Thursday, January 17, 2013

Doing and Being

A while back, Hayley, over at The Tiny Twig, wrote about different aspects of motherhood, and it got me thinking. She was describing her mom-self, saying she’s good at the being part of motherhood...not always great at the doing. I totally get what she’s saying, but reading her description struck a chord with me, and illuminated something I’ve been feeling for a while, but didn’t really know how to say.

You see. I’m in the opposite camp. I’m a do-er. Not that I’m perfect…FAR from it. But I have just always been a type-A, striver, achiever, do-er. So the tasks of motherhood come easily to me (even if they do exhaust me). Picking out outfits, cleaning up toys, organizing closets, researching products, packing the weekend bag…I’m all over that. But just BEING? Hanging out, patiently cuddling, mindlessly babbling- just BEING? That’s hard for me. I struggle without boxes to check off, or results to measure.

How can I be, when there is so much to do
I’m sure I’m not alone, but at the same time, it’s not something that moms always feel comfortable saying.

Sure, there’s tons of pressure- especially in the pinterest era- to do. Do more. Do better. Do-it-yourself. But as a mom I also feel a huge amount of pressure to be. Be present. Be cheerful. Be content. Keeping up with the constant doing can run you ragged, but feeling like you’re not measuring up to what you’re supposed to be...that can really take a toll.

In the spirit of #showyourreal, here’s the truth. My truth(s):
I don’t want to be a stay at home mom. I don’t love the daycare drop-off, but I sure do like working. I like being around adults for a big chunk of my day. I like learning and accomplishing new things. I like eating lunch and using the bathroom (pretty much) whenever I want...and by myself if I choose. I like being creative, and seeing my contributions come to life out in the “real world”. I would never say I like my job more than I love Piper. But I do like to work. I have the utmost respect for moms who stay home (it is HARD), but I hope I don’t have to be one of them.

Stop working...I want to playyyyyyyyy....

I don’t always love playing with Piper. I know, right? But being with a baby can be boring, tiring and annoying. Right?! (Please someone say RIGHT so I don’t feel like The. Worst. Mom. Ever.) Sometimes losing myself in the necessary tasks is preferable than laying down on the floor stacking cups. Or repeating “what a doggie says” over and over. Or putting together that five piece puzzle again. There are parts I love: watching Piper rock her baby. Hearing her chime her version of “quack”. Flipping through board books together pointing to all the things she alllllllmost recognizes. But sometimes baby toys...are for babies. 

 And clothes are for suckers. 

When I identify or classify myself, I don’t always think of my Mother title. Or at least it’s not first on my list. I’m a lot of things. And as much as being  a mom defines me- or is supposed to anyway- it’s not my whole being. Having Piper absolutely changed my life, rearranged my priorities, and grew my heart, but it didn’t erase the me I was before. I’m a wife. I’m a creative thinker. I’m a compulsive talker. I’m a voracious eater. I’m loud, and selfish, and spontaneous, and lazy, and messy. I’m a slew of quirks (and if we’re being honest: sins) that don’t exactly jive with the perfect image (my perfect image) of who a mother is. To say “I’m a mom” conjures up the idea that I’m a martyr-y mix of selfless, organized, nurturing, and proper. It’s one thing to do some of those types of actions...but if that’s what I’m supposed to be, than I’ll always be off the mark.

So, the doing. I can muscle through that. I can talk the talk, walk the walk, and bake the baked-goods.

And the being? I can see both sides. I know that the pressure and the guilt isn’t the whole story. I know that I’m not the only one that doesn’t embrace every aspect of motherhood with unwavering enthusiasm. I know that all I can give is me. And that “me” is valuable.

Because when it comes to the loving...OH, I’m good at the loving. And that’s the best of all.

linking up with TheScribblePad for Little Days


  1. I totally struggle with all of this too and have been concerned about it in having kids too! Thanks for being real.

    1. I think that's good to's a common struggle whether you're a mom or not. Life balance....easy in theory. Tough in reality.

  2. My baby has grown into quite a every way. I admire you so much, and am so proud of you. And Piper couldn't have a better Mommy.

  3. Great post. Totally relate.

  4. I think God designed us each differently for a reason and we should feel the freedom to live fully in who we are as moms, whether we're working outside the home moms or stay at home moms, moms who like to play, or moms who like to keep things running smoothly. As long as at the end of the day we're moms that love. Didn't some famous dude say, "Love is all you need?" Love is all our babies and kiddos need (and the occasional meal or two, maybe some clean clothes, etc...) and it sounds like you give Piper all that and more. Your real is pretty good, Courtney. Real good.

  5. You are so so right, Happy. Thank you for the encouragement!

  6. Oh goodness, we are so alike. I love and cherish the activities of motherhood - even the messy ones. But just being, plopping down on the ground and playing, I am not so good at. I have to force myself to read books. It feels unnatural, even though I am an avid reader and would love me kids to be too.

    And yet, I am about to embark on staying home. I am terrified.

    1. it's so hard, right?! But who says they don't like playing with their kids?
      Thanks for "getting" me. Its hard to push out of our comfort zones, and you're about to go WAY out....but I know you'll be great!