Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Boy Who Broke Me

I've always thought of myself as the organized one.  The Type A girl, the lover of lists and all things neat and tidy.  My home has always been a "so clean you can eat off the floor" type of place and I've always prided myself on that fact.  I am efficient and productive and I like things just so.

Even after Isabelle was born.  Even after Brees.  I somehow managed to keep things contained and in their places: stored and categorized, a place for every little Barbie doll and a system to get it all done. It's how I operate, it's how my brain works.  I thrive on order and I feel so refreshed and accomplished when I make one last round through the house at night, picking up and adjusting and tidying up our sacred space.  

Until River came along.  My precious wild spirited boy, the boy who broke me.

I realized within the first few weeks of being a mom of THREE that I was not going to be able to maintain my previous definition of "getting it all done".  I just couldn't keep up and I felt defeated many days as I looked around our home and saw a mess in every corner.  There was a shift in our house and Shawn and I felt overwhelmed at times as we worked to develop our new normal: three little people who needed our attention, new routines, a busier schedule.  But I kept trucking along, making charts and waking up earlier to ensure that I got it all done, exhausting myself as I tried to return to my once tidy, "I've got it all together" self. 

I slowly began to realize that I was at a crossroads in my journey.  I could either spend my days walking in circles, cleaning and worrying and stressing and making lists and yelling at everyone around me for not following suit.  Or, I could close my eyes to the perceived messes around me, both literally and figuratively, and just enjoy the ride.  The crazy, chaotic, obnoxiously loud ride that is our family of five. The answer seemed pretty clear.

Sometimes, when I fight the process, when I struggle to accept a changing reality and refuse to welcome a new season into my life, anxiety takes over and I suffer tremendously.  I felt anxious and uncomfortable for a few months, I felt out of control and unsure of how to establish a balance. Who was I if I wasn't the constantly moving, neat and tidy list keeper?  What was my purpose if not to keep things efficient at all times?  How would I get it all together and put back into place?

I learned that God had it all figured out long before I did.  He knew that I needed breaking, I needed the wake up call that was my son to quiet my mind and relax my always moving personality.  I needed to learn to sit and breath and rest, to move through life a little slower and easier.  I needed to spend my time at home enjoying my family, I needed to allow my many other attributes to take center stage for once: my creative side, my playful side, my warm and nurturing heart.  Those parts of me were finally allowed to shine through much louder and with more passion and our whole family began to grow as a result.  It was like someone let a big burst of sunshine in and our little garden blossomed all around.

I worked hard on myself, settling down deep into my soul work, focusing more time and energy on my spiritual growth, my mothering and husband loving, and less time on keeping it all together. I focused on loving: loving my people and loving myself.  And I soon came to realize that those parts of myself that I have always valued so dear: the organized, efficient, productive, Type A list keeper, those qualities are what make me a good nurse. God gave me those specific characteristics so that I could provide quality care to those in need. That person that I was so desperately trying to hold onto at home: I could be that person at work, I could use those skills to take care of my patients.  I could express that side of myself and feed those needs in my nursing career, nurturing myself and my patients at the same time.  And then, when I got home, I could let my soul be free.  I could walk right by a big messy pile of laundry and jump on the bed with my kids.  I could play more and worry less and still be who I am, who I was born to be.

They say that life is all about perspective and that overcoming challenging times is usually as simple as just changing your thought process.  And that's where I am right now: shifting my focus and looking at things a little differently.  My son helped me to grow in that way, he taught me how to fly a little higher, how to rest and be more intent in the here and now.  He broke me in the way that a third baby can.  And I am better for it, our whole family is.  We have the spaghetti stains on the carpet to prove it.

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1 comment:

Vanessa said...

Bless you for keeping it together up till this point. I mean, I only have one kid and I can't manage to do laundry often enough, and there's always a pile of dishes in my sink.