Hello. I am glad you are here. I’d like to forward this post with the obvious message that I am not at all a baseball player and I know very little about the game. I am simply a fan of baseball but other than that I am very unclear about how this post began to lend itself to baseball analogies. I don’t even think I played t-ball as a child. Maybe it’s living most of my life in the two greatest baseball cities, Cincinnati and St. Louis. Or maybe it’s all these sons I have starting to love the great game.
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I had the best intentions when I started out on this journey called motherhood seven years ago. Really, my intentions for my own personal journey of motherhood were good and perfect from that first moment when I recognized that relentless first trimester fatigue that sent me into a drooling 5:30pm nap was actually a baby and not in fact narcolepsy.
In those early days of hopeful motherhood I was pregnant with a child but also pregnant with expectations. My husband was finishing up seminary and I was a first grade teacher. As parents we would be a teacher and pastor combo with a double dose of extroversion. If I was the order and schedule, he was the life-giving fun and kindness. I believed we had this thing totally in the bag – like motherhood for me was going to be a walk off homer in the bottom of the ninth; an easy swing that may even leave the crowd cheering, impressed and talked about for days on the highlights reel.
I really had the best intentions of knocking this thing called motherhood right out of the park. But on the journey of motherhood I have learned that my eyes for the fence and my longing to impress the crowd with the appearance of good intentions really were keeping me from what I had coming right down the middle and in front of my eyes.
My swings became misses and not anything to talk about the next day or even something that was tweet worthy. I had eyes for that walk-off-homer when I should have just been focusing on making positive contact with the ball I had right in front of me; focusing on making a small advance in the right direction to first base. I had big expectations clouding the clarity of the simplicity of one day at a time.
My big rookie dreams of swinging for the fence were well intended but I had forgotten about the simple basics of the game.
Motherhood is HARD. <In all caps> H-A-R-D.
No matter who I thought I was, what kind of swing I thought I had, or even if I happened to have had good coaches and models; motherhood has brought more curveballs and wild pitches than I ever could have dreamed of. And with eyes for the fence and a heart to please the crowd I have found myself constantly striking out.
I’ve had to unravel my expectations for what kind of mother I had built myself up to be in my head and focus on the mother I really am and the children I actually have in my lap.
I’ve had to say to myself, “Rach, you may not knock it out of the park today but you can breathe, make contact and take today as it comes. Watch for the curve and adjust your swing.”
I’ve had to remind myself that being ready for the curveballs and wild pitches has little to do with your aptitude, post-grad degrees or upbringing and actually has more to do with how well you can deal with what is coming at you under pressure, how well you can focus on what is being thrown at you and how much better you can forget what you thought you were suppose to do, change your stance and hit the pitch you have been thrown the best you can.
To stop aiming for the fences and take this thing one base at a time. Sure it is exciting to see a walk off homer every once in a while but the game is really advanced one base at a time.
I am educated, my husband is educated, we love our kids with a crazy email writing to the teachers level of love.
But when I (I really don’t want to speak for the hubs) rely on my know-how, the how-to books and the expectations I have for our four children the curveballs frustrate me.
When I have eyes for the fence in motherhood I notice I am more irritable, more frustrated and less satisfied in the things God has placed in my lap and declared so beautiful and so wonderfully made.
So I fight to forget about that fence.
To forget about who I think I am trying to please.
I remember I am a rookie.
I remember I have an amazing team on the field with me. My husband, some bloodline family, some “adopted” family from my community in my church and a God who promises to be at work in me, who pursues me when I wander back to my lofty expectations and who has been faithful to remind me when I focus on what is right in front of me, that is enough.
I remember to give myself grace and I watch for the curve.
I remember making contact is enough.
It’s really the focus and consistency no matter what is coming at them that make a true player great.
I am learning, seven and a half years after feeling that relentless 5:30pm fatigue that motherhood is not at all about what kind of mother I thought I’d be.
I have had to unravel those aiming for the fence expectations I had for myself and rest in simply making one step at a time contact.
I am just like everyone else. Watching for the curveballs and hoping to get on first on a good day.
Unraveled motherhood for me is letting those big expectation threads I had for myself fall away and realize who God made me to be and is making me to be is enough for the journey.
And, thank you for making it to the end of this post. We have been crazy here in this house living life with four kids under six. My goal is to be a blogger in process and not leave things all pretty and finished and solved.
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