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 Class: The 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.