POM's retreat I just attended there was someone I couldn't wait to meet. Catherine is the mother of 5 children...all who were born within 4 years. When I did finally get to talk to her, there was something that just really struck me about her.
She has this amazing, CALM, centered spirit. Yes, the mother of these 5 little children is calm and centered!
Catherine writes in an interview:
"As a product of our circumstances, I’m trying to live in the now and enjoy and soak up as much as I can. I promised myself that because we went so long without children, and I knew what a gift they were—even though they did come all at the same time—that I would not complain. I knew it would be hard, and I do sometimes find myself complaining about the logistics (I never have enough hands) but not in my heart because I know it’s such a blessing and honor to be a mother."
Isn't that beautiful? Those aren't just words, she exudes this attitude.
The truth is though, it IS hard to be a mother. It isn't an easy job because I think it's 24/7 emotionally and physically demanding, and we have our hearts at stake from the time we see that little double line on the pregnancy test, to the time we...well, leave this earth. It's 24/7 for the REST OF OUR LIVES...in different ways of course..maybe the physical demands of the early years taper off while the emotional demands grow...the dance of keeping hold while letting go permeates into our days slowly as theses little ones become teenagers, then adults.
And some days I find myself complaining about so much...and not even out loud, but in my head...my brain and heart sometimes feel like there is NOT enough of me. The house that only stays straightened for minutes, the meals I never really get to enjoy, the fact that I am always, always NEEDED. I could go on and on...and I don't think I could really stop till I am dead in the ground. I could always find something to complain about if I wanted to, right?
I once read an article about how changing the words from "I have to" to "I get to" works for just about everything. It's a magic switch. I try this when I remember to and it really does work for everything and my mind immediately flips from that of a complaining, negative spirit to one of gratefulness and really, pure joy that I GET to be alive, I GET to call these children mine, I GET to feed them, I GET to watch them grow, I GET to create a loving, safe, beautiful environment for all of us to be together. And yes, that might mean that I GET to awaken at 6:30 am to fix sandwiches, I GET to wipe a toddler's bottom for the umpteenth time in my life, and I GET to sweep the kitchen floor. The alternative being what? I don't want anything to do with that alternative.
When I think of not being here to do those things, or not have the children to do these things for, my heart breaks. I want to be grateful for every day I get to mother these five wonderful children of mine. They truly are a gift to me...they have given me way more than I could ever return.
Thank you SO much for being such a source of inspiration Catherine! You are an amazing woman.
HERE is Catherine's MUST READ story. It's truly miraculous.
HERE is Catherine's wonderful blog.
And I love this hilarious time lapse video that Catherine made.