MOTHER CAUGHT IN A STORM
Sometimes life seems a lot like a wind storm. And the odd time, “hurricane” would be a more apt description. I find that, being a mom, I am usually awoken by
someone who needs something from me straight away. Now and then, it’s a simple request that can be put off by a moderate amount of bribery or instruction. Other days, someone has stolen something or said something mean and I’m forced to roll out of bed and address the situation.
The awesome days are when there is more than one request at once. Or I’ve forgotten that I was supposed to be somewhere. If I was single, this would be a little stressful and easily resolved. Nowadays, though, there are many things to check of the list before I can actually make my way to said forgotten appointment.
THE ROLE OF MOTHERHOOD IS MULTIFACETED
We are counsellors, nurses (sometimes doctors), teachers, mediators, managers, hair dressers, cleaners, purchasers, negotiators, recoverers, chefs, style coordinators, and general managers, all balled into one. We are usually the Chief Administrative Officers of our homes, and often also our own administrative assistant, office manager, etc, etc.
Those are the “wind storm” days.
Now and then, something catastrophic happens. A serious injury, a fight with a friend, the loss of someone close—any one of those life traumas can hit us like a tropical storm or a tornado in Kansas. I find that, often, what we do is just keep moving forward. We have to! It’s not like the children are going to suddenly start cooking for themselves or taking care of their own band-aide applications.
We keep planning and sorting and driving and counselling, just trying to survive and manage until the storm blows over.
But sometimes, I think this is actually doing us more harm than good. Sure, we still need to take care of the children (and usually our husbands as well), but ignoring the difficulties that life brings along sometimes can make things a lot harder than they need to be.
I’m not advocating dropping everything, turning inward, and wallowing in self-pity. Obviously. I’m talking about taking a breath, a moment to stop and take a look at what’s hitting us in our blind side.
FACING THE WIND
The other day I was driving to my brother’s house and came into a strong wind. I was driving on a relatively flat landscape and the wind was gusting at ferocious speeds across the fields and, unfortunately, the highway on which I was attempting to drive in a straight line.
As I drove, gripping the steering-wheel with both hands to avoid getting tossed into oncoming traffic (or the nearby cornfield), I noticed two birds in the sky ahead of me. I felt like, for a moment, everything stilled around me. I could still feel the wind taking potshots at the side of my car and hear it howling in the grass and husks. But my thoughts grew quiet. (That’s rare, trust me.)
I looked at these birds and I actually got choked up. As the humans were all either running around tying down their lawn furniture or, in my case, trying to keep moving forward, gripping the steering-wheel for dear life, they were soaring. They weren’t trying to get away from the wind. They weren’t trying to go on business as usual, trying to ignore it. They were facing the wind. They simply turned into it, head on, and spread their wings. As I watched them, they actually seemed happy. They weren’t thinking about anything, except for maybe, What a lucky day; what a great opportunity for me to open up my wings and let this wind carry me higher.
So often in my life, I avoid conflict or confrontation. I don’t like dealing with it, and I’d just as soon ignore it until it goes away. But I’m not resolving anything by doing so. And I’m actually missing a lot of opportunities to spread my own wings and allow the challenges in life to lift me higher. Sure, it means I might have to take a break from my every-day. But I am convinced it will be worth it.
The fifteen minutes, or the hour, or even the evening spent facing a problem head-on means I will have to stop everything else. I’ll have to maybe look someone in the eye who has deeply wounded me, or whom I have deeply wounded myself. I’ll have to go through those photographs of the friend who passed away so that I can say goodbye. I’ll need to take the drive to that place that only reminds me of bitter memories, stare it down, and then walk away, shaking the dust off my feet.
Will you join me? Will you take time today—this week—when you hear that wind start to pick up, to stop and face it, whatever it is?
I think it’s time for us multi-talented mommas to find out what it feels like when the very things we are avoiding actually rush in, scoop us up, and carry us to places we never thought possible.