March 6, 2010

My Struggles

I struggle with selfishness.  It is a thorn that greatly and negatively influences my marriage and my parenting. 

In the beginning days of our marriage, Tim and I had our issues, like all newlyweds do.  Most of my contributions to those issues stemmed from my overwhelming selfishness.  After almost six years I like to think we are getting better at it.  There are plenty of areas Tim and I excel in, communication being one, but we still have little things that sneak upon us.  If we didn’t, we wouldn’t be human.  The sneaky bugger of selfishness still creeps up on me. 

I also did not enjoy my pregnancies because of how it made ME feel, how it made MY body change, how it affected MY mood.  Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love the outcomes of those pregnancies.  My boys are perfect, of course.  When Luke and Jack came into this world, all the changes in my body and the mood swings were worth it.  But that doesn’t change the fact that my selfishness dominated my pregnancies. 

Then it followed me into their babyhood.  As you all with babies know, that first year of life is especially demanding.  My struggles with putting myself first were exaggerated.  I wasn’t’ getting enough sleep.  MY body wasn’t my own because it was feeding the baby.  I couldn’t sit on the couch all day long reading my beloved and addicting novels.  The daily routine wasn’t dictated by ME anymore.  Are you seeing a pattern here?  This me-first attitude seems to be following me into toddlerhood as well.  I want that to change. 

With that being said, I also want to put in a disclaimer here.  Being a mother doesn’t mean you should be a doormat, but it does require selflessness.  I need my breaks to stay sane, just like any parent, but then when I’m back in action, I need to be giving all of me.  Without begrudging it. 

If this seems like a confession, you are exactly right.  My hope is that in writing this down and airing all my dirty laundry to the world, this nastiness will lose it’s power.  Now that you know, you can help keep me accountable.  Confession may seem old fashioned, but it is tried and true.  When you put voice to the hidden, it loses its ownership over your life. 

Selfishness is the exact opposite of love.  Pure and true love is outwardly focused with absolutely no thought to oneself.  I know this to be true because my Savior, my Rescuer demonstrated absolute and perfect love.  Without thought to Himself, he endured extreme pain and ultimately died so I could be redeemed.  Daily I am praying for Him to show me all areas where that nasty selfishness rules my life so I can work to remove it.  I can’t do it by myself because every time I try on my own, I fail.  Every day I pray that He will renew me, remove that selfishness, more of Him, less of me.


Sarah said...

Lindsey- Thank you for your confession. I have struggled for a long time in finding the balance of motherhood and self. You must take time for yourself- a necesity for sure- but have to- like you said, come back to the life you have with a full heart. Such a fine line to walk- and definitely a learning process- we can help each other I am sure of it. Nice to know I'm not the only one : )

Anonymous said...

Lindsey, I could have just as easily wrote this same post. The Lord provides us with the change required in us to be better mothers and wives (and friends, sisters, daughters, etc.) Us moms must stick together :)

Lindsey said...

I'm glad I'm not alone ladies. Instead of even using THAT as an excuse, like I've done in the past, I'm going to use it as encouragement to keep working on it. Daily. Let's keep each other accountable and stick together while doing it. Thanks for the encouragement.

Pure Mama said...

You are definitely not alone; I struggle with it and in fact, Abby and I were just talking about this last night. You're awesome for sharing!!

Stacey said...

Bless you and your sweet heart, my friend. As we try to figure out when to begin our own journey into parenthood, I often wonder if I'll have the selflessness it takes. Thanks for being honest about your struggles... I think you're an AMAZING mom and it encourages me to know that you don't have to get it 100% right to be a great mother.

Anonymous said...

oh boy can I relate to some of this! thank you for your honesty and transparency--it is a breath of fresh air. While I am excited for this new journey in our lives--I can't help but think how HARD it will be on ME. Oy. Thanks friend.

<3, jana