Devoted, Not Consumed: Motherhood & The Life Of The Mind

Like most of you, all this extra (enforced) time at home has been both a blessing and a trial. Is this our new normal? Do we even want the old normal?

I’ve hit a wall about what to do with my blog here. Feeling like I have nothing to say.

I lost sight of what my purpose here is.

It’s not to tell my story. It’s to tell your story. The story of thousands like us. The story of the good student, the bookworm, the daydreamer, suddenly and happily thrust into the incarnate, all-consuming work of motherhood.

Your Story

You love motherhood. But miss some of the things you had before. Your intellectual pursuits. Reading simply for pleasure.

The thrill of all the disparate threads of a mystery coalescing into one.

Understanding a complex character motivation, and suddenly the fascicle foil transforms into a deep, image-bearer just like you.

Or the slow and cozy ease of resting in a well-worn novel, like going to a family reunion without the pinched cheeks and watery potato salad.

Gosh, don’t you just long for those moments?

But there seems to never be enough time, enough quiet, or simply enough YOU leftover at the end of a long day and night parenting.

What’s even worse than this loss, is the guilt you feel for mourning it. Your longing for these transcendent moments feels like a betrayal.

Isn’t motherhood enough?

Shouldn’t it be?

 

You love motherhood. It's your vocation. But you miss the intellectual life you had before. Reading, journaling, contemplating, discussing books with others. What's worse, you feel guilty for missing these things...

 

Motherhood is not a vocation for dabblers. With a special-needs son, I can see the path of intensive motherhood stretching into the shining distance. Possibly until the moment of my death. But even parents of typical children know the season of mothering moment-to-moment won’t end in the blink of an eye.

Your commitment to motherhood must be absolute.

But you needn’t be consumed by it.

That’s the heart of my corner of the internet. The purpose for my blog & attendant social media.

To celebrate the milestones & ordinary days of Catholic home life, without sacrificing the life of the mind. To support you in the endlessly spinning task of giving all to these little people, and filling back up again. And to see you. To make you feel seen. Because you are a devoted mother, yet you are not consumed.

You aren’t a fragmentary creature, split between BP and AP (before parenthood & after). You are the same girl who daydreamed and scribbled in margins. The girl who created life in her mind now shephards little souls through life. That was training you for today. And the true student knows that learning never ends.

You are an integrated, beautiful whole. With all aspects enhancing and embracing one another.

So we’ll get into the practical. I’ll recommend a book I like. I’ll show you how I make margins for reading, and hold space for contemplation. But that comes second. First, you have to give yourself grace.

Lean into the desires of your inmost heart. Forget all the shoulds and shouldn’ts of so-called “perfect” motherhood. And allow yourself to dream again.

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