Wednesday, April 27, 2011


I once thought life would end after motherhood; I now understand this to be false.  My life has just begun.  To explain this, I am going to repost something I wrote for my family blog.  (Sorry to those of you who have already read this.)

This is it. The place I have struggled to find: I am content being a mother.  More importantly, I excitedly wake up each day knowing I get to spend the next 12 or so hours with my delightful children.

A friend recently asked (on her blog) if all mothers feel bored when they are home with their babies:  The repetition is monotonous; the hours stretch forever; the silence is filled with little baby sounds and a mother talking just to hear an adult voice.

I remember that.  Even though my time with Emily was sacred, it wasn't easy.  Once Andrew came, the days were filled with so much more activity--mostly of the intense variety as both kids would be screaming at once, or tag-screaming; but it was less lonely.

Unfortunately, the boredom came back.  Maybe boredom isn't the right word.  The "ticks" and voices came back.  The thoughts of "I must go do something or I'm going to go crazy," were incessant.  At the beginning of March, I noticed a significant change.   I suppose the days could still be called monotonous; but it wasn't a change in routine, it was a change within myself.

My most intense struggle with motherhood was feeling stifled, suppressed.  I felt my intellect shrinking; my brain turning to mush.  I decided that I could change something.  I took charge of educating myself beyond the classroom.

It started when I altered my reading interests from fiction-focused to educational-focused.  I am not opposed to fiction; but it was not satiating my intense craving for mental stimulation.  I went on a book fast for months because I felt dissatisfied with the obtuse and--too often--obscene dialogs and ridiculous plots.  I decided to try a book suggestion from one of my favorite podcasts, Stuff You Missed In History ClassThe Six Wives of Henry the VIII by Antonia Fraser.

This marvelous historical non-fiction book not only got my brain working again, but supplied my very busy mind with important topics to think about and discuss with Ben at a later time.  I started making connections between events that happened then with events that are happening now.  (It's rather sad when I realized the world's ignominious ideologies have remained stagnant--a topic for another time.) It fueled my newly acquired--or, more accurately, newly recognized--humanitarian based ideology.

After reading that book, I inhaled many of her other books: Marie Antoinette: The Journey; Love and Louis XIV: The Women in the Life of the Sun King.  Soon I moved to other authors--David Grann, A. N. Wilson, Alison Weir.  My synapses went crazy as new relationships between the past and the present were forged.  I went to bed exhausted by the mental debates I engaged in throughout the day.

Because Ben allowed me to think out loud, I formed new personal philosophies which helped provide the foundation for writing the guest post, entitled My Personal Road to Salvation, for a Kelly's blog.

At the same time, I no longer needed to spend hours on the computer away from my children.  I wanted to read, play, and color with them.  I started dancing and cleaning and wreaking havoc on the household with them rather than only observing.  It's been a remarkable shift going from dreading the day to looking forward to it.

Don't get me wrong, life isn't all roses and Playdough.  There are still days when I want to pull my hair out, but those days slowly drift into obsoleteness when I compare them to other joy-filled days. All in all, I am content.



Life is good.


  1. I was just about to send you a note and see how you were doing. Thought I'd drop by here and see what you were up to, even though my Reader said you hadn't posted yet. What timing! Our minds are on the same wavelength. =>

    So glad you've rediscovered the joy in mothering. It's a journey that never ends, at least for me, and I'm always reminding myself to count my blessings, especially at my bleakest moments. And Play-Doh? Man, I hate that stuff!

  2. Thank you, Stacia! It's nice to know I've been missed.

    You know what? I hate Play-Doh as well. I'm glad my kids are more bookish than into arts. (Wait...maybe that's because I don't do art with them.)

  3. Glad to see you're back!

    I watched The Other Boleyn Girl, last week, and it reminded me how much I loved that time period and how fascinating it was. I've been watching a lot of shows and movies lately, about Henry VIII.

  4. Always nice to read your lovely words, Amber!

    Hope you're having a great birthday with those wonderful kiddos of yours! :-)

  5. Just last night I was thinking it had been a while and wondered where you were. It's good to hear you coming from such a content place.

  6. Gorgeous picture Amber! Emily is getting sooo big! Such a beautiful little girl you have.

    I've been thinking about you lately - keep checking in my Google Reader if you'd posted anything new. So happy that you are doing well and are happy! :)

  7. So happy for you - and for this evolution. (And what's not to love about Play-Dough?)


  8. What a sweet post. I think I'm finally there as well . . . most of the time anyway. I think it's my nature to think of the glass half empty first so I'm trying to change my thinking towards the more positive then dwelling on the hard frustrating things that happen during a day of a stay at home mom. It's taken me a good year to get here cause really this is the first time (besides the almost year I stayed at home full time with Sophie) to actually be with my kids 24/7 day in day out. It's definetly not an easy task and I sometimes miss my working life I have finally learned the joy in daily mothering. I hope soon my temper and patience get in line better with my heart ;)

  9. I like Stacia wondered how you were doing and thought about dropping you a note. But was glad when you posted your piece on FB.

    I am so glad to read this Amber. It sounds like you are rediscovering things with fresh new eyes. That's just lovely.

  10. Hmmm. So I'm in the phase where I use the computer to escape phase. You're saying that I should find ways to use my brain more, which I totally agree with, but I'm not really into history. I'm not exactly sure what I specifically should do. But I really want what you have, that mental exhaustion, that enthusiasm with your kids. I don't remember the last time I felt fulfilled. Help.

  11. I am also going through a sort of transformation. I am trying to grow myself emotionally and take responsibility and action to happier. Rather than playing a victim of circumstance I am recognizing the power within myself to make these positive changes and I'm doing something about it. I'm noticing subtle changes in myself and, more importantly, in my relationship with my kids.

    I'm so glad that you are doing things for yourself that you recognize will lead to your happiness and, in turn, make you a better, happier person and parent. It's so, so important. And I'm glad to see you back!

  12. What an uplifting and wonderful post to read! I am so happy for you Amber, particularly because I so completely understand. Keep it going my friend!


  13. I think sometimes the only thing standing between us and contentment is ... well, us. If we let go of the Shoulds and Coulds, life as it is can be pretty wonderful.


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