I have all but forced myself into multiple corners requiring patience lately . . . the most recent being taking on the task to potty train Samantha . . . and accepting nothing less than the fact that we were going to finish and do this on this turn! How easy would it have been to just let her stay in diapers until someday down the line she decided on her own that she would go on the potty?! Easy - yes. Economical and developmentally correct - no!
So I got to thinking about how many aspects of motherhood are like this. How if you are truly trying to raise your children and make a difference in their lives and end up with socially aware, kind, intelligent children, this motherhood thing is exhausting. It seems that in so many aspects the easier way (in the beginning) is the way that is going to turn out the child that you probably don't want to claim by the time they hit 5. Is it easier to just let them get their way, do what they want, not remind them about manners 86 times a day, not require thank you's and pleases, let them watch cartoons with no regard for learning - yes, resoundingly to all of those questions! But if you take the exhausting route in the beginning, it gets easier. Because that occassional kid you run in to on the street with manners doesn't have his or her mother reminding to say thank you or open a door . . . but you can bet that Mom probably did remind her child a million times before your encounter. So is it always easy - no . . .but do I already know that it is worth it - yes!
Unfortunately, since we live in the Southern Bible belt, the same can be said about morality and community. Are the basic moral principles of Christianity the same as those that I am teaching my children without using a Christian background or basis - yes. Does it make it that much harder because I don't have a place of support I can go to like a church where there is a community of people sharing in my belief and helping me teach my children - that would be a big hell yes! Every affordable Mother's Day Out program in our town is sponsored for and held at a church . . . and there are times it would be nice to have a little break just once or twice a week - but at what cost?! It is exhausting enough trying to explain secular reasoning for holidays that for most are predominately religiously affiliated . . . but to try and tackle on a weekly basis why something heard is correct but that the logic and story that went along with are not, in my opinion, the most accurate of descriptions . . . it's not worth the break :)
I don't know that I have ever really taken what I would term as the paths of least resistance in my life . . . for the most part . . . so really, why would motherhood be any different? With the upcoming arrival of our third child I am so focused on centered in everything that I can do to make a difference in my children's lives and the community we live in. I have always struggled with finding the career I wanted . . . and funny, while it's mostly pro bono work - I have found something that I am good at, that I love, and that I know makes a difference . . . raising my children. Never in a million years would I have ever thought that this would be my focus . . . could I have made this impact while working another mundane job full time - yes - because I did . . . but I didn't do it as well, and I was letting someone else do my mothering job for a good percentage of the time. It's taken reprioritizing in our life . . . but now that I am here with my kids full time . . . I can't even imagine it any other way . . . even though it's exhausting most days!
The end to this stream of unedited thoughts . . .
St Patrick’s Day
5 days ago