Piece of Peace
Somewhere in today's turbulent world, where overwhelming forces combine to push us to the very brink of our limitations, exists a fertile land where inner spaces are allowed to grow, welling from the deepest recesses of the human heart: the land of peace, creativity, and inner space.
So many moms lose touch with their "inner space" once that first bundle of joy comes home, radically changing the focus of life itself. And yet there are ways to stay "connected" while devotedly caring for a family.
Unless we're training to become child care experts, nurses, or child psychologists where we are professionally taught how to handle one of the myriad facets of child rearing, the extent of most people's preparation for parenting is based on a combination of memory, instinct, social, and cultural influences. Those who are lucky receive the benefit of experience from their extended family, though that path can also be fraught with error. We draw on the do and don't influences from our earliest childhood memories and personal readings, and add love and hope to each of our parenting experiences. Beyond that, there is no such thing as a parenting school that trains parents to shape and mold the human lives they are responsible for bringing into this world.
Consider that doctors receive a minimum of eight years instruction before they are legally allowed to treat a common cold; teachers average five years of training; financial planners study accounting practices for years before being entrusted with a family's financial portfolio; and diplomats graduate after years of toil from demanding schools such as Yale, Princeton, and Harvard.
Contrast those realities with the fact that, over the course of nine short gestation months, people are expected to bring similar skills to their parenting roles.
Parents are nurses responsible for their child's nutrition and physical well-being. They are teachers educating their kids in the ways of life. They are economists planning for the financial management of their household, and they are the diplomats and officials required to sort through sibling and parent/child conflicts.
Throw in today's social economic structures that result in families where both parents frequently work full-time and face the demands of the business or professional realm, and you have all the ingredients for the most potentially stressful job in the world!
So how do busy moms cope with wearing so many hats at once? Is it possible to find any inner space at all? When there is an endless series of needs pulling in so many different directions, how can a mother ensure that her own needs are met, at least enough to maintain her sense of happiness and self-worth?
The key word is balance.
Think of mothering as a deep well. The well has plenty of water, but it is not bottomless. If water is constantly being drawn and no chance is provided for renewal, sooner or later the well will run dry.