Sunday, March 09, 2008

A Mother's Metamorphosis



It’s no mystery that in the past few weeks there has been some touch and go moments on the motherhood home front around here. Although I haven't exactly explained it, I think my images have done the talking for me. It's been difficult to put my finger on but I can say that it hasn't been comfortable. Just when you think you’ve hit your stride, one or both of your kids will slide into some new phase and you’re caught not looking and loose your balance. Sometimes you’re left reeling only to struggle to regain composure while other times you find yourself flat on your face. You’re nodding your heads aren’t you?

In my case, for this go round at least, I think it’s time to shed some old skin I haven’t been ready to let go of yet. It makes me emotional just thinking about it. I’m not being the best mom I can be and I know better than anyone that it’s time I take some strides forward. Big ones. And as I do, I must leave what’s not working behind me. That should feel good. And I’m sure it will. But it also means forging into new, unfamiliar territory and that can be terrifying.

So, as I gather my courage to press on, I am slowly seeing my girls, my incredible daughters, for who they are, not for who I think they should be. Wow. That’s a doosie. Even in our toughest moments when we lock horns, face off, stare each other down, I know I am looking square into their strengths, and even more intimidating their individuality. They are who they are and they are not me. And thankfully, they will never be me. They will never be anyone but themselves. It may sound simple and obvious but the truth is that it feels huge to see it now with my own eyes and feel it with my own heart, that everything they are becoming is unto themselves and not unto me. That I am feeling so melancholy and even conflicted through it all must mean that I am experiencing a pretty significant motherhood rite of passage.

I am reading a book called Your Child's Strengths: Discover Them, Develop Them, Use Them by Jenifer Fox (provided by the Parent Bloggers Network) which has pretty much sparked an inferno of epiphanies for me. Although I tend to poke around books and take from them what I feel I need to learn-that’s one of my strengths I guess-by reading through the pages of the book, I have been inspired to better appreciate my girls for who they are. I want to learn how to focus on their strengths and discover the innate, unique gifts they carry, savoring both the sweet and salty of what they bring to the banquet table of life. It just might be the biggest challenge to date but I know it’s worth any discomfort I feel as I stretch from this tight motherhood cocoon into a lovely winged creature with the grace and courage enough to share the endless sky with my butterfly girls.

Do you have a shot to share today that makes your heart want to take flight?

54 comments:

melody is slurping life said...

{hugs} Tracey. I've been boohooing for weeks over parenting the boys and my shortcomings. Your loving words of revelation are certainly an inspiration for me to get a few things off my chest...make a few changes. And your photo is refreshing beauty.

For now how about a pleasant surprise of a memory inspired by fruit...

Best Shot Monday

Blessed Nest said...

Tracy- Thank you for sharing your heart. Yes, I was nodding my head! What an inspiration you are and your words rang true.

My shot....beauty when the trumpets sound
my best shot
trumpets

Blessed Nest said...

sorry try this link..sometimes I just don't have luck with my links..the above does not work

my best shot trumpets

Childlife said...

Such simple truths, but so hard to remember... I struggle with the same challenges and you have put it all into words so very beautifully.

Here's a shot of my little mermaid...

Best Shot Monday

DanaB said...

Oh, DO I understand, as the mother of Miss Soon-to-be-13, do I ever!

~~
http://www.flickr.com/photos/windowswideopen/2323055767/

susiej said...

I read that book this week -- and I had planned for my review to cover what my child's strengths were; instead, I found myself facing a situation where my pre-teen's strengths was getting him into trouble. So my review focused on trying to get my child to see that; without telling him what to do.
It was tough; and I made mistakes, even with the book in my hand, reading it like a manual.

I captured a picture of his younger brother... the innocence that see in his face... and when I see his face, and see his brother, I wish I could have seen what lies ahead when his face was that small.

With the
freedom of a Snow Day, I get the chance to redeem myself as a Mother, and make up for all the rushing around and scolding.

HipMomma said...

All of blogosphere is nodding. We may not express is as forthcoming as you have but we have felt it.

Beautiful flower as always.

Here's My Best Shot

HipMomma said...

Oops. Here's mine for real this time.

natalie said...

Darn it, darn it, darn it. I STILL haven't learned to do the link thing.

Oh, how your words pulled at my heart strings this morning. Suddenly my toddler is EXPLODING into her own-ness and it's terrifying to me.

Yet I want so badly to go back to the baby pool and do it all over again. My picture this week shows my daughter kissing a friend's newborn. And my heart cried.

http://thebensonfamilyandotherstuff.blogspot.com/

Bonnie said...

Hmm ... sounds like a book I might need to read !

Here's my Best Shot

Stacy said...

I've felt the same way for a while too. Maybe it's the weather here and being all cooped up. My girls have given me a run for my money these past few weeks. Both are reaching major milestones. One is turning the corner on her first year of life and the other is about to turn 5. My almost 5 year-old is a handful and she's the only one who can bring me to my breaking point. I love her and I wish I was at your spot ~ loving her strengths. My best shot for today is actually celebrating the baby's impending birthday!!
http://anothermommymoment.blogspot.com/2008/03/yay-for-birthdays.html

Maggie said...

Hang in there Tracey!

And your shot is gorgeous...

BSM: Trouble? What Trouble?

Leah said...

Parenting is a hard damned job.

My best shot this week is of one of the fun, easy parts.

Stacy said...

I don't think my link posted correctly. Here it is again.

http://anothermommymoment.blogspot.com/2008/03/yay-for-birthdays.html

Kyla said...

I'm in a new place this week! Under Construction.

Those transition times are hard. Hang in there, Tracey.

Blueberry said...

oh yes, such true words. i think we've all been there and will be again. such is motherhood.

http://blueberryandbean.blogspot.com

Stephanie said...

Being a mom is the hardest, but most rewarding job ever. When they are babies, you think it will be easier when they get older...the battles are not easier...just different.
Here are shots of my kids hands that melt my heart. For some reason, looking at their hands is what makes me realize how fast they are changing and breaks my heart...sniff!
http://slsmithphotgraphy.typepad.com

Phyllis Sommer said...

i was definitely nodding my head...do you think they change and grow just to give us the opportunity to do the same?

my little boy is flying high today...check out his lost tooth!:-)

Maya said...

Tracey your words are so encouraging. I feel as though I'm at a certain passage with deciding to jump into photography and a part time job so that I have more time with Zane. It's been such a struggle and yet wonderful at the same time. Thanks for being so honest with us!

Here's what is making this mother smile this week...
Best Shot Monday

Megan said...

what a lovely post, tracey.

<"BSM">

Megan said...

what a lovely post, tracey.

<"BSM">

Megan said...

sorry, if someone will enlighten me, i just can't get the link thing to work...ever

www.mentalinventory.blogspot.com

Brittany said...

That was wonderful Tracey. Thank you for sharing you words and your heart!

My shot is up, as well:

Snowy Fun

Sara said...

OH sweet heart ((((hugs))) I know what you mean. Will be praying for you.

best shot monday

carrie said...

Tracey - I could have written that post today - up to the part about shedding the "old skin." I think it has taken me longer to get to that point, I'm so almost there. Thank you for sharing this, I think it (and the book suggestion) will get me to the same point as you. As always, thanks for the inspiration.

This photo does make my heart take flight, and remind me of my girls' loveliness underneath it all.

Best Friends

amanda said...

Oh, how this speaks to my heart this week! I have had many "heartbreaking mommy moments" lately.

Here's one of the few that makes my heart sing... and dance.

http://amandasfavoritethings.blogspot.com/2008/03/best-shot-monday_10.html

Please someone tell me how to do the link thing!!!

kim said...

A beautiful photo to match some very poignant words.
Here's mine:
http://www.cancio.org/blog/?p=948

chaoticfamily said...

My boy has been quite the challenge as of late. We are all there and always learning as parents.

Here is mine.
http://chaoticfamilypictures.blogspot.com/

Crunchy Domestic Goddess said...

what a beautiful picture and thank you for sharing your struggles and triumphs with us. i so appreciate it. i, too, have been struggling lately. it's good to know i'm not alone. that book sounds wonderful.

thank you and hugs.

my best shot is:
hanging out

deb said...

I think that's what I found most shocking about my children, that they're people. They're not me, even though came out of me.
This is a shot of my youngest

http://tiredmummy.blogspot.com/2008/01/gone-again.html

Amy Jo said...

Love flowers! LOVE! So nice!

Here's mine. There are some flowers in there, too!

tracey said...

ladies, if you need to basic code to leave a link here in the comments, pop over to Dave's Site! and get the scoop-
and just take out his info and plug in yours to get the link right. remember to link to your static page of your post (not just your blog address).
to get the static link to your post, click on either your 'permalink' button or the title of your post and the static link address will come up in your browser window.

Sassy said...

WOW, you hit the nail on the head. Just when we are graduating to "parent of the year", our kiddos go and throw us a curve ball. Then, we are back to being freshmen in the college of parenting.
Being the Best Mom you can be requires an ever changing person, constant growth and open mindedness. There is no science or method to parenting....Making this "no easy task", so give yourself a little more credit! Consciously knowing that you can better yourself is half the battle, so GREAT JOB!

Here is my BSM:
Flutter Flutter

maggiemae and family said...

my daughter melts my heart daily! i love this picture of her.

http://maggiemaeupdates.blogspot.com/
2008/03/craker-face.html

i am new here so i dont know if i am doing this right? someone post on how to do the link in the comments.

Jaimee said...

Here is my first BSM!

Best Shot Monday

Chaotic Joy said...

I'm here for the first time. Thank you for sharing your heart so openly. I think this is something all parents struggle with.

Best Shot Monday

Christina said...

Wow, your words are so powerful. So true. So real. Thank you, Tracey.

I'm late today, but nowMy BSMis up too!

Sarah-Ji said...

Tracey, I can sooo relate to your post. I've got a 3.5 year old who could care less about ever learning to use the potty (or so it seems to me) and I feel like an utter failure. And that's the least of my motherhood woes.

I think your daughters have already shown us a glimpse of the beautiful butterflies that are waiting to emerge over the coming years.

And here's my my BSM for the week.

xoxo,
Sarah

Khrista said...

This is my first week participating. Here is my
Best Shot
Thank you for sharing your parenting concerns. I have a 6 year old daughter and my current struggle is bringing myself down to her level and just living the moments with her. Having fun with her! We had a great weekend connecting! Hang in there!

Shalet said...

Tracy - I firmly believe that just as kids have "stages" so do parents. After all, just like them, we are learning as we go. And to quote Maya Angelo, “You did then, what you knew how to do, and when you knew better, you did better.“

My best shot, comes with a bit of a rant. I had a long day yesterday and needed to vent.

Everyone's shots are just lovely!

Shannon Gurney Photography said...

I'm already checking into that book. Thanks Tracey!

Here's my shot for this week:
Best Shot Monday

Andi said...

Better late than never...I do not know how you all do this so fast. I just got home from work and it is almost 7pm here! Tracey, I do not know if I have the words to express what your post means to me...I posted a complete reaction piece to your post; I was just so moved by your photo and your words. Painful, touching, sincere, and true. Mothers of teen daughters know it all too well...thanks also for your comment about the links. I am not sure if I have had enough time to understand what I saw there. I will do my best to have it by next week! Thanks again for such a thought-provoking post and a lovely photo.
My photo and reaction:
http://www.magallanomornings.blogspot.com

d.girl said...

At least you are trying. As a teacher I see so many parents who give up because they don't know what to do. Hang in there with 'em!

my BSM

Kimberly said...

Aww, beautiful post Tracey. I may have to read this book you're talking about. :)

Here's my best shot:

There's a storm coming...

I am Jen said...

Oh lordy, are we both in the same world or what? I will check that book out big time. You know my shot. Take care.

Andrea said...

I've been there, through the tough cocoon stage, and now get to reap the benefits of my beautiful butterfly.

Your girls are very lucky to have a mother who is so aware.

Here's the shot that makes my heart (and ears) take flight.

Best Shot Monday

Lara said...

i have a pretty hopeful picture up at my place, maybe it will cheer you?

Inner Light

either way, big hugs. :)

Anonymous said...

I really need to get that book, I have a 4 year old who is constantly testing me. thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. Because of the difficulties that I have had recently, a friend of mine gave me a great gift. the friendship stone. It acts as a reminder of how we should look at life, keep perspective of things, and challenges that we face. It is something small, just a beautiful piece of Tiger's Eye, however the story behind the stone is beautiful. I found their site; http://www.thefriendshipstone.com ,
Anyways I look forward to reading more of your blog and viewing your beautiful photos!

Tracy said...

I have three from yesterday (Monday). Just another day of homeschool...

Amy said...

Well a big shot in the arm was just reading this post. My daughter is still very young, but I really identified with what you had to say. As for a best shot, here is an old one, but I love it:

http://mymerryway.blogspot.com/2008/01/before-becoming-parent.html

I haven't started participating in best shot monday, but I may soon.

Thanks again for sharing.

Golightly said...

Lovely shot and thoughtful words, we've been stretched quite a bit here, too. (and he just turned 3...) I will look into that book, I think someone else recommended it to me previously. I didn't participate in BSM yesterday, we were TOO busy and I got sick.

Take care till next week!

HLB said...

Thank you for sharing! And beautiful picture, really soft texture on the background, love it!

I'm running a bit late this week, but finally sending you hugs and a colorful critter from Brazil! :)

Bunny said...

Tracey, I put off my best shot until now, it's a little late :) But I really wanted to comment because I know what you mean about going through some changes. I am going through some of my own and I can relate to a lot of what you said. I think I will look for that book. I'm at the verge of something new and better, but I'm still holding onto what is familiar, so it's hard to let go.

Karen said...

Bless you. Our children show us how. Our children show us who. Our children show us when. You'll be OK; we all will. Our hearts are one.