Mothering

Sweet Surrender

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I signed up for a two magazine trial subscription to Martha Stewart’s Body+Soul. I figured, it comes from Martha so it’s got to be good. In the most recent issue I received, I enjoyed an article by Cheryl Richardson, a professional speaker/life coach. In high school, I was a big fan of the self-help section of my local Barnes & Noble. I was young and hopeful and loved to surround myself with the positive energy a lot of those books had to offer. I even entertained the idea of becoming a motivational speaker. Slowly, though, as I entered college and later the workforce, I lost my connection to that hope and wonder and belief. It wasn’t entirely lost but it was out of sight for a bit. The birth of my daughter has ignited that faith in me again, it had been rumbling to resurface for some time and now her being here has given me much more focus. Reading her article really hit home to me.

Richardson discusses the power the act of surrendering can have in your life. To view it not as “giving up” but as realizing that the particular situation is not one you can control. It made me aware of why I had been so unhappy at work. When I first began my job, I enjoyed it a great deal. I was challenged, involved and eager. Time went on and I continued in this way until management changed hands and all of a sudden things were different, drastically different. I made proactive efforts to transition smoothly. I asked questions and made myself available. I spotted errors and made suggestions for solutions to issues and inconsistencies. No matter how hard I tried, nothing made things better. I fought tooth and nail to find happiness. I realize now that I was trying to control the situation. Had I realized this sooner, I may have been able to surrender to the circumstances a bit better.

Luckily, my unhappiness at work was kindly interrupted by a lovely maternity leave which gave me the perfect excuse to just not care. But not caring is a very, very different thing than consciously surrendering. I threw my hands up in the air and said, “At least I get a paycheck.” I gave up the fight but continued to harbor negative feelings. I have to be grateful that a job posting came up at just the right time and now I’m on my way to a new job. Life works in funny and wonderful ways.

I know that surrendering works. It’s how I explain why motherhood has come so easily to me. I should elaborate that by motherhood I don’t mean to say that I am the best mom in the world, I mean to say that I am the best mom in the world for D- I’m in tune with her needs, I put her above all else and I listen to her. Before she was even born I surrendered myself to motherhood without evening knowing it. Somehow I just knew that there was no way that I had any control over what was about to happen to me. If D cried, I would do what she needed. I knew that it was not my place to enforce rules and boundaries. The beginning of her life is so precious and requires so much nourishing that the best thing I have done is surrender to her needs. I entered motherhood knowing I had no control and I was okay with that. I truly believe that’s why I’ve had an easy time.

I couldn’t put my finger on it. The “it” being the ease of motherhood. It surprised me really. I was nervous and unsure of how I would be as a mom. So when it finally came so smoothly to me, I attributed it to an insane amount of patience and faith. Nothing else. I believe now that what I did was surrender to motherhood and the key to surrendering is patience and faith. Patience to listen, observe, learn, let be. Faith it will be alright, that I can do it.

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