Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Stockholm Motherhood

Wikipedia defines "Stockholm syndrome" as this:
"Stockholm syndrome, or capture-bonding, is a psychological phenomenon in which hostages express empathy and sympathy and have positive feelings toward their captors, sometimes to the point of defending and identifying with the captors."

I think there is just a little bit of Stockholm syndrome involved in mothering. Yes, the majority of what we put ourselves through to raise our little ones and minister to our families is because of how much we love them. Love is how we can change the fifth blowout diaper of the day, clean up the highchair for the umpteenth time, and snuggle our little ones when the thermometer reads 101°. In my experience though, there are times when something else seems to be at play.

Case in point: several months ago (probably 5-6 months at this point, but it's taken me awhile to write this), there was one evening where Little Man screamed his head off the entire time I was preparing dinner. He had a clean diaper and was not hurt, just wanting to be held at a time when I was unable to and Daddy wasn't home from work yet to play with him. So I put him in his jumper where he could see me in the kitchen and went about my business. Even though I knew I was doing something totally reasonable and ultimately for my son's good by not giving in to his demands, it was SO. HARD. He can get LOUD! And part of my momma heart wants to rush over and sweep him up, but the wife and homemaker part of me knows that I needed to tend to other matters at the moment. And eventually, he settled down a little and only protested his imprisonment occasionally until Daddy got home and rescued him.

Later that evening, I was going to run out to deliver some boxes to friends that were moving and then run a quick errand. Little Man was getting his bath so I laid everything out that my husband would need to get him ready for bed. As I prepared to leave, I kissed my freshly washed babe and said goodnight. That's when the tears started. I didn't want to leave! Despite being in capable hands, my little munchkin that had terrorized me just a few hours previously was holding sway, not only over my emotions, but seemingly my logic as well!

Please don't misunderstand. I love my son dearly. And in not saying every new mother feels this way. But I think anyone will tell you that the first year of your child's life is HARD and that it doesn't get easier really, just challenging in different ways. Especially with a first child, there is a significant amount of adjustment and sacrifice to the point where I felt I was losing part of myself.

I'm slowly learning to not feel guilty about leaving him for the occasional date night or errands, to not feel like I'm abandoning him even when he hasn't had a difficult day. He now has a few babysitters that he absolutely adores and who love him too and for that I'm extremely grateful. At almost one year old now, I feel like I'm finally discovering more of the new me and seeing that she does still have glimpses of the old woman in her. Thankfully, God is not finished with me yet! Whenever I feel trapped, I know I can run into his faithful arms and remember who is really in control.

Philippians 1:6 ESV
"And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ."

Soli Deo Gloria,

Monday, May 18, 2015

Showers Galore

I was blessed recently to be a part of planning two baby showers and one bridal shower in a six week time frame at our church. We are thankful to be a part of a Sunday School class that has several young couples and families which means there can be a lot of life changes happening in a short time! It was a privilege to bless these new families as they celebrated the changes in their lives. I really enjoyed having the chance to stretch my creative muscles as well, something that's taken a bit of a backseat since Little Man was born.

The first shower was a vintage travel theme baby shower for a much anticipated little boy. Baby J's parents were some of the first people we got to know when we moved to Lincoln and we were both trying to get pregnant at the same time so I was extremely excited to celebrate Baby J's impending arrival with them. My Silhouette Cameo got quite the workout for this shower! I made several banners, including a simple pennant flag one, a sign for the gift table ("Luggage Drop Off"), and a piece of map art for the couple!
I learned how to fold a good, basic paper airplane for the garland ;)

The pennant flag banner now hangs in Baby J's nursery!

The map hearts encircle the places where the mother, father, and baby were born!
Baby shower #2 was a beach bash three weeks later for a sweet baby girl! Baby E was due just one month after Baby J and her parents were building and moving into a new home at the time as well! Whew! We had a fun time decorating for this beachy affair that ended up taking place in the midst of a snowstorm! At least we were thinking warm!
I had lots of fun and went a little crazy putting together the photo booth ;)
Michelle made these cute topiaries and frames! We wrote fun messages on the diapers for the mom-to-be.
Molly put together this absolutely gorgeous tablescape, complete with a miniature beach scene!
Finally, we switched gears and threw a fun, vintage burlap and lace bridal shower for a lovely friend and bride. Scheduling issues meant we held the shower at Michelle's house which made the gathering a little more intimate and homey which was a nice change. :) We used some of her vintage kitchen gear for decorating along with some burlap and a banner I made using my Silhouette that said "Miss to Mrs". We used treble and bass clefs to make a heart out of music paper since both the bride and groom are musicians. :) We also had fun filling a jar with date night ideas for the newlyweds and playing a "He Said/She Said" game where we had to guess who said which phrase.
Melanie gave a great devotion and presented the bride with a beautiful framed poem.

Opening gifts! (The banner I made is in the doorway)

It has been quite the eventful few months but it was such a privilege to have a small part in blessing each of these women. I'm glad now for the break in all the excitement and the chance to focus on planning some of our own personal events, like a little someone's first birthday! :D

Soli Deo Gloria,