We have already been shopping to the grocery store in princess gowns twice this week. One day, as their little sparkly duds were line drying, we still couldn't get in the car without all the princess accessories. Going to the store has never been so stinkin' cute!
On any normal shopping adventure, we get plenty of gawkers and people who stop us to ask probing 'twin' questions (and an 'oh, you have another little one, too'), but princess twins stirred it up more. The girls usually look at me with uncertainty when people repetitively ask them, 'are you twins?' or 'how old are you?' but when people stopped to comment, 'look at you little princesses,' Anna and Esther never once questioned their royal status and shyly smiled.
I began to think how easy it must be at 3 years old to walk so confidently in your identity. My girls didn't think it was anything but normal to be strolling through the aisles with tiaras and beads on and no one made them doubt they were anything but little majesties as they twirled around.
Lately, I have been struggling to dance around in my Mommy crown. As I have been weening off my postpartum medications and trying to feel like my normal self again, I don't have the overwhelming joy I once experienced in every aspect of kid living.
It wasn't until a discussion in my Bible study group when one Mom shared a passage from a book she was reading that it totally connected the dots.
"Motherhood will change you - if you let it. And believe me, you do want to let it change you, because when you've refined the art of not thinking first of yourself, you will very much like the person you become. Plus, you'll experience so much more joy and satisfaction from your life with your children."
-Barbara Curtis, The Mommy Survival Guide
I realized I wasn't completely embracing my Mommy identity. I have been fighting it. I keep looking back to the person I once was before becoming a Mom and trying to fit my life then into my life now. It just doesn't mix and turns into a frustrating cycle of unhappiness.
Lately, I have found myself sacrificing valuable time with my kids because of my deep need to have a super organized, tidy house like when I lived alone. I have been pining away for the days when everything was always organized, in it's proper place, and could even be found in it's proper space. I went to bed at night with a clean house without a sole dish in the sink before crawling into fresh, perfectly folded sheets.
It's an impossible task to accomplish these days and turns into an exhausting circle of trying to find contentment in my house rather than in my sweet lovies.
Before marriage and kids, time with the Lord came in abundance. I had a worship lifestyle all day long. I was His little songbird. In the evenings after work, if I wasn't being poured into by a mentor, I was studying His Word. I craved the Lord and had plenty of time to sit in quiet time and meditate. So many days now, I think that since I couldn't fit in those same kind of experiences, that the time I do spend isn't equivalent. I'm always trying to catch God in a spare moment, usually in the shower. Singing has been long replaced with tired cries and grunts and I find myself wanting to be selfish and have quiet time to myself to curl up to watch a movie, but instead feel guilty that it's not desired quiet time with the Lord.
The other night, my husband asked me if 'I'm happy,' and I replied with how happy I am. He begins to tell me he notices every time I look at myself in the mirror, I look at my reflection with sadness. Remembering the days of my cute petite little figure is nothing but a sore reminder of my constant weight struggle. Shopping for clothes as I browse through sizes I never imagined seeing or trying to pick out an outfit for church automatically ruins my cheerful mood for the day. I will grieve the whole morning.
My body made me a Mommy! I can't seem to view my shape as a significance of all the life it created. Instead, it's a standard by which to perfect myself to and only causes anger and disappointment that I can't seem to bounce back like all the other pretty Mommies I see.
With the help of the Lord, I have to let Mommyhood change me and with joy, just like my girls did jumping into being little princesses. It means feeling accomplished and at peace with going to bed with the stickiest, dirtiest floors, being satisfied with that one word the Lord speaks to me as I wash up for a tiresome day ahead, and knowing my body is only a vessel which carried selflessly.
I have to stop chasing after my old self. Just as with Christ within us, the old is gone, the new has come. I'm now a wife and now a mom. There is no comparison of the two.
My kids are an extension of me. Loving them is like loving myself and I never thought I could love pieces of myself as much as I love them. It's like while I was carrying them on the inside, they grabbed a big chuck of my heart and are now running around with it on the outside and carrying it around with them.
I am reflected in the little people I am growing up. It's true beauty in all it's making
and the most extravagant princess gown of them all!