Friday, February 28, 2014

{Real Mom Life} Things Inherited

I guess God knew I needed a little extra time with my girl today, so He made it where Maylin only napped this morning if I held her. 

Last night, I had a huge, major ugly-cry meltdown as a result of a bit of frustration over Maylin's temperment and the realization that today she turns 11 months old. Pregnancy hormones could have also played a tiny part. Tiny.

Maylin didn't nap, like, at all yesterday, which means that by the time 4:15 rolled around and I was trying to get supper started she was a hot mess clinging to my ankles and screaming at the top of her lungs. The following text conversation commenced between my dear husband and me::

Me: I am about to lose my ever loving mind.
Michael: Headed Home!
Me: Thank the LORD

Michael pacified Maylin {to an extent} as I finished supper. We ate, and at 6:00 PM sharp, Michael offered to give her a bottle and put her to bed. Lord knows I was in no frame of mind to do so. I plopped my tired, top-heavy body on top of the bed to catch up on some blog reading, and came across this post titled "When Satan Steals Your Motherhood." This is when the waterworks started because I could so relate to everything this mom was writing. It was all so fresh for me coming off the afternoon I had with Maylin. It's a great reminder and I bookmarked it {and her blog!} because I know I'll probably want to reread it later, probably many times over. 

After reading the post, all I could think about was the type of mother I'm being to Maylin. Have I done enough in her first year? Am I currently doing enough for her? Meeting all her emotional needs? Have I made enough memories? Have I intentionally spent my time with her like I wanted? What will I remember about these precious, fleeting, one-time-only months of her life? Am I being a mama who is good enough for this gift God gave me?

There are times when evaluation is healthy, and other times when regret and remorse kidnap logical thought, which is probably what happened to me last night. It took Michael to pull me out of my near hysteria over being a "terrible mother" and the guilt I felt for getting frustrated with my daughter an hour earlier. {He's a champ, by the way, soothing two inconsolable females in less than two hours. Oh how I love that man. Somehow God groomed him specifically for a household of women.}

Today, my mind is much clearer, and I am able to actually process thought rather than melting into a puddle of mascara.

My mammaw recently pulled this dress out the back of her closet where it'd been hiding for the last 25 or so years. 

It's a dress my sister and I wore when we were babies that had been tucked away when it didn't sell in a garage sale after we outgrew it. At one glance I knew it was perfect for my girl. She wore it to church last Sunday, and it's probably one of my favorites she's ever worn.

I've been thinking about that dress all week, about how it had been saved {maybe inadvertently, maybe not} and preserved to be passed on to the next generation. It got me pondering the things we pass to our children. What am I passing down to Maylin? What is she inheriting from me? I sincerely want her to receive the important things, the good things, the things that matter. I don't want her inheriting my frustration, which she sees when supper isn't ready at 5:30 on the dot. I don't want to pass her my insecurities I harbor over myself, which she sees when I berate my image in the mirror. Or that terrible habit I have of rolling my eyes, which she sees when I'm being disrespectful {that one may come back to bite me when she's 14}. Nor my stubbornness, which she sees probably all day every day. She's already stubborn enough, I dearly don't want to teach her any further.

I want to pass on whatever few positive traits I have and not the abundance of negative ones. Honestly right now I can't even think of any of my "good" characteristics I want her to have, but I sure as hell know which ones I don't want her to learn from me.

And, while I'm on the subject, what am I passing to my future self? The self that years from now will look back on these first few Maylin-months and sift through the memories that my current self has made. She will have only the memories I'm giving giving her at this moment. Will my future self see only hours spent on social media and a life void of the sweet baby Maylin face? Or will she see the times we went to the park or made an inside fort or played with dolls or read under a blanket or climbed up and down the stairs or had pallet parties in the living room on Friday nights? Those are things I want Maylin to remember, and those are moments I want to give myself to remember, too.

Somehow, all of these thoughts got wrapped around each other this morning as I sat for over an hour rocking my sleeping 11 month old baby. The past week has been a reality check, the effects of which I hope will ring in my mind for many years to come. I know what I want to inherit from myself, and I know what I want Maylin to get from me. May those things always be in the forefront of my mind, directing my attitudes, actions, and decisions. And may I have the grace to forgive myself on the days that I fail.

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