This Sunday in church our pastor talked about adventure. It was an excellent reminder of how we need to be explorers in our life, rather than tourists watching the days pass by like paintings in a gallery. When he started talking about adventure, my mind flashed back, to a moment a little over a year ago. Let’s talk about it….
John decided he was going to spend a long weekend in his hometown of Hastings, NE. Me, being a glutton for punishment, decided to take the boys for a long weekend to the lake house. About 15 minutes into the hour and a half drive they both started screaming. Then Hank got the lid off his sippy cup. Then Gus had a blow-out. Then Hank threw a shoe. Then he screamed because he wanted his shoe back. Then I started crying. I pulled the car over and became insane. “You little turds! I used to be amazing! I worked in Italy! I sailed to Capri! I backpacked in Africa! I studied in New Zealand! I watched the Opera at the Sydney Opera House! I fished in Fiji! I lived in a loft in Downtown Kansas City and worked at one of the best children’s hospitals in the nation! And now this! You have ruined me! I am nothing more than an overweight and exhausted mom! All I do is mom!” And even the newborn screaming in the back seat recognized the crazy in my voice and stopped screaming. Hank stopped screaming and said “You have a back pack?”
I look a lot better rested in all these pictures too, don’t I?
I needed to change. I couldn’t be this mom. I couldn’t be the one who was merely surviving. I couldn’t be the tourist when I had spent so much of my life being an explorer. They hadn’t ruined me. I did this all to myself. My adventures in my twenties were easy. This was a much more difficult and treacherous adventure and I had not risen to the occasion. Game on boys, game on.
I had to embrace it. I had to recognize this new life style as the adventure that it was. Step one was to lose the weight. That had nothing to do with Hank and Gus, that was all me. But turns out 30 pounds later I was feeling a lot more like myself.
And then came the hard part. I had to find my place in this new chapter of life. As a young woman I was always into something. I loved to travel, I loved to sew, I loved to play roller derby (true story.) Where did I belong? After all, I was JUST a mom. Stop. There is no such thing as being JUST a mom. We are all so much more than JUST moms. And the problem was I saw it in everyone else, but not in myself. I admired that Amanda was creative and could create gorgeous crocheted items…all while being a mom. I shook my head in wonder how Kate could be the funniest woman on twitter…all while raising a sweet little lady. I gazed in awe how Mandy could be an amazing nurse, keep the most gorgeous home…and raise two children. I had to look at myself differently. And it was hard. But I did it. Now I write a blog. I see 30 some kiddos a week. I teach classes to daycare centers and mom groups. And I mom. Before I mommed, none of this could have been done with the passion and excitement I bring to it today. This is my adventure. I am a momventurer.
After recognizing my life of being a mom was an adventure, and that I wanted to be an explorer instead of a tourist, my life became so much better. My house is a lot messier and my kids are a lot happier. And so am I. At the end of the day, when I look through albums of my adventures, I love looking at the adventures that required planes and back packs, but my greatest, and favorite, adventures are Hank and Gus.
Ladies, (and the 8 or so men that read this – hi dad!), you are on an adventure. You are a momventurer. You all have it in you. You just probably haven’t seen it in yourself. But it is there. I promise.
Also, it just so happens that October is Pastor Appreciation Month. So thanks Pastor Nathan (and you too Pastor Pat!). Your sermon inspired today’s blog post and encouraged me to be an explorer in my faith, not just a tourist!
And yeah, like I said…true story….