Finding our way as mothers is no easy task. The past 7.5 years have been such a journey of discovery for me. In hindsight I would focus solely on my babies without the distraction of also pursuing my passions. Babies and toddlers just don’t stay babies and toddlers forever and creating the family nest for everyone takes energy and time.
I’m grateful that my outside passions didn’t lead me outside of the home, but I do feel compassion for myself as I see how much I struggled in trying to do too much while mothering little ones.
It feels like I’m coming out of a dark haze now with a 4 and 7.5 year old. A dark haze of early motherhood. I’m emerging into a new phase in my own development as they are in theirs. We’ve found community through their school, I’ve found a space in the world to express my deepest passion in supporting families in the work of home life through simplicity parenting, and my husband and I have discovered a beautiful parenting harmony.
In one of my previous posts I was sharing with you my stream of consciousness around how to make it all work and what will I tell my own daughter about motherhood. As things have developed, it is becoming more and more evident that the partner one chooses is critical to the full development of both partners.
Despite my husband’s background of an overwhelmed single mom and barely-there dad, he has an incredible desire to be present with our kids and is a true helpmate to me. While we both appreciate our parenting strengths – I have a gentle, patient, nurturing flexibility in balance with his assertive, self-disciplined, cooperative confidence – there’s a foundational understanding that the realm of the home and parenting are primarily mine. For us, this has been the key to harmony. It doesn’t mean we don’t consult or agree together on things, but there is a generous and trusting spirit that allows me the opportunity to design the family culture with his incredible support and acceptance. The tone of the home, the rhythms, and the celebrations – these responsibilities are my world.
I think his trusting acceptance that the home and children are more of my realm comes from his confidence and belief in his own gifts, skills, and passions that secure his identity. No doubt it helps that we share a common spiritual faith, but in the past 11 years a deep trust of the other has developed as well.
What will I ultimately share with my daughter about motherhood?
Choose a partner for life, wisely.
Find a man whose life decisions exhibit strength of character.
Talk about family life before you get married.
Feminism shouldn’t be about becoming the same as men. It should be about the freedom for both men and women to acknowledge the importance of nurturing children in support of one another in fulfilling our individual work in the world.