I kept walking through Target, like the mom-bie (zombie+mom) that the lack of sleep and pallor from late night feedings- I knew looked like.
I heard it again: “Tracey, Trace?” Recognition almost registered through my mommy-fogged brain. “Tracey? You mean me?” I looked around. I saw a friend. She DID mean me. I thought about pretending I wasn’t me. I was a mess and not exactly feeling like a “visit.” Besides, time was ticking and my boobs were filling. It was almost time to nurse again- if I went off the schedule there would be tears and a possible overflow. Which, I generally tried to avoid. I checked the baby in his seat.He was sleeping.
I decided to risk it. We talked for a few minutes, and I somehow felt like I’d been pulled out of my mom-bie ness. It wasn’t a deep conversation. Just a chat. With another mom. One who also happened to be between nursings and risking the public humiliation of leaking to talk to me….a sister in motherhood with a cart piled with diapers and wipes.
That few minutes of connection between nursings and the target checkout- refreshed me. It woke me up from my mom-bie sleep. It reminded me that I have a name. Honestly? It kind of brought me back to life.
It may sound weird- but somedays I’ve longed to remember who I am. My identity often feels based on the needs of those around me. I’m Mom, mommy, Moooooooooooom! Mother, nurse, counselor, referee, teacher, pastor, chauffeur, wife, sister, daughter, granddaughter, follower, leader……whatever need I’m filling at the time-so many things that I forget that I’m also: Tracey.
One of the things I love about MOPS Convention- is it’s a time for me to hear my name. Like the conversation at target-it again wakes me out of the mom-bie mode. It reminds me who I am. In addition to being mom.
MOPS convention also reminds me of the bigger picture of my place in the world. Whether that bigger picture is how much more there is than soaked blouses and minutes between nursings. (The truth is-my nursing days a looong gone. My oldest 2 are in college and my youngest is in fourth grade. But I remember feeling like life revolved around my nursing schedule.) Or the bigger picture of how my daily tasks are actually investments of love in future generations. (Even though they feel more like: tasks.) Or- how I can help other Moms…… to remember who they are…. and help wake them from the mom-bie zone… by just listening. Saying their name. Caring.
In the daily-ness of mothering I forget who I am. I go to Convention to be reminded.
I also forget “who’s” I am. From my body to my time I feel like I belong to others. My kids, my responsibilities, my husband, my schedule……but when I go to MOPS Convention, I’m reminded that I really belong to a God who delights in me. Who has a plan for me, and who loves me. Tracey. Just as I am.
I go to convention to be reminded. I meet moms who remind me I belong to God- first, then my family. I hear speakers that whisper truths between laughs and hear truth that sinks deeps into my heart through music. I’m reminded of “who’s” I am because I have time to meet with Him…. something my days are not always long enough to schedule in.
I also go to MOPS Convention to be reminded of who I am becoming.
The static-ness of mothering occasionally runs headlong into: change. And I don’t know what to do. WHO am I, when my family changes? The preschooler goes to school. The toddler is (finally) potty trained. The MOPPETs enroll in college. (I still can’t believe 2 of my kids are in college.) Life changes. Mothering changes.
Who I am- changes. I learn and grow. I change. (Ask my college boys- they will tell you I am not the same mom I was at 20-something…they remind me of this all the time.)
I go to MOPS convention to be reminded of who I am becoming. God’s plan doesn’t begin and end with mothering. I meet moms who are further along on the mothering journey and they give me hope that the changes can be good. I meet moms who have survived changes I’m facing and they inspire me to face them with joy. I hear the whisper of God speak to my heart and give me glimpses of what may be next….
This is why I’ve gone to MOPS convention for over 20 years. (Give or take a few conventions a little too close to new babies arrivals to attend;P)
I have to admit, now that my kids are older and I’m a little less mom-bie like on occasion- there is a new reason I go to MOPS convention……a reason I find even more exciting than all the things I’ve been reminded of each year at convention…..
You are the reason I’m coming to MOPS convention. (Yes, really- I mean you. Not that other chick. I mean YOU!)
Maybe YOU are in the mombie zone and just need to hear your name.
Maybe YOU need to be reminded of who you are.
Maybe YOU need to be reminded to whom you belong.
Maybe YOU need to be reminded who you are becoming.
I’m going to MOPS convention to meet YOU. To come along side: YOU. Because WE are sisters in motherhood and no mom should be alone.
The truth is- I need you to remind me- and just maybe- I can help remind you-too.
I can’t wait to be with YOU!
*Repost from July 2010