Life

Current Thoughts on Mamahood

February 9, 2016
EloiseBaby-33-2

As I write this today, I am tucked away in a booth in the back corner of Panera, all by my very self. No babe, no husband, just me, my green tea, and this little corner. This is rare and I am thankful for the quiet respite to write out a smattering of thoughts on mamahood today.

I wasn’t someone who grew up so readily anticipating the day I would become a mom. But I did always wonder what in the world it would be like to experience such depths of love packed into one tiny life who is part of me.

As my due date approached, I would get lost in my thoughts of holding this little one who I got jabs and kicks from all day and night. I wondered what she would look like, how it would be to take care of her, and what I would think as she reflected my good and my bad. Then, a few months ago, our little Eloise Haven came and changed our world forever.

Some of the best things that have happened in my life since having Eloise are the smallest and most hidden from other eyes. What brings me joy with her has nothing to do with the applause of the outside. My experiences don’t need validation or participation by others. This I find extremely freeing, probably because it hasn’t always been that way. But it is incredible to experience joy that is tangible in the simplicity of a moment, not dependent on anything external or additional.

I also find that I worry less about lots. I don’t fret over certain things that I used to because I honestly don’t want to give my time away to them. I am extra aware in this season that the time I do have is both precious and finite. So I find myself more intentionally choosing what I give my thoughts and hours to, steering away from time-suckers and toward what brings life and value. And realizing that the difference is a simple matter of my choice.

On a totally different note, I find myself utterly amazed how any person could lose as much hair off their head, and yet still have hair, as I am currently experiencing. The sheer quantity is unbelievable. I am unsure when this hair-purge will cease, though I am hopeful I won’t find myself with the level of fuzz atop my head currently being modeled by our sweet Eloise. But I realize only time will determine this one.

EloiseBaby-33-2

One daily ritual we’ve been doing since the beginning is looking at Eloise and telling her a few things about who she is. Since the world will try to tell her so much of who she is not, we’re intentionally speaking into her identity. Among other things, I tell her that she is brave, she is kind, she is strong, and she will see God’s kingdom come. I had this moment early on, though, when I found my words being a boomerang of both truth and challenge to me. As I told her who she was, I found those words channeling back to me as reminders of my own identity. But I also found them asking if I am being brave and if I am playing my role in God’s kingdom.

Out of all that has happened in our world being turned upside down, this one experience has realigned me most suddenly and drastically.

And so, today I would say mamahood has surprisingly empowered me to walk more as the person I know God has created me to be. I realize that the trails I blaze by my own bravery will propel my daughter farther into those depths of identity, intimacy, and wonder-filled adventure with God.

That is equal parts exciting and terrifying. But so freaking exhilarating.

Really, I am so thankful and so in over my head. It’s probably where I should pitch my tent more often.

 

Photo credit: Kim Daniels

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9 Comments

  • Reply Jordan February 9, 2016 at 11:07 am

    Simply beautiful!!! A lovely reminder and yet a needed “kick in the butt.” :) glad you’re writing again!

    • Reply Caroline February 9, 2016 at 10:03 pm

      Thank you so much, Jordan!! So great hearing from you!

  • Reply tia Cindy :) February 9, 2016 at 11:13 am

    caroline…i love your thoughts. i love eloise. i love your little family so much. so thankful to get to be so near. :)

  • Reply heather crawford February 9, 2016 at 12:24 pm

    amen to the mind boggling amounts of lost hair and to how a babe truly causes the “stuff” of life to fall right into place, just as they need to be.

  • Reply Laura February 9, 2016 at 3:33 pm

    Love love love. I too am among the hair loss for mama’s club… Our vaccuum has a distinct “burning hair smell” as the mounds pile up…. Quite unfortunate.

    Also check out the book Imprinted by TaiAnn McClendon. All about parenting from a place of identity and is FREAKING.AWESOME. And I despise all parenting books. Except that one. We bless both of our boys with their I Am statements every night… Z is “I am a knight. I am a shepherd. I am a good friend.” and J is “I am an adventurer. I am passionate under authority. I am intensity that comes from rest.” So good!!!!

    • Reply Caroline February 9, 2016 at 10:05 pm

      I am so excited to check out this book – thank you!! I’m always open for advice or suggestions as you think of them!

  • Reply Matt Snyder February 10, 2016 at 12:42 pm

    I’m no mama, but I love reading TRUTH. Love you guys, your family, and Eloise!

  • Reply Aly February 10, 2016 at 9:37 pm

    So, so good. Saving this to pass on to some friends who will soon be raising their own daughters.

  • Reply Ericka J. February 16, 2016 at 12:54 pm

    This is so beautiful. You are such a good mama!

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