Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Momma Bear Knot

I am the only common denominator in the equation that equals my stress. My high levels of new mom stress. My high levels of living-up-to-my-own-self-imposed-standards stress. The momma bear sized knot in my stomach.

I think a lot of it stems from my desire to some how make up for the fact that my body doesn't function in the "normal" way. 

I have found, through my own experiences and conversations with other moms who have endured still-birth, that one of the first instincts is to get pregnant again. There is a hole where there shouldn't be, an emptiness begging to be filled, a heart prepared to mother. When a pregnancy ends in still-birth (and I'd guess this might be true for miscarriage as well), I think the natural response is
to crave a healthy pregnancy. To complete the job you set out to do. At least this was the case for me, but for various reasons, it ain't happenin'.

My body doesn't function in the "normal" way because of my car accident as well. The loss of my hand and my back injuries, although mainly overcome and generally laughed about, are still sometimes, in my mind, a visible example of my lacking.

All of this adds up to the desire to compensate. And since being a mother is such a large part of my daily role (happily might I add), this is the area in which my compulsion for perfection is most seen. Squeaks is, and should be, a major focus of mine. But not to the extent that I've taken it. We waited for so long. I researched all things baby. I hoped, I daydreamed, I prayed. And now she's here! My head tells me everything must be perfect for her. She must eat organic, wear cloth diapers, never be uncomfortable, never have a runny nose, and it goes on and on. When a friend or family member does something I might not, or a goal I've set doesn't get accomplished, I get super stressed out. This is a sad state of affairs...for me alone. I think about it, analyzing the possible effects it had on Squeaks' happiness, and that momma bear knot shows up in my gut. 

Do I sound neurotic yet?

Logically, I know Squeaks is a happy, healthy, loved little girl. None of these things hurt her. None of these thing will have long term, or even short term, psychological effects on her. One non-organic cracker is not the end of the world. The diaper goes on her butt, for goodness sake, who cares if it's always cloth?! A few minutes of TV does not a coach-potato make.

I must remember the most important thing of all though. She's not mine. 

On this earth, in this life, I am blessed to be Squeaks' mom. Proud, exhilarated, humbled to be Squeaks' mom. But in the eternal sense, she is not mine. She belongs to her heavenly Father. Her future is in His hands. I can do my absolute best for her, love her, care for her, provide for her, but it will never be to the extent that He does. He gives her perfect eternal love. He provides salvation. She is in His hands. I need to stop trying to do His job.


  1. That was beautiful, thank you. You're a wonderful woman and an inspiration to me. I'm a first time mommy as well and I try to make everything perfect for my little Josiah ("protected by God"). I also work full time outside the home so I feel like every moment I have with him needs to be perfect and to make memories with every second. But I am reminded that even if it's just a night cuddling on the couch watching "Despicable Me 2" sharing Cheerios, it's a beautiful memory. May God bless you and your family!!

    1. Thank you so much Ashley! I agree. It's the little moments that count. P.S. Love Dispicable Me 2!

  2. I'm not a mom yet, but I imagine this will be me down the road. Thanks for sharing! I appreciate your honesty, and I need to keep it bookmarked. :)

    1. Soon Sara!! I'm on the edge of my seat for you!

  3. Thank you for sharing this. I am not even a mom yet, but I already struggle with what you have described, especially feeling as though I will be lacking as a mom because I did not give birth the 'normal' way. But you are right, these kids always belong to God and we are entrusted to do the best we can. Thanks again for your openness!

    1. It's a huge struggle for me Kristen. But one I gladly accept. I have no doubt your little one will have a great momma.

  4. The thing I love most is you are honest and real. And oh my gosh you are perfect. You are perfect in every way that josh and squeaks need you to be. And if she gets a cold😉 or happens to eat non organic or youre out on the town and have to out her in a borrowed regular diaper... ITS OK. And I can tell ya, miss angel baby girl is SO proud of you! And as you strive to be perfect, that is perfection in itsself.

    1. Oh Jena you're the best! Thank you so much for the encouragement!!

  5. My son was born with a limb difference so it's always been a part of who he is. Did you know that there is a camp that happens near you every year in Big Bear called Camp No Limits? They are always looking or volunteers. You would be a great influence. Just a thought.
    Your post makes me think of this poem:
    On Children
    Kahlil Gibran

    Your children are not your children.
    They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
    They come through you but not from you,
    And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

    You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
    For they have their own thoughts.
    You may house their bodies but not their souls,
    For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
    which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
    You may strive to be like them,
    but seek not to make them like you.
    For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

    You are the bows from which your children
    as living arrows are sent forth.
    The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
    and He bends you with His might
    that His arrows may go swift and far.
    Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
    For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
    so He loves also the bow that is stable.

    1. Absolutely beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing!

  6. I struggle with perfectionism, so I absolutely loved this post. I'm not a mother, but I still related to a lot of it. Very well said!


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