Sunday, April 3, 2011

On Mommyhood (and letting go)

As a precursor to this post: NO I AM NOT PREGNANT - although I did recently become a momma to an 8-week old Portuguese Water Dog, Barnabas.

My mom came to visit me a few weekends ago. Although we didn't have Barnabas yet, we were able to go visit the puppies with her - it was so much fun! Per usual, we had a perfect weekend. My mom and I enjoyed some yummy dinner and drinks together on Friday night, followed by a Saturday morning run in the park, a visit to see 6 Portuguese Water Dog puppies and a relaxing evening watching movies with Jeff. My mom's visits are always short, but oh-so-sweet. Some of the things that I particularly miss about living near her are not monumental, but actually, small things like saturday morning jogs, watching trashy television, trips to Marshalls/TJ Maxx, delicious salads and Einsteins Bagels.

Momma and some of the puppies :)

Something my mom is a pro at is having a healthy "letting go" relationship with her kids. I'm confident that my mom misses me and hopes that we will soon move back to Michigan, but she has never made me feel guilty about moving away (despite my intense separation anxiety.) In fact, she consistently encourages me by telling me that she's proud of me for living on my own, away from her, in a big city. This "letting go" mentality is actually quite biblical. The Lord tells us that sometimes we will have to leave our families behind in order to follow Him. He also calls us to fully entrust Him with our family. If He calls me to live in the 'hood, a place that is not family-friendly, I am commanded to trust Him with my child's safety. This is a mentality I'm not yet capable of.

How do I know I'm not capable of fully entrusting my future children to the Lord? Sadly, my dog has taught me a lot. I can't even put him in his crate for 20 minutes without feeling "mommy guilt." In other words, I can't even trust God with my darn DOG, let alone a precious child. I know that I would not be able to have healthy boundaries with my children at this point in my life - I fear that I'm going to be an overbearing, over-protective mother that won't let her child take the bus to school, let alone go away for college or summer camp.

In addition, I've been questioning my mommy-patience. Because I work with children, and have worked with young children since I was in middle school, I assumed I would be great at fully loving a dog (or baby) despite midnight feedings and potty-breaks amidst barking (or crying.) lies. There have been times when I want to hit Barnabas because of his late-night barking. Does this mean I'm going to be a bad mom? Will it be different with children? I feel like a mommy failure.

motherhood: barnabas and i :)

In other words, I have a lot of control I need to let go of. When that happens, I'll let you know.

Much Love.

1 comment:

  1. I think the same thing as you all the time. Here I am with 2 dogs, in grad school, all by myself. They drive me crazy, get me angry, and I worry about them all the time. I get mad at them sometimes and not just yell, but scream at them. It makes me think what if I did that to my future kids.

    I realized though, raising a puppy teaches you how to raise children. It makes you aware of your strengths and weaknesses, so when you have a child, you know what you are great at and what you need to work on. And think of it this way, if you didn't have a puppy, you wouldn't know what your weakness were until you had a child and then you could screw them up!

    As for the puppy barking/crying in the middle of the night, I've had the most success with having Lucy sleep with me at night. This isn't necessarily the most ideal situation, but it makes them feel more safe and she sleeps the whole night and doesn't wake up to go out. I'm starting to wean her off the bed and it's hard, but much easier to handle than the crying! ;)