on motherhood and writing and three littles.

I’ve been toying with the idea of writing a ‘mama’ post for some time now, but words are sparse. Admittedly, I’m going through a dry spell in the writing department. Need to read more books, sleep longer, and do a whole lot LESS of the simple things I like in order to make writing a priority. Thing is, I’m pretty happy with our life. I like the endeavors we’re pursuing, and I feel like I am part of a very important defining season for our family. This post on nonexistent words and this post on motherhood and working took the words right out of my mouth… or perhaps gave me the very words I needed to share a bit of my current story.

This mothering gig is my favorite of all endeavors, because I adore the little {and one very large} persons they include, but it has also been a catalyst for deep identity searching and asking important questions of what to pursue and what not to pursue. There are many women on the internet making a living for their families. I spent a long year being a bit jealous of them. For the money, the fame, the fact that they were doing ‘it all.’ I grew frustrated because when I started this blog over eight years ago, it was just an outlet for writing. That’s all. Do you remember when that was the extent of blogging? For months I wondered what I could offer, how I might network and add sponsorships and what I could sell to bring some income to our family. And it all fell sort of flat. I don’t have jewelry to sell, and I don’t have the current stamina I need to write an e-book, and holy smokes why am I not one of these women!?!?

So I’m done.

My blog will remain what it always has been. Except with maybe some farther in-between posts.

I write best that way anyway.

The truth is, if God allowed my blog to become super successful, my family would suffer. They just would. I don’t think that’s the case of all the successful mama bloggers out there – I just think I know myself and my heart and my struggles, and I know that the wee little ones and the one large one who’ve all claimed my heart would fade into the background. As my husband {who was an English major and loves books maybe more than I do} says often, “Great writers often have terrible biographies.” And I want to live a great story.

I’m not done writing. I’m not quitting my blog.

I’m just giving myself a break for not being the blog I thought I wanted to have once I “quit working full time.”

HA!

It’s a tricky balance, this motherhood journey. I know myself well enough to know that I need ‘other things’ in my life besides the mama/wife role. I know now that exercise is crucial to my mental health, as well as my physical health. I know that it is good for me to employ my entrepreneurial spirit and pursue photography and birth coaching/educating. I know that I have a choice everyday to let my phone/social media be my master, or to allow God to govern my day. I am usually kinder, more patient and eager to serve when I choose the latter – but I’m afraid I don’t always make that choice. I know I need face to face interaction with adults (in addition to my husband) at least 5 days a week. I know I need to be serving alongside my husband as he pastors teens. I know that JD and I need a date night, if even to just make dinner together over a glass of wine in the kitchen. I need a clean-ish house in order for my blood pressure to remain at a healthy level, and finally, I know I need to get on the ground and play with all my kiddos at least once every day.

It only took four and a half years and three children to assemble that list together.

There were a few minutes the other night, just before my eyes closed for good (or, I mean, until the infant woke up thirty minutes later) when I allowed myself a few tears, because it goes so, so fast.

And every day is the same and different. I no longer have just a baby. I no longer even have just a toddler. I have a preschooler, a toddler, and a baby. I am simultaneously packing snacks, potty training, and nursing an infant.{Insert “my husband does all of these things except nursing, as well”}. And most of the time? I don’t have time to think about it.

Do you know what I think about most, throughout the day?

God help me serve my family. Help me to get over my selfishness {because I am SO, SO selfish}. Help me pursue the things you want me to pursue. Help me to get all three in the car. Help me not lose my patience. Forgive me for yelling. Help me understand her needs, and hers, and hers. Please help me put my phone down. Please let her sleep. Please help us ___________________ and _____________________ and _______________________….

And then this…

Thank you.

Because most of the time I don’t have it together. And when I do, it’s for just a short small, small moment. Maybe just long enough for me to do a quick victory dance and watch it all blow up minutes later (probably because my victory dance was interrupted by another potty accident or small child squabble or the non-sleeper).

The real triumph of the day happens when I turn my face to Jesus and claim the cross’s victory over my sin. When I know my salvation is in his love and not in my accomplishments or ability to conquer motherhood and selflessness. Because you and I? We’re loved. We’re loved real well by  a God who never expected us to get it on our own. And if I don’t whisper that to myself every single day, I will crumble under the weight of my own insufficiency.

For that?

I’m real grateful.

I could make this post prettier, maybe flow a little better perhaps, but if I do that, two of three children will continue to be neglected and I’ll just get afraid to publish it anyway. So here goes… a post about the same story I learn over and over and over again…

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6 thoughts on “on motherhood and writing and three littles.

  1. Katie Mitchell says:

    Gosh, Annie this is so good & so genuine. Though I’m not a wife nor mother I am learning much the same Every. Single. Day. Praying for you & your beautiful family 🙂

  2. Meredith says:

    I miss you so so much. Thanks for this, I feel like we could have had this as a conversation over coffee. I need to think about what you think about most during the day. Hope the return to writing as an outlet is refreshing, freeing, and invigorating! XOXO

  3. I can relate in so many ways—I had to put any ambitions aside as I couldn’t cope with much outside 5 kids and a busy husband.
    One day I would think maybe I should work, the next day I wanted to hire someone to work for me!

  4. joydravecky says:

    Perfect. Really perfect. I’ve been grappling with many of the same thoughts, fears, desires, sel(fish/less)-ness. I just paid my sales taxes to CA and calculated that I spent about $300 dollars more in supplies over the year than I made in all of my sales. I bought a lot, sold a lot…but wasn’t the goal to make a profit?
    I’m so encouraged by this post. I’ve decided that 2013 will be the year that I can hopefully make a profit- or I’ll quit. Thank you for reminding me that quitting is not the same as failing. Sometimes, it’s just the better,wiser choice.
    Love you. And I WILL mail you those DVDs on Tuesday!!!

  5. Barbie says:

    So good. I think it’s the same story we all have to learn over and over again. You think we would require fewer reminders. 😉 You seem to be doing a great job.

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