ordinary days | rhythm of grief | motherhood
my expressive little boy! he’s SO much fun.
he’s been expressive since week one and it just keeps getting better as he grows into his personality. what a joy to mother him.
motherhood is quite the journey.
i had been cooking up this blog post idea and then read something that fits right in with my theme here. it’s a friend i follow on insta and she quoted someone’s perfect words, “parenting is nothing if not an experience in self-neglect.” she is raising two little girls and writes honestly about the joys and the sacrifices of this season of her life. you should follow her, she’s got a great blog and an awesome email newsletter.
in tish harrison warren’s book liturgy of the ordinary, she talks about the season of lent during the early years of motherhood and how she felt like she had no idea what to give up. her wise friend and mentor told her that she doesn’t need to give anything up, that her entire life is a season of lent right now. he suggested she take up the practice of pleasure : to intentionally embrace enjoyment as a discipline.
oh, did that touch my heart to its core! powerful, sweet, healing balm for my soul.
motherhood is a stripping away of many things. who you once were. certain freedoms. physical traits. SLEEP. it’s emotionally wrecking, never ending. beautiful, hard work.
add to that grief and i have had quite the journey. this week has been a huge disaster for me/us/everyone around me. i just got hit with a huge sad wave and haven’t found my rhythm of grief yet. i didn’t know how to recognize that that is what was happening and so i flailed about in anger and confusion and ugly attitude. the thought of doing dishes made me want to smash plates and weep. the idea of going on a walk felt impossible. i felt weak and incapable of holding jack up for one more minute. i spent the first half of the week just in hurt feelings and searching for blame. i couldn’t cook or eat or take care of myself. i was disconnected from my husband. i had two migraines. i was angry and tired of giving up my freedoms to mother. nursing, pumping, middle of the night rocks, all day carrying while he teeths and won’t let me put him down. not being able to write my thoughts out because i’m so weak and exhausted that when he sleeps i must catch up on sleep, too. i had no idea just how taxing grieving is on the body. i have gone with much less sleep than this from month one to month seven with j.tru. but this grief-tired is mega worse.
thankfully we began to realize it was grief and we can now address it head on and deal with it together. phew. i did dishes. i felt joy deep cleaning my baby’s bottles. i felt blessed to have some of my mother’s dishes that she and dad got as a wedding gift 35+ years ago. e and i sat together at the table with dinner and conversation after baby went down. i woke up with the greatest urge to love and play with my perfect little boy. i got to talk to a friend who is very weathered in grief and she helped me discover my ways of grieving and helpful tips to deal when the big waves come.
today i see the joy in sacrificing for my toddler-like-baby. i take joy in my role in this season. learning to be less so he can thrive and grow and learn. learning to run to Jesus and not have expectations on anyone else. picking up a practice of embracing small moments of enjoyment as a discipline. there is so much to learn and navigate as mom. it’s more than a full-time job. it’s life altering, a complete shattering of what once was. and it’s up to me to create the new life we all live together as i am utterly broken apart and put back together.