When Jude was a baby I remember feeling trapped whenever I was at home with him by myself. Everything I wanted to do was held captive by his needs. My life revolved around his schedule and his demands. I felt very helpless during my first year of motherhood. I’ve felt this way on a few other occasions when my other boys were small and very needy. These moments were reminders that no matter how hard I tried, I was not in control.
I had become overcome by anxiety in the claustrophobicness of motherhood, of life. Sometimes the walls really did feel like they are pushing in. But after years of mothering I started to realize it was OK to not be in control of everything. The hard times are only temporary and my identity wasn’t defined by my mothering skills.
On occasion I still feel trapped when things get out of control. On these occasions I try to reset the day. When all the kids are going nuts and our plans are falling apart I throw everything out the window and try to start over. Often this looks like loading everyone in the van and driving somewhere to enjoy nature and the stillness and quietness and God. But sometimes my escape route isn’t possible and I have to face my frustrations head on.
I think this is why I have such an inclination to travel because I hate the confining feeling of everyday pressures. I’m sure this shows my weaknesses but I think it may not be a weakness at all but rather a purpose or calling.
Today the baby won’t nap, the kids are fighting and our plans were shot out of the water before we even started. But I can’t throw everyone in the van and head for a park or fun destination because or van is in the shop. The walls are coming in so I’m heading outside, to my own backyard. Where the sound doesn’t echo off the walls and the soft breeze and warm sun can lift my mood.
When I feel trapped by all these pressures of life I just walk outside and remember that I may not be in control but God is.
“The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains, The world, and those who dwell in it. For He has founded it upon the seas, And established it upon the rivers” – Psalm 24:1-2