Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Quest for Perfect

I have issues. Who doesn't? But I am struggling with how to keep my balance, my calm (this is not something that comes to me naturally) under pressure. The daily demands of raising three young sons, a husband who works a lot and travels often, a home that has never been described as organized (even on our best day), and the list goes on. Meanwhile, I have no idea what I want to be when I grow up but am desperately trying to find a way to define myself - for myself - as my identity seems to have been lost in the delivery room. I read self help books, I lurk on mommy blogs, I pray - sometimes beg - for patience and acceptance of things I cannot control...and life goes on. I try to be grateful for everything. The little things as well as the obvious. I try to remind myself that this is only a moment in time. It will not last forever and while some days seem eternal, I will be sad when they are gone. Just as I already miss so many things about having babies although the first year of life with triplets is something I doubt I have the strength of character to ever repeat! I am not inclined to discuss these things or even to write them down (I am a terrible journaler and even worse when I think of everyone being able to access my thoughts and feelings online - as if anyone reads this...). I am struggling. Whether or not peace and (internal) silence can ever be achieved I do not know. But growth - now I have lots of that going on. And that is good right? I think it is. I hope it is.

I just started what so far seems to be a fantastic book - The Mother Trip: Hip Mama's Guide to Staying Sane in the Chaos of Motherhood by Ariel Gore. Here's a brief excerpt from the Preface (titled Chaos Training):

Motherhood is not what we imagined. It is more delightful, more
heartbreaking. It ruins everything. It's not the calm after the storm we have been led to expect. It's almost more than a person can bear. Almost...

Our intuition isn't always accessible. We need each other's support and helpful words. What we don't need is junk-food advice that tells us to ignore our feelings, that undermines our confidence and insults our intelligence. It's just a recipe for depression. Because what is intuition? It's a capacity of the spirit. It's knowledge...But there is also a jumping off point from this circular equation, a point where we can recognize our exhaustion for what it is, give ourselves a break, and in that quiet hour begin to transform the energy our culture has taught to use to scrutinize and blame ourselves, and turn it outward, into something revolutionary.

We can juggle, run in circles, we can make ourselves manic, burned out, bummed. But here's the thing: Chaos comes anyway. It comes whether we want it to or not. It comes even if we pretend we don't see it coming. And here's the other thing: Chaos is good news. It's movement. It's change. It's revolution. It's scary. But like intuition, I think we can trust it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You do lose yourself (not in a bad way though). It's just who you are supposed to be for the "right now". And I really don't think you lose yourself, "you" just get put on the back burner. But things do get "saner" . Just don't beat yourself up to much and enjoy what you can. It goes by way too fast! Miss ya, and love the pics of the boys!! Sheila