Saturday, May 11, 2013

life with lucy- unexpected lessons

I've made it through 19 months of motherhood and I feel like I'm starting to get the hang of this mom thing! And while I have completely embraced the expected lessons (like soak up every moment, it will change your life, it's a love like no other, don't sweat the small stuff, etc) there have been a handful of unexpected lessons that have really made an impact on my life since Lucy arrived. With Mothers Day this weekend I thought I would dedicate a post to five unexpected things I have learned about being a mom (so far).

Incorporating motherhood into my life as an artist has been the single most profound part of this journey so far. I knew our lives would be creative and I knew I could introduce art to Lucy with the obvious- drawing, painting and crafting. But what I didn't realize was how inspired I would be by having a child. Every moment of every day I find myself tapping into my creativity to express my love to Lucy. 

From making things that bring her joy to using art for teaching moments to finding inspiration in her interests, I have discovered a whole new way to be creative. Even on days when I don't have time to draw or paint, I am still able to be creative because of her!

It's hard to admit but I am a control freak. I like to know what is going to happen, when it will happen and how it will feel when it happens. Much of this comes from my reserved nature and (unfortunately) genetics! I have been like this my entire life and over the years I've had to lighten up, accept that I cannot control everything and learn how 
to "go with the flow" in different ways. But having a child hit the reset button for me and my control issues. As soon as I saw my dear Lucy's little face, I could feel that nasty desire to control everything creep back in. 

So in the last nineteen months I've had to really do some hard work on being ok with things I cannot control. Now that I am a mom, I've had to learn over and over again- that it's OKAY to embrace the unexpected and let go of the need to control. I know this is going to be a life long journey for me but in all honesty, I am so grateful for the growth that motherhood has brought to this part of my personality.

As much I would love for life (and motherhood) to be easy, I have learned in the last two years that it's ok (and necessary) to be uncomfortable. I cannot tell you how many times (since I was pregnant up until now) that I have struggled with fear, anxiety, doubt and feeling stupid when it comes to raising a kid. There have been moments when I have burst into tears, panicked and felt so darn uncomfortable and TOTALLY not "qualified" 
to be a mom. But thankfully, it's in these moments that I have the opportunity to grow in my faith, become wiser, lean on my husband, lighten up, be open to change and ultimately, grow into an even stronger woman. 

One of the best lessons I've learned is to keep moving forward despite struggle. As I have mentioned, (HERE) in the early months of Lucy's life, we struggled with her reflux. Feedings took so much time, patience and attention and much of the day was spent finding ways to keep her upright and comfortable. 

Amidst this challenge, which felt HUGE at the time, I had creative obligations, a business to run and a move to Oregon to plan. Some how, some way (by the grace of God!) I was able to learn how to keep moving forward despite the obstacles- I strapped that kid to my chest and kept going! There was no time to stop and feel sorry for myself or even time to pause and relax- I HAD to keep moving forward in order to pull everything off. This 
lesson has served me well and has helped me push through all kinds of challenging situations.

For years I was very resistant and fearful about becoming a mom. There were a multitude of reasons combined with bad timing but the biggest fear I had was losing myself in the experience. When I found out I was pregnant this fear was something I thought about (and prayed about) until I went into labor. I had no idea what to expect when Lucy arrived, I had prepared myself for the "worst case scenario" (losing myself) but to my surprise something different happened. 

I did lose myself (or maybe I should say found myself), especially in those early days but strangely I loved the feeling. Motherhood seemed to be the missing piece of the puzzle in my life. Now, a year and a half later, much of the old Alisa is LONG gone. My
priorities, my interests, my goals and my perspective have changed in the most beautiful 
of ways. The truth is- I have completely lost myself to being a wife and a mom and I am loving every moment of it!

How about all you moms out there? 

Do you have any unexpected lessons that have come from your own journey as a mother? I'd love to hear!


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