What Keeps Me Going

Fridays on this space are dedicated to sharing what keeps me going... A moment, a photo, an event or a memory that stands out against whatever might have gone wrong or felt dark in the last seven days.

This week is a tough one for me. This morning I was thinking about what I would write, and while I know there were many beautiful moments, I felt somewhat downtrodden and unable to pinpoint something specific. Then, it happened. I packed Addie up for storytime and drove to our local library. In the parking lot, when I unbuckled her from the car seat, out of nowhere she looked right into my eyes, smiled and said, "I love you, Mommy!" I almost broke down in tears, hugged her so tight and replied, "Oh, I love YOU!" Then she said so sweetly and quietly in my ear, "I love you, too." Mercy. That girl.

For some reason, this week I have been in a bit of a funk. I have questioned my ability to be a good wife and mom. I have wondered if writing is really a good fit for me and if I'll ever see it evolve into anything deeper in the future. I have felt guilty that I'm not contributing to our family financially. I have simply felt like I'm in a sort of limbo, floating around without much direction.

I'm sure hormones are partially to blame. And while I'm pointing fingers I might as well take it out on my sister who is leaving the country in 6 days, thus wreaking havoc on my emotional stamina. But I think the real issue deep down is that for so very long, I always held my career as such an important part of my life. I planned my next steps and held tight to goals that I was able to achieve at a much younger age than I ever thought possible. Then I let it all go. I let it go to give my girl all that I could and to reach for dreams that most of the time seem too high in the sky to touch.

Some days I tell myself that this staying home is only temporary, and that eventually I'll find my way back to my career. I'll have validation from people who aren't related to me and feel like I'm contributing again... both to our bank account and to the community. Then Addie does what she does. She sings the cutest song in the universe or she laughs at herself, then says, "Oh, funny." She pulls me down and hugs me from her seat in the shopping cart at the grocery store or she points to my growing tummy and with a bellowing voice shouts, "Big belly!"

She pulls me out of that selfish place to remind me that no matter what the future holds, what's really important is right now. Not missing a minute of her quirks and her growth. Just being with her day in and day out. Making sure she knows she is loved. Even if it means we have to cut our spending way back and even if I sometimes feel like compared to friends and moms who work, I am super boring and uninteresting... It really is all worth it.

The importance of right now is a lesson I am taught by my two-year-old again and again. Every moment she opens my eyes to this truth is a moment I hold as humbling, sacred and precious. They continue to keep me in awe of her and how much she has already and will continue to teach me. So often I worry if I'm doing a good job of raising her... Most days I know I'm doing the best I can. But on the days I question myself, I can rest in the comfort of knowing that in many ways she is also raising me.

Once again, thank you my girl for your brutal honesty, your loving manner and your sweet sweet words. Thank you for showing me as always, that even in a week laced with the scent of poo, both literally and figuratively, our life is blessed and oh so good. You make me a better person and I love being your mom.  

I would love it if you joined me in sharing what keeps you going! Leave a comment to let me know you're participating and each week, I will include a list of everyone who is playing along.

**Special thanks to Jamie, my sister Kate (who can be found here and here), and my dad for sharing your moments last week. Kisses and hugs...


Jenn said...

*sniff sniff* What a beautiful post :)

Katie said...

I agree beautiful post!

I have to tell you I feel very similarly right now. Am I a good wife and mother, am I spending enough time with my children, am I here right now for them? Oh the Mom guilt...

I just hope they not only know how much they are loved but feel how much I truly love them.

Taylor and Jake keep me going!!

Dennis said...

Tough week, eh? I can relate. Leaving the cabin a day early to go back home and work on one of my 5 Sundays off to prepare for a funeral was not in the plans. Moving Nathan and Emily out of their apartment and into a storage unit and shipping their "barrel" to Dominica made for a full day on Tuesday. The rest of the week went as fast and crazy as grease through a goose. Teri had a 3 day conference in downtown Indy Thursday, Friday, and today and hasn't gotten home until 8+ PM. So it's been a week of personal and professional challenge. What kept me going? As is usually the case, the grace of God.

Nicola (Which Name?) said...

If it helps to know you aren't alone, even if the specifics aren't the same, I was nodding my way through so much of your post. Yes, me too.

sara said...

Thank you for all the words of encouragment! I think most moms feel that feeling more often than we'd like. :) It's good to know we aren't alone and can lean on one another.

Dad, you win the prize for sure!!! One of these days you will get an actual vacation, I'm sure of it. You might have to leave the country and be out of cell/email range, but it will happen. Miss you!