This week we started a brand new book: Be the Mom by Tracey Eyster. Within pages, I already identified with Tracey’s described role as a mother–the highs, the lows, and everything in between!
My entry into motherhood was quite different than Tracey’s–Rather than waiting and wishing for a child as Tracey and her husband did, our first child was a major surprise! My husband and I had just started talking about when we might want to start a family…which we planned on not being for another year or two. I was in the middle of finishing my Master’s degree and thoroughly enjoying my position as a first grade teacher. When I found out I was pregnant, it took a while for the shock to wear off and to start to enjoy the thought of a little one growing inside of me! Within a few days, though, I was already head-over-heels for that sweet baby!
The following chapters of the book share the different “traps” that moms can easily fall prey to if we aren’t careful. Needless to say, I think I have identified with most of these traps at one time or another in my momlife, but the trap described in Chapter 2 is often the most debilitating for me.
In this chapter, Tracey describes what she calls the “Just a Mom” trap. The tell-tale sign that this trap has taken us victim is when we start to believe that our role as a mom is somehow inferior to any other endeavor we pursue.
Feelings of insecurity have frequently been a struggle for me in my life. After I began teaching, I finally felt confident in myself and my ‘purpose’. Perhaps it was the awards, accolades, and affirmation I received from others–but I rarely questioned myself as a teacher. Once I decided to stay home with Big Brother full-time, those feelings of insecurity and self-doubt slowly began creeping back into my life. After Little Brother was born, I felt like I was being full-on assaulted by them. I constantly doubted myself, feeling inadequate in my ability to be the kind of mother my children deserved. I still feel this way frequently, though not nearly as strongly as I did back then.
I loved the following quotes from this chapter:
“However humble many mom tasks might be, we are molding the future, and there is nothing “just” about our role as moms.” -p. 7
“Your value as a mother is unsurpassed. You haven’t lost yourself; you’ve found who you were destined to become. You’ve been given lives to mold and an opportunity to prepare your children for the future. There is nothing “just a mom” about you.” -p. 18
I’ve found myself identifying with yet another trap I can easily fall prey to in my life: The “Me Mom” Trap. I continually struggle with selfishness and self-centeredness in my life…and sometimes my wants and needs can even be put ahead of those of my family (as embarrassing as it is to admit). I love the thought of trying to keep tabs on the number of times I say “I” throughout the day. I think that will really help keep myself in check!
This chapter also reminded me a lot of our last book club book selection: Cleaning House. I have gotten much better at allowing and encouraging my children to help with household tasks without expecting “perfection”, but there are some things that I am still holding on to that I want done “my way”. When I let go of my control and enabling tendencies, I am also teaching my child that THEY are capable and responsible enough to handle the task I have asked them to do.
Next Week’s Assignment: Read Chapters 4 and 5.
Do you have any questions for the author? Leave a question in the comments and we’ll choose a few to have Tracey respond to in next week’s post!
What did you think about this week’s reading? Leave a comment or link up your post below!