Momming is treading water. Not momming is LIKE treading water, momming IS treading water. At summer camp as a kid, I participated in several swim training courses. One of which, in a sort of survival training, we were required to jump into the pool fully clothed and tread water for a period of time. Of course, in such a situation you kick off your shoes right away. You don’t want to lose your shoes but the goal is survival. Momming is like that. You jump in, fully clothed, and have to shed some things that make it difficult to stay afloat. I’ve felt a lot of disappointment as I have had to let go of pieces of myself to stay afloat. I’ve struggled with guilt as I’m not the friend, daughter, sister, employee, or community member I once was. I am proud to finally fall into the #momlife society but it has come with some hefty sacrifices.
As I recall, however, the longer you practice treading water, the stronger you become. I have noticed that I am getting stronger. I am more organized, I cook more (can I get a “hallelujah!”), I don’t get overwhelmed as quickly, and I don’t let the little things bother me. Well, okay…sometimes I still do but not as much! (Quiet, Jared)
This morning when I sat down I surveyed my living room. Paper airplanes, shoes, baby doll clothes, tiny socks, and foam bullets were scattered all about and I thought, “This is it.” This is what my life is about, this is what I was made for. And it is exciting, terrifying, motivating, and peaceful all at once. And then, God reminded me of a time, two years ago when I thought those same three words in utter despair, “This is it?”. Am I just meant to go through, day by day, raising other people’s kids for a short time and then suffering in the emptiness between placements? Is this really what I was made to do? In that time, I surrendered to it. If this is what you want, God…so be it. Here I am Lord, use me. That act of surrender changed my heart. It is easy to get caught in the pity trap when you suffer from infertility, surrender is the only way out. It also gave me a purpose. Surrender shifted my focus outside myself to others and gave me a burning desire to be used somehow for the glory of God, whatever that might mean. Even if it meant never having a family of my own.
Most of you know that we finalized our adoption on October 6th of last year. Our journey is just beginning. “This is it” is not a phrase of finality but one of hope and a promise that great things are planned for our family.
This picture is on the desktop of my computer at work with a line from one of our family’s new favorite song:
I am counting every blessing.
Surely every season you are good to me.
He is so good.
The Black Family