I started drafting this just before Mother’s Day, as I began thinking back on my journey to motherhood and how I’ve found value in what I do (or don’t do). I haven’t found the perfect balance button in life and time continued on, with me finding one reason or another not to push publish. Even though Mother’s Day is long over, the theme and truths written here are no less important now than they were 2 months ago.
I’ve been a mom for 8 ½ years. That’s the nearly 10 years with either pregnancy or 2 small children on my mind. Most days I still have no idea what I’m doing. But as long as I wash their black leggings and feed them 2 ½ meals a day with a few snacks in the cupboard, they seem pretty happy.
When we got pregnant, I didn’t have any other friends who were moms. I also was new to my business and didn’t know many colleagues that had children either. I felt like I was alone and had a hard time in the beginning. I don’t necessarily think anyone in particular could have helped me, but it would have been nice to know that someone else had been there and understood my struggle.
Fast forward a couple years, and I started to have other women ask me about my experiences as they were new to motherhood. I still didn’t have the answers but was happy to share the itty bitty bits of knowledge I had gained, what worked for me and what didn’t, and my never-ending struggle with “balance”.
After putting a few more years in as mommy and business owner, I remember seeing a couple of new moms who were identifying themselves as “Experts at Motherhood”. They were preaching about how they had broken the code and figured out how to balance their blog, flower venture, or other businesses with being a mom. It hurt. Part of me wanted to scream at them. They had only been a mom for 6 months… they couldn’t possibly know. Part of me felt like a failure. They had figured out the key to success in less than 6 months and I was years into this adventure and still clueless.
And now, after spending the better part of decade as a mom, I’m still wondering, what does it take to be an “Expert at Motherhood”? How do I earn that title?
I no longer hold resentment towards anyone who might feel that they deserve that label. I can feel happy for their sense of achievement and cheer them on whole heartedly. I am a tad curious about what they think they do better than I do. But mostly, I feel sad for anyone who feels inadequate by reading titles like that – titles that we’ve given ourselves.
We can claim to be anything we want. It doesn’t make it right or true. I can claim to be the best floral designer in Michigan. I can also claim to be an amazing opera singer. Neither one of those things are true, although I feel a little more qualified to chat about flower than sing! They’re empty statements lacking proof.
On that same note, we can chase any dream we want. But why? Why would I care to have that title? What am I chasing? My business? My brand? Money? Contentment? Marriage?
Photography: Emily Jane Photography
Maybe we were made for great things – but not of our own doing. Maybe I am supposed to be a great mother, florist or even something else (probably not an opera singer). We can do this by taking up our cross daily, including the roles of parenting, being a wife and all things sacrificially serving others. It’s denying ones selfish desires and doing what Jesus would do.
Not giving myself a grand title and tooting my own horn is okay. True, it is a lack of confidence in myself and even when confidence is what the world tells us we need. It’s confidence that allows those women to believe in themselves enough to claim expert status. However I would argue that I’m right not to believe in myself. Without Jesus, I have no worth.
“I can do all this though Him who gives me strength” Phillippians 4:13