Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Trade Dreading for Dreaming

I'm not having a full-blown freak-out like the one I had when school started, but I'm anxious when big change looms. In just days, I'll take my kids to get ice cream, celebrating the beginning of summer. And henceforth I will have them all day again, except the two mornings I work. 

This is exciting in so many ways. When I drive past the library, I imagine us going in and getting books for the summer reading program. I think of swimming lessons and road trips. I imagine eating on the patio and yard work. I think it will be glorious. 

Except when it's not. The reality is, my introverted self cowers a bit at having these energetic almost eight-year-olds around me from morning til night. I imagine myself irritable and claustrophobic, counting the minutes until Daddy arrives. This is real and this is life and people have limits, but I am going to allow myself to dream big about this summer. Not because I think it will be easy breezy, but because I believe I can do hard things and I can do new things and I can do things I've always done, but do them better. 

This sounds like a recipe for disappointment to a recovering perfectionist. The higher I make my standard, the more frustrated I get, but here's the reason I'm not checking myself: this dream was born of a different breed all-together. It was not the "I must do this better, or else..." It was the, "I'd love to do this better because..." Maybe that's what they call inspiration. 

It came to me when I was sitting on my yoga mat. The sun was pouring in through the glass wall and I dreamed of being a mother with a depth and breadth of soul that had heaps and heaps of love to give. Of having a spirit as comforting as a mother's soft bosom. I could see myself, steady and dependable - instead of the, "you never know what you're getting" mom. The one I've seen my kids tippy-toe around. This would usually cause me some special mommy guilt, which would bring on the "I must do this better or else." Instead, I felt hope. "I could do this better!" (FYI - for those of you who had Mommy or parent or friend guilt triggered by what I just described, remember this: It's alright as long as you don't make them the bad guy. If you take responsibility for your it, any struggle you war against will teach them to deal with people who struggle similarly and this is an invaluable skill.) 

I don't expect all my fragile moments to vanish, but I'd like to run myself out of gas less often.   I'd like my kids to come to me with confidence that they'll be well-received. When they were small and losing it over something they needed assistance with, I'd tell them, "You don't have to cry. Mommy will help." (And yes, I swore I'd never refer to myself in the third person and then I did. It's baffling, I know, but I don't do it any more. Almost ever!)

Anyway, I saw the aura of a new place I'd like my mothering to find and I'm praying for wisdom, strength and hope. Hope that I still can, when we're at the library and my eyes are bulging because they're both asking questions at the same time at a make-your-head-spin rate. Strength to push myself when they need me, but it would be easier tap out. And wisdom to commit more to my family than to anyone or anything else, no matter how "good" it may be. 

I'm a dreading person. That's been my go-to strategy for meeting change. I expect things to be hard, I expect myself to fall apart and wait on pins and needles until it happens. "It's going to be awful," is something I actually say in my head. So I'm going to try this dreaming on. Will I be dashed? I don't know. So far, daydreaming of summer is way more fun than dreading it. So even if it changes NOTHING about our summer, at least I'm not dreading. 


  1. Looooove this post and can totally relate. I am the mom of an active little boy and I daydream about our wonderful expected time together. Then it arrives and I usually end up a basket case by mid-afternoon. It's so DIFFICULT to be so AVAILABLE when one's an introvert. Still, your post gives me hope and reassurance that I'm not the only Mom struggling with this. Thanks--looking forward to exploring your site further!

    1. So glad you're here! Posts like this are under the heading Thoughts and if you peak around elsewhere, you'll find quite a smattering of things I enjoy. You're a wonderful mamma, even on your most quiet days. :)