I’ve been spending a lot of time lately preparing for the start of our MOPS year. (MOPS stands for Mothers of Preschoolers, which is a great ministry for moms. If you want to know more check out MOPS.org) Anyway, I’ve putting serious time in each week getting ready for the start of the year, creating marketing materials, coming up with creative ways to help moms grow and connect to each other, and reviewing the ministry materials offered by MOPS International.
The theme this year is A Beautiful Mess, Embrace Your Story. I love the Beautiful Mess logo and I find myself wanting to put it on everything. But I’ll admit that until I started watching the ministry DVD on the topic of comparison, I didn’t really think much about the Embrace Your Story part. I’m not sure that I’ve ever fully been willing to embrace my story. I do struggle with the comparison trap, but I recently realized that it isn’t that I want what other people have, it’s that I want the chance to pursue my own desires.
I’m quickly beginning to realize that I just may not be as unselfish as I need to be to do this mom thing. I was sure going in, and even part way through the early life of my daughter that I could do this. It was hard and a sacrifice, sure, but being a mom was what I was called to do. Then my daughter’s strong willed personality made its appearance. I went through a miscarriage followed by another pregnancy and delivery that didn’t exactly go according to my plans. My son, while sweet and laid back has not been the easiest baby, from weight loss to nursing strikes to food allergies, I feel sucked dry.
So many women around me seem to be moving on with their lives, in addition to motherhood. They are pursuing careers, upgrading their homes, and generally building lives and identities for themselves that don’t revolve around laundry, dishes and diapers.
I understand that comparison isn’t healthy and I don’t think I’m trying to be them. I just want a chance to be me. I have desires, goals and passions that apparently are not satisfied just by keeping my kids fed and diapered. But my current life circumstances mean that isn’t likely to change for me any time soon. I don’t want the lives I see these women leading (not that I wouldn’t mind a bigger house sometimes), I want the chance to advance my own story. I can’t change what came before now. I studied a subject I loved in college but not one that led to a high paying career. I only ever considered my stay in the workforce temporary, just until I had a family. When I had my daughter I left the best job I had ever had prior to that, and didn’t realize until years later how much fulfillment it actually brought me.
How can I embrace my story when I don’t know most days if it’s the story I want?