Five Minute Friday: Identity
May 11, 2012
On Fridays over here a group of people who love to throw caution to the wind and just write gather to share what five minutes buys them. Just five minutes. Unscripted. Unedited. Real.
Your words. This shared feast.
If you have five minutes, we have a writing challenge <—click to tweet this!
1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. Please visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments.
[I wrote an entire post on this topic. WordPress decided to have some quirks in their system and lost my post. I am quite disappointed. I will attempt to write it again, but you can never quite write the same thing. Here’s my second attempt:]
I always wanted to be a mommy. I played with dolls until I was 11. Yes, I was a “girlie-girl.” In spite of the stigma that seems to be with that term, being a “girlie-girl” doesn’t equal weakness. But that’s another subject…
I used to keep a diary that had my favorite names that I hoped to name my children. I wanted kids — a lot of them! I dreamed about being a mommy. My dreams were full of a smiling mom with happy and obedient children. There were giggling babies with chubby cheeks. I couldn’t imagine anything better than being a mommy. My dreams were of perfection — the perfect mommy and the perfect kids.
Life happened. I married and then 1 1/2 years into my marriage had a miscarriage. I was devastated! Miscarriages are never in our dreams. Neither is infertility or still-births. Neither is cancer or other diseases. Neither are job losses. For some women, neither is singleness. What happens when life happens, and our dreams don’t?
A little later, I conceived again. Nine months later, a healthy baby boy was born. My dream was happening, right?! Yes, except in my dreams, I didn’t have a rough post-partem recovery due to a severe tear and then developing Thrush. Eight weeks later, my dream seemed to be happening. The months passed.
Into my baby’s eighth month, changes and surprises came. My husband switched jobs, we moved to a different state, and I found out I was pregnant again. I had two babies 16 months apart, and life was busy!
The delivery of my second child was challenging. My babies come with large heads. More brains, right?! Except, large heads make for painful deliveries, and pain is never in our dreams — only nightmares. I remember saying that I didn’t want to think of having another baby after that.
With two babies demanding my attention, I found myself exhausted, struggling to change out of my pajamas before the afternoon was gone, and definitely not the mom in my dreams. Who was I, without the perfect Mommy dream? I thought I was a failure. I didn’t know it at the time, but I had a thyroid disorder which contributed to my extreme fatigue and feelings of inadequacy. What kind of a mom am I, if I don’t match my dream image of motherhood? I struggled with that a lot, for years really. I wanted my dreams of perfection to be reality. Reality was very different. Reality has its joys, but it also has its struggles.
Six years later, I now have four children plus one in Heaven! Seems like a dream, doesn’t it?!! It is in many ways. I have four, healthy children. We do laugh and play a lot. I also have a baby with chubby cheeks that I love to kiss a lot. Yet, I have experienced that life is full of challenges. Children aren’t perfect. Moms aren’t perfect. We have lots of messy days. If my identity as a mom is all about perfection, then who am I? I am a failure. If my identity as a mom relies on how my children perform, and they have to perform perfectly, then my kids are failures.
Seven years and a few months into my parenting, I am learning that my identity as a mom is not based on a perfect performance. Nor, does God require that of me. Rather, it is based on God’s grace. God allowed me to experience brokenness so that I might see His grace. I thought that I was relying on Him to be a godly mother, but I didn’t fully understand what that meant. We can’t fully know it until we know what it means to be broken.
Brokenness is not in our dreams, but it is through brokenness that real joy occurs.
It is through brokenness that God’s grace is revealed.
I experience His grace as I allow God into the vulnerability of my weakness.
God’s grace has been poured out upon this life! As I open the “cracked and parched lips” of my heart to His grace, my thirst for identity is quenched. My Mommy identity is found in grace rather than perfection.
I am a Mommy through grace! I am a Mommy of grace!