I returned safely from my whirlwind tour of Japan and Indonesia last night to a husband, two kids, and a dog who all were very happy to see me. There is, truly, nothing like home. I’ve been up since 4am, though. It’s always harder to adjust to eastward travel, but it’s as good time as any to catch up on my blogging!
When I first became pregnant with Josh almost 15 years ago, I thought that my life was over. I was facing 18 years to life, and I knew that I would always have to look after this helpless offspring who, at the time, could do nothing — not even eat and poop — without my assistance. I had enjoyed a busy career in music, traveling the world and meeting all sorts of interesting people. Yet, I knew that it was time to kiss my life as I knew it good bye and kiss the cheeks of my newborn baby.
I mourned that death of me at the time, pretty much going into labor kicking and screaming, not wanting to let go of my wonderful life. I mean, I thought I had it pretty good, and I enjoyed my freedom more than anything. I did not want to be tied down to domestic life.
For a while after we became parents, I still tried to fight it. I wasn’t willing to give up my life as I knew it, and I tried hiring nannies and sitters to try to prolong the freedom I had had. Eventually, though, it became obvious that I was not yielding myself to this new role in life called motherhood. That’s when I let go. And then it became wonderful.
In fact, life got even better, much more fulfilling and richer than ever before. How did I even think that my previous life was so worth holding onto? Once I dove into motherhood with everything I had, my life became much more…what shall I say? — centered. To be sure, others may be very well-centered even without having children, but for me, motherhood brought everything into light and my life finally made sense. Yeah. Much more centered.
Fast forward 14 years, and I’m finally crawling out of the mommy fog and reentering life again. Things don’t look exactly the same, and I’m no longer chasing unrealistic dreams and expectations nor running away from demons on my shoulders. Yes, I had my issues back then. Anyway, in the past year, it has felt like I’m slowly getting my life back, and it feels good. In so many ways, my music ministry and career look so much better than ever before. Ironically, though, I don’t care as much about it; I can honestly take it or leave it. Boy, is that ever freeing!
As I sang at and taught workshops at this children’s ministries conference in Jakarta with other speakers from Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, and other parts of the US, I noticed that many of us have children about the same ages as mine — preteen to young teens — which made me think that perhaps my parenting journey is not all that unique. For a while — maybe 10, 12 years — we (especially moms) need to let go of our own selves and focus on raising our kids at home. Ten years used to sound like a very long time for me back then, but now, in perspective, it is just a blink of an eye. Then, just at the right time according to God’s infinite wisdom, we get back out there and continue with our lives and leave a lasting mark on humanity, both by raising children who are, hopefully, well-adjusted and contributors to society themselves, and also by doing whatever God made us to do here on earth.
So, if you are stuck in the mires of life that is raising young children and you feel like you will never wear dry clean-only clothes and/or high heels again, fear not! You will get out there again, in due time. And then you will realize how much more fulfilling life is and that you wouldn’t trade all the sleepless nights and poopy diapers for anything.
No, I wouldn’t trade my life as a mommy for anything. Would you?