Thursday, August 15, 2013

Identity Struggle

So here comes the hard truth again...lately I'm struggling. Being a mother is so difficult sometimes.

I love both of my children with all of my heart. I also know how blessed I am to have two healthy & happy children. I could not be more thankful for them. 

Despite this, I'm really struggling with my identity lately. I don't know myself as anything other than a mom. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being a mom...that's not what I'm saying. I am so glad that I am a mom & honestly it's the toughest job I've ever had. 

But I feel like I need to know myself as more than just a mom. I need to know myself as an individual, as a wife.  Right now there is hardly a moment that I get to myself. I'm talking - not a shower, not a restroom break, not even sleep. Nope. Nothing. Why?  Well, I have a toddler who gave up napping soon after her baby brother arrived (& who is currently going through a clingy stage, I might add). & I have a baby boy who doesn't sleep well & thinks he should be attached to Momma all night long (not to mention during the day also).  

Paul & I chose attachment parenting from the beginning. We knew we wanted our children close to us always. We never even questioned it with Nolin. We just expected that we would spend our time together as a family when we weren't working. 

Now with Harris, I am so blessed to be able to stay home. I love being here for my kids every day & I love getting to nurse Harris & not having to pump. But some days I really struggle with not being able to have a moment to myself, not to mention a moment with my husband. 

If I'm being really honest, it's really hard to be able to spend quality time with Paul when I don't get to have any "me time". That may sound selfish, but you only have so much to give & right now I give it all to my babies. 

I just need a chance to feel like a person.  I have tried to go out for a short time with friends, but almost always have to rush home. & even when I'm out, I feel so naked without Nolin or Harris. I just don't know what it's like to be me anymore. 

When it comes to time with Paul, it's honestly been more than two years since we have had a date night.  This is something we chose. We never wanted to leave our babies with anyone else, which is why I could go out if Paul was home & visa versa. But we have both come to the realization that we have got to find some time for each other. We want to be able to date again!  We now see the importance of taking time for each other. I guess it was a little easier with one child who would go to bed & allow us time together. But trying to get two children to sleep at the same time - ha, nearly impossible!

Again, I am so thankful to be home with my babies, but I guess I didn't realize how much working helped me before. While it may not be the most fun way to spend time & it wasn't my favorite reason to be away from my baby girl, it allowed me to continue to be Brandi. Even a car ride to work gave me a chance to just be me. 

As I write this, I'm sitting & rocking my baby boy to sleep. It's the third time we have had to go in tonight. He has been doing a bit better, but tonight has been tough. I feel so guilty for getting frustrated. Harris is an innocent little boy & Nolin is an innocent little girl. They just need their Momma's love. But sometimes Momma gets frustrated because she's tired or just needs a little quiet time. I want so much to be that selfless mother who always has patience & never gets frustrated. But I don't know how it's humanly possible. 

I guess what I do now is love my babies, work my hardest to be patient, & give everything I have to them. They are only little once. One day I'll have a moment to myself & I know I'll wish I could rock one of them to sleep... One day I will have more "me" time then I'll know what to do with...

I found this parent's prayer & I really love what it's says...
"They’re only little once. 
Grant me the wisdom to guide them down the path that their feet should take. 
For I know that they can never turn back and walk those paths with me again. 
Give me the wisdom to guide their feet so that someday they’ll be able to walk alone. 
They’re only little once. 
Give me the time I need to enjoy them. 
For I know that after they’re grown, I’ll never have another chance to tell stories and pretend at those tea parties. 
I’ll never have another chance to watch them in a school play or church sing, or to see them catch that first fish or hit that first home run ball. 
Give me the time in life’s busy schedule to have fun with my children. 
They’re only little once. 
Let me be a loving parent. 
Let me correct and not punish, explain and not merely scold. 
Let me know when to correct, and how often, and when it’s best to just look the other way. 
Help me be patient and give me a gentle hand to mold them into better people. 
They’re only little once. 
Let me be a good teacher and an even better example. 
Give me the right words and deeds to teach them. 
Grant me the key to unlock their spirits and set them truly free. 
For they’re only little one time, only innocent and trusting and pliable for a space of time, one minute in an eternity. 
Let me do my best for them while I have the chance."
Author Unknown

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