Finally. Finally, I figured out how to besatisfied as a stay-at-home mother or SAHM for those who know the lingo. This was no small feat for this strongType A woman who just l-o-v-e-d the atta-girls of public recognition. I loved running fast after a goal andobtaining it. Oh how my flesh leaptfor joy with public praise or an award of any type. While there’s nothing wrong with worldly success, my self-worthwas all tied up in my worldly titles and another thing…those crazy women intheir minivans…they drove me crazy too. I’d never be like one of them. Humph.
Then I became a mother.
Then I became a mother whodrove a minivan.
I was so grateful for my twosons’ lives but I must admit that I struggled with my identity and self-worth.
My children’s births made gaveme new life, a rebirth, a personal renaissance if you will.
Running after their every need,I slowly learned how to recalibrate “success”. Success was no longer how many cases I closed, but how manydiapers I closed…only to reopen and replace, again.
Sure, I still had difficultdays but overall, I was finally content.
When balance arrived, somethinghappened. God spoke. Not inaudible words but this idea kept repeating itself. Write to encouragewomen.
Um, I don’t know if you knowthis God, I’m a Criminal Justice major who hated English class.
He was aware.
I had just become content andnow I’m supposed to go through another rebirth? And in a career field I had absolutely no past experience in? Yup.
So, I got busy writing. I attended a writer’s conference and wrotesome more. I wrote some more, thentook one of the scariest steps of all; I submitted my work to editors. I kept receiving rejection notices. Just like becoming a new mother, Ifloundered with my new identity and was frustrated.
Type A people like gettingthings checked off their checklist and my goal to “get published” seemednothing short of a fleeting pipe dream. Feeling rejected is bad enough, but when you get an email or letterstating REJECTION…it’s a kick in the gut to a Type A lunatic.
Defeated and on the verge of,“I’m quitting” came this idea. Usemy strength for strength and my weakness for strength.
I changed my goal from “getpublished” to “obtain 40 rejection letters.” I proudly stated my revised goalto my writers group. They allsupported me because it was realistic. It was a long distance runner type approach as opposed to my formersprint approach of “get published”.
And heck, I was already well ontrack to obtaining my new goal!
So as I settled into my newpace, a slower, more realistic pace, the most unfamiliar thing occurred…aneditor wrote “YES!”
The two responses that followedmy first precious “YES!” were “MAYBE!” A maybe in the writing world is just like getting yourchild to at least sit on the toilet when potty training. May be a “yes” or may be a “no” buteither way it’s progress!
I had to pace myself. Pace so I don’t about face and quit.
And let us run withperseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneerand perfecter of faith. Hebrews 12:1b-2a (New International Version)
Have you ever struggled withyour identity being a mother? Haveyou gone through a personal renaissance? What was it like?
Steph’swriting has appeared in Proverbs 31 Ministry, P31 Woman magazine. Inher free time she can be found encouraging numerous MOPS group in thenorthern Virginia area on the “Colorful Art of Friendship – AllowingGod to Paint the Masterpieces” and MOPS leaders on “Being a BrightLight”.
Steph can be found blogging at www.encouragedinheart.org or on Facebook at Stephanie Fink or on her Facebook page Encouraged in Heart – Stephanie Fink. She loves big hair, big cups of coffee and big bear hugs.