on being “just” a mom.

March 4, 2015


I spent the morning building train tracks around my living room, wiping a toddler sized runny nose while attempting to drink my room temperature coffee and ignoring my mascara crusted eyes and greasy hair.

If you had told me 3 years ago this is what my typical day would look like, I would have laughed. REALLY, REALLY hard.

There were so many years of my life that I didn’t think I wanted to be a mother. It scared me. I was the baby of my family and was certain I could only be taken care of, rather than do the caring.

Then there were so many years of my life that I didn’t think I could ever be a mother, even though I had started wanting to. I had a brain tumor, technically a benign mass, on my pituitary gland, and was told more than once that getting pregnant would be difficult and require medical intervention.

So I tried really hard to go back to the years of not wanting to be a mother. I tried to pretend that I’d be fine without having children.  Casper was (and still is) more than enough.  We’d travel, and I’d write, and it would be okay. I tried really hard to convince myself of that.

Then one very early morning, I took a pregnancy test.  Not because I actually thought I was pregnant, but because we wanted to start ovulation tracking, and in order to begin we needed to know when my cycle would start. It was late, which was typical, but Casper suggested the pregnancy test.

I took it, set it down, and started getting dressed for a pre-surgery hospital visit with one of my volunteers from our church. I rushed around, late as usual, and happened to glance down at the test while reaching for my blush brush, and there is was: a faint second line.

From that moment on, everything changed. E V E R Y T H I N G.

Since that cold December 26th, 2012 morning, I’ve morphed into this person I never thought I’d be: a mom.

I was very proud of all my previous titles: daughter, sister, friend, wife, pastor. But Mom? I didn’t know it was possible to feel so much fear and pride at the same time. It’s the most overwhelming and yet joy giving title. Mom.

When Leo was born, I was wrecked. Wrecked physically, of course (am I right mom’s?!?  nothing is every the same!) But I was wrecked in a better sense; in the best possible way. We locked eyes the moment he was born, and I knew right then. I was absolutely certain that my world just got fuller, brighter, and scarier all at once.

How in the heck did I go from not thinking I’d ever be a mom to finding more joy and purpose and fulfillment in this role than anything other thing in my whole life? How did I leap there?

I’m still not entirely sure, honestly.  But here I am, being “just” a mom.

I’ve stepped out of my role as Kids Pastor at our church.  A role I loved for many reason, and one that also challenged me deeply for many reasons.  A role at a church I had dreamed to work at for 10 years. A role that allowed me to work with people that I love and respect and actually genuinely like to be around. A role that gave me a space to be creative and honest and love people well.

I did not step out of this role because I didn’t love it or find great purpose in it.  I did not step out of this role because I couldn’t do it. I stepped out because I shouldn’t.  My favorite author, dear Shauna, once wrote: just because we can do something doesn’t mean we should.

And PLEASE , allow me to very clearly communicate that I do not believe for a second that all women should step out of their careers to work from home full time, taking care of their kiddos. I do not think I am making the most noble choice by being a stay home mom.  I feel that God is calling me to this role, for this season, just as He has called me to other places and just as He will continue to.  I believe in being obedient to what we feel is right for us.  I think if there is any nobility in my choice, it comes from the obedience.  I think all women who are mothers need to make choices based on what feels right for them, and what is best for their families.

Whether that is working full time, part time, staying home, working inside the home, or whatever else you all may do … just do what is best for you and your family and do not make any comparisons.  Have confidence in yourself!  I say that because I need to hear it too. (often!)

So for now, I will spend my mornings with bed head, and cold coffee, and a wild one year old who somehow turns my carefully decorated home into a post-tornado land. I will have really bad days, where I think, what in the hell did I do?  I will have really good days where life feels dreamy and whimsical. And mostly, I will have really normal days with dirty diapers, and the continuous cycle of making a meal, feeding a baby, and then cleaning up that meal. But in all of this, I am determined to be a woman who is confident in the place that I am in.  I am dead set on finding joy, and living in the present and loving really really hard.

Whether you are a mom or not. Whether you stay home or not.  Whether any of this resonates with you or not … I hope we can all agree that the best way to live is to do just that: LIVE.  Embrace, laugh, fall, get up, cry, try, fail, pause, soak and be.  Let’s live fully!  All of the good is too too good to get lost in the hard or bad.


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