A Time to Grieve?

I consider myself well-versed in the ways of grief..and am a bit of a fan. Without a doubt, grief is one of the most cleansing and clarifying processes I’ve ever experienced. Of course, who wants to grieve? Ewwww. Not me! And yet, it has been proposed to me, it may be time to grieve…again. Gulp.

Here’s the deal. I became a mom 23 months ago. After waiting about 22 years, I became a mom. Tah dah! God granted me the desire of my heart. And I have been struggling ever since.

I figured it was time to get help when my sister told me, “I have never seen you like this. I’ve never seen you struggle so much for so long with such despair.” And let’s face it folks, I’ve been through some stuff. Right?

After months of dragging my heals, I found a counselor/mommy friend (best combo ever). My opening remarks went something like this, “Help. God has given me the life I’ve always dreamed of. And I can barely stand it.”

My sweet counselor/mommy friend gently suggested that I may need to grieve my dreams of motherhood…my dreams of staying home…my dreams of the life I always wanted. Granted, I waited over twenty years for Eden, but the life I’m living…that dream began long ago and far away…the dream of staying home and raising a family…the answer to all of life’s woes would be found in the four walls of my cozy home.

My dream had become my salvation

My salvation failed.

And I’ve yet to find another mother who has felt this angst…who can identify with the depth of my woe. Granted, I feel deeply…great joy, great despair. Nothing half-way here. And probably because I could not bear to be friends with someone like me, my friends are…less…intense, let’s say…until now. Donna, you are a gift from God…delivered right on time.

It has been a few weeks since Donna first suggested I should grieve my “dreams of mommyhood”…and I have. And I’ve experienced new life…new love…new appreciation…new peace. My mothering is filled with a new sense of purpose and contentment. As is the way of grief…one must go through it and feel it before one can embrace new life on its own terms.

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5 thoughts on “A Time to Grieve?

  1. Yep, my role as a mother definitely didn’t start out like I had always dreamed…you could say having James as we did was not what we expected. It’s still a different kind of mothering than most of my friends are allowed to enjoy but yes, once you grieve your “loss of dream/normal”, you find an amazing peace where you are. Love you, friend.

  2. Nothing about motherhood is like we were told, sold, or witnessed. Up until the second of birth (or maybe the week of conception for some) we had a utopia in our minds that had to do with some – or what we thought was all of what being a mother would be. This was more defined and profound than what we thought it would be like and what it would be for us to be wives and partners. The reality is as messy, painful, and miraculous as birth itself.
    Your friend Donna is spot on. Grieve what you thought you would have. Stop beating up on yourself because you aren’t living the utopic (apparently not a word, but it should be) life of your dreams. Cut yourself some slack. Try to find one simple, happy, joyous moment of being a mommy each day. Dwell on it and in it. Cling to it throughout the next moments that are less. What you might be surprised to find (I was) is that there is more than one wonderful joyous moment in each day. These moments become easier to find, remember, and hold on to as your child sleeps more and demands more of your every second. My boys are now 4 and 5. I now sleep for about 8 hours a night without having to get out of bed. I still am often awakened to hug or quiet a fear but now they come to me. My quality of life is a thousand times better and gentler now that I have added sleep back. The fact that you care enough about being a mother to think and write like this tells me you are a wonderful mommy!

  3. Oh Jan, you are not alone sister. My grief is more of the ‘Life’ I envisioned for myself. I never expected or wanted to be 36, divorced, working full time, raising one child and missing another. But, to be honest, I am so happy with where I am right now. Work, blech. Single status, blech. But coming home to my sweet boy everyday and knowing that I got to keep him…overwelmed with joy is my heart! AND scared to death I will mess him up with my own crazies and helicopter ways. I too have some (way more) level-headed friends that have helped guide me. Keeping me sane and calm as they mother with a lot less ‘helicopter’ and stress guiding every decision. This past year has been such a growing year for me…learning to see and count my blessings…the Lord has really helped me to focus on those and less on what I feel I lost in terms of my dream life. Growing is hard work but I have not felt better about where I am. Love you girl!

  4. Oh! You speak my heart. I had the bubble dream of many children, content stay at home mommy, dinner as a family every night… Real life for me was deep post partum depression, husband who is a better nurturer than I, and the inability to be content at home. Both Steve and I had to grieve our ideal, and shift our vision to our blessed reality. Grieve and be renewed!

  5. I’m constantly learning to surrender what I want to Jesus and asking Him to replace it with what He prefers for me. With time and practice, this brings my heart peace.

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