On the Threshold of Change

I’ve been thinking back over my tenure as a mother thus far and several distinct phases have emerged.  They are as follows ::

  • The Big Shift
  • The Difficult, Down and Dirty Training
  • The Inner Landscape Years

The Big Shift was, of course, the shift from whoever-I-was-before to Stay-at-Home-Mom.

I was lost in a new and bewildering land.

After a lifetime of unknowingly placing my value in test scores, in projects completed, in goals reached, in money earned, in praise received, staying at home required a Big Shift in how I saw myself, and in where I garnered my sense of self-value.

It was a long and uncomfortable process.

I’m pleased to realize that I am truly finished with the Big Shift.  I know who I am in my present context, and what my value is, outside of a career, outside of academics.  Indeed, I’d probably be scared spitless to return to a scenario in which I must depend on other people’s valuation of my work.

Almost simultaneously with The Big Shift was the Difficult, Down, and Dirty Training.  It was a minimum of six months where I literally willed myself into basic housekeeping habits and consistent organization.  Flylady was my savior, my constant companion.

Then after awhile, washing the dishes and making the bed right away became habits, the sense of being adrift without outside structure and approval faded, and I entered into The Inner Landscape Years.

Three or four years.  One, two, three small children.  Life was invested in, life was infants, toddlers, preschoolers.

During that time I did an enormous amount of reading across a wide spectrum of subjects.  But due to (a) no venue for talking about it and (b) the inability to form complete sentences due to the manifestation of Mommy Brain, all that information and wisdom was locked up inside my head.  I would look at articulate, well-spoken 45 year old women and could only hope–Maybe that will be me someday.

But through all that reading, learning, and thinking, my Inner Landscape bloomed and blossomed.  Inside my head was a fascinating place to be, full of interesting and useful things.  Fascinating, but isolated.

And now, ah now. Now I believe we are on the threshold of change.

Lia is coming on towards six now, and the wideness of the world is opening up before her.  Our choice to be fully present in her journey of discovery is necessarily changing our family, changing our home, and changing my role here.

It’s early days, but I’m thinking that this next phase of my journey as a mother is going to involve Home in deeper, wider, more intricate ways.  My sense of home is expanding beyond shelter, beyond daily details. It’s as if the foundations have been set, and we’re ready to make something truly beautiful.


6 thoughts on “On the Threshold of Change

  1. My spine tingles as I read this. MAN, you have a way with words. I have graduated from The Big Shift (just recently), am sooooo close to finishing the Difficult, Down and Dirty Training (habits are being formed and I’ve come to realize that I AM MOM, my mom isn’t going to come clean up after my whole family! LOL) and well…if I can get one more kid out and through the first year, we’ll be headed into those picturesque years too. I’ve been reading, oh have I ever, and it’s in there somewhere. But I’m not articulate yet. Or 45. I’m so grateful that I can read your blog and make the journey with you and your family. So fun. =)

  2. I again always just dreamed being a stay-home-mom. So for me when I had to go and work in my thirties it was very difficult. I also dreamed to be a stay-home-grandma, near to my grandchildren and to be active in their lives with them being very often at my home and I at theirs. Unfortunately that did not happen. And I will give my eyetooth if it could. Love

  3. Thank you, Laura, for your encouragement with my blogging. When Tim called the other day, he said some really nice things about my blog and I really appreciated it. I know that I’ve been enjoying some of the fruit of your inner landscape years – thank you for all those book reviews!

    Mom Saartjie, I am newly aware and newly grateful for the PRIVILEGE of being able to be at home. Thank you for raising a son who values mothers and all the work we do!

  4. Leilani, thank you, and you know that you are a women near to my heart. I tell everybody that I could not have gotten a better wife for my son and a better mother for my grandchildren. I enjoyed the 12 years home with my children. Sometimes I say that if I worked we would have our own home, but then I know in my heart that I will choose again to have been home to raise them myself. It was my best years. Love you. Ofcourse I love your blog

  5. Big sigh. I think I’m still somewhere between the big shift and the down and dirty. Even though I’m not staying at home…still a big shift. And my house is still a disaster. So…yep, lots of hills to climb. Or, as Robert Frost would say, many miles before I sleep. 🙂 Thanks for the view from the top.

  6. I don’t think there is any top in this process, I think it’s just phases. Cross country skiing vs. mountain climbing? 🙂 I’m always so amazed by moms (you!) who do what I do ON TOP of a full time job….baffling, really.

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