Metamorphosis

“The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is absolutely something new.” – Rajneesh

Metamorphosis. A transformation, as by magic or sorcery. A marked change in appearance, character, condition, or function. YES! Exactly. Pre-baby, “plans” were different. January 31st, 2009, “plans” changed and I was then planning to run, full-tilt, into mommyhood and I planned to embrace every second. As any person who knew me pre-Noah, metamorphosis is the absolute best way to describe the transformation. I have! I really, really have.

Exactly a week from today, my baby boy is turning FOUR. I am sitting at Chocolatea this evening having my weekly “tea time” and simply reflecting on the past four years. On January 31st, 2009, Noah came into the world and when he was placed in my arms, at that very moment, I made a choice. I decided that I would be the primary influence in his life from this day forward. I had so many other options, but being home with Noah has been single-handedly the best choice I have ever made. I don’t wear new and expensive clothes and I try to live a frugal lifestyle because material things are not important to me and I thank God everyday that I was raised that way. There have been sacrifices made the past four years and I would make each of them all over again. The sacrifice pales in comparison to the value being home with our Noah has brought him and us.

I remember the anxiety I used to get leading up to Noah’s birth simply entertaining the unknown. I never pictured my self first birthing our son, taking my maternity leave and then rushing off like a gazelle to my 8-5. In my mind, that was never going to happen. That would have been more similar to a turtle, heavy from the profound weight on my heart for doing exactly the opposite my calling. Granted, I would have done whatever necessary to make sure our family had what we needed; as long as it meant I could be home with our son. And I did. Children are only young once and then it is GONE! They will be grown. I have the rest of my life to work and 8-5’s are always sure to be there. Now, please know that I have significant respect for my friends and family that have chosen to work full-time after having children. The world needs all of us and those women, too, are strong and amazing at their own jobs and talents. I am good at what I do everyday and I enjoy it to tears every single day. I truly cherish and will always remember every moment I have with Noah – as every parent does with their child. Some prefer not to have “motherhood” be their identity. For me, it is spelled all over me and particularly – my heart. I am okay with answering the question, “What do you do?” with “I’m a mom.” Followed by a smile.

As the author of this particular story, Amy Mercer, described of the day she quit her job, “Within moments it was over. The anxiety gone. Walking out of the building I felt like a butterfly emerging from a cocoon. The sun was warm on my face and I pushed a strand of hair out of my eyes. I smiled down at my boy and said, “We’re free!” For some, it is simply not an option and perhaps it is because all women are so much different. It is where we are meant to be. As with any day-to-day job, there are good and bad days. For me, I even embrace the bad. My son is sick? Well, I am thankful that I can be the one to care for him. Truly, it is freedom at its finest. I don’t need to ask anybody if I can leave to take my child to the doctor, I can sew/craft/cook/SIT in my underwear (while Noah is resting/napping, of course), I can take a nap while Noah naps, we can go where we want when we want and I am the one to decide when that happens during the day for Noah; I am my own boss and I have never felt more freedom, joy and gratitude than I have the past four years as a result of that! Freedom to some, I know, is walking out the door every morning and having a professional career; having adult interaction. As I said, we all are different.

I’m good. We are great. A week from today, my baby will be 4 years old. I look forward to metamorphosing (again) after I am done raising my child. We will have to see and, to me, it is worth the wait….

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Taking the Tarts When They’re Passed – Chapter One

I am going to start the new year off right – reading stories shared by moms with wisdom. Last evening at Barnes & Noble, I picked up ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul – Stay-at-Home Moms’. I plan to read a few chapters a week and reflect on them. We will see how it goes.

This chapter starts out with a quote from one of my very favorite men from our history – Abraham Lincoln. “In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” This chapter mainly discussed the all-too-often lives that women lead today – too busy, too committed and to too many things. It is so easy to try to juggle too many balls, in fact, I have done it myself. Sometimes, something has to give. My “focus”, my “purpose” and my “job” is to be a mother. My life, right now, is focused merely on raising a child who is capable of thinking independently by providing him with endless experiences in a supportive environment. This woman talked about a little piece of advice she was given from her grandmother, “take the tarts when they’re passed, dear.” Another words, accept opportunity and embrace change.

noah love

I am going to reflect on this for a moment because something occurred to me while I was reading. I never embrace change. I am a PLANNER. Many of you who know me, know that I really prefer to expect and plan precisely what is going to happen when and I am so very far from being, even remotely, a somewhat “spontaneous” person. I like to have everything written down, in order, and having my thoughts completely organized prior to the day beginning. This is required for me to function. Strength or weakness? Well, I am not sure. In some cases, I like having this personality characteristic; however, change happens. Change is often good and too often fear of the unknown prevents me from moving forward with a risk. This chapter ended with a respectable and humbling thought, “I trust in the undeniable truth that each and every experience, good or bad, will bring with it wisdom and learning.”

The same, really, goes for accepting opportunity as well. Accepting opportunity almost always is accompanied by changes. Lets just put it this way, prior to now, I (very carefully) accepted opportunities after first considering, planning and weighing out the pros and cons of the changes. Well, I want to change that. Today. I want to take risks.

This is how I plan to ring in my new year; taking risks through accepting opportunity and embracing change. This year, I am not making a laundry list of “resolutions”. I am going to focus on one word and I am still in search of that word. Some qualifiers, among many, have been STRENGTH, FOCUS, GIVE, CHERISH, and SERVE. I am going to pick a single word to focus on for the entire year and I plan to apply it to all that I do. I will update with my “focus word” when I figure it out.

Until next time…HAPPY NEW YEAR!