to be, but somehow it is never enough. And sometimes, she feels a bit guilty about it.

I mean, why isn’t it enough for me to just be “Mom?” It's not like I don't adore my kids. In fact, I truly feel they are the three most special people I know. And I'm so glad I get to be around them every day. So, why am I not satisfied with loving and being loved by the three beings in the world most important to me? I mean, aren’t there a ton of women who have to work full time who would gladly trade places with a full-time homemaker like me? And what about single women, like my sister? It makes absolutely no sense to me that the woman who cooks, cleans and cares like some fearless combo of Giada and Catherine Booth has no one to do it for, while the girl who can barely bake anything is in charge of making dinner for four other people, five nights a week.

I wish I had an answer for you. And I wish I had an answer for me. In fact, sometimes I wish to be different. I wish the introverted, observant, analytical side would grow smaller, while the number one fan, cheerleader, fun-Mom side would grow bigger. But that's like an elf wishing to be Santa, it just ain't happenin'

So, that's who I am, and I can’t be any more honest. I want more. More than Motherhood. And I hope you don’t hate me for it.

7 comments:

Ann said...

We read a kids' book this week called "Quiet Bunny." It made me think about something...it's okay to be who were are and want more at the same time. It's okay to love your kids without loving being a mom every day. It's okay for me to be thankful that I get to homeschool while knowing that there are things that I really want to do that can't be done while I'm homeschooling. God put us in these positions because that's where He wants to use us, not because we're naturally good at all of the details of it or love it every day. So, love on those kids and hang on to your seat because I'm sure God has much more out there for you, and it will come when you least expect it! Meanwhile, don't you dare feel guilty!

kedw said...

I was thinking the other day on the way to work, that I really need to be something other than just Noah's mom and Chuck's wife. That I am built to Not be a stay at home mom. I always thought that I wanted to stay home full time, but I dont. I need more than that. I wish I could find a part time job, but at least I am doing the best that I can. I miss him terribly every day, I email him a few times a day and call to check on him. But I am not "stuck" with him. I have an out. And I have realized that alot of motherhood is guilt. guilt for not spending enough time with them, guilt for giving them everything, guilt for this and guilt for that. dont guilt yourself for this.
Humans always want more than what they have.
anyway, you are not a bad person or bad mother to feel the way you do. You are human!!

Janna said...

Most days, the "more" that I want is just this: writing, telling my stories so they encourage other people going through what I've been or am going through. There are bad days though, when I want a shiny new car (not minivan) and my own apartment, with one bathroom, all to myself.

Ann and Kristin, you both make good points. Thanks to you and all the other mothers who have piped up and supported me here over the last couple of years.

Doubtful Muse said...

You're a MomPlus, which means your kids will have more in the end, than if they'd just had a mom, even if she is a super one.

Lisa said...

I really appreciated this post, Janna. I appreciate you putting yourself on the line like this. That's courage!

I want more than Motherhood too. That's why I took the mentor position at MOPS, why I have led a local support group for over nine years and other various ministry work. I want my life to make a difference for the Kingdom of God, and in even more ways than influencing the seven kids I have (even though that's pretty awesome). I don't think wanting more is a bad thing.

And even not wanting to be a mom at times is ok, as long as you don't give into those feelings. It think learning to die to ourselves is a huge spiritual blessing of motherhood, a part of the santifying process of bearing children that the Scriptures talk about.

But I also think motherhood is about sharing who you are with your kids, taking them with you on your journey through life, sharing your heart, your talents, your gifts. They need a model of how to live life abundantly, which doesn't happen when our lives become too much all about them and their desires. They need to see us as real people, not just servants to cater to their every need. Part of their character training is realizing we have needs too and they benefit from learning to minsiter to others by laying down their lives for them. They can practice on us and come along side us as we model serving others.

I think the bottom line is putting away selfishness. We don't want to live selfish lives nor do we want to teach our children to be selfish. I could elaborate more but this is enough for a blog comment! LOL!

Janna said...

Tam, I really appreciate your viewpoint. Even though you do not have kids, it's apparent that the women in your life lived out many varied roles, which had a positive influence and impact on your life and work.

Lisa, All that you've said here is exactly why I love having you for a Mentor. Distinguishing between what nourishes my gifts and what is just a selfish excuse is often hard for me. I've often thought the answer is to treat my writing as a part time job, with a specific location and specific hours, so that when I'm home, I'm really HOME. But since I am not currently making any income with my words, it's hard to make that answer come to life, or even be a priority. I'm afraid my model of living an abundant life before them is a bit lacking at this point. Maybe I'll get it all worked out someday.

XELA said...

I completely understand. There is nothing wrong with what you are expressing. If you have the desire to want more than motherhood, then look to see what it is that you really would like in order to feel fulfilled. If you are happy and fulfilled then those around you will be also (not that they are not now). It will just be better for everyone, especially you (: