I picked my outfits carefully. I matched shoes and bags. I researched and learned the language of the country I was planning to move to. My guidebooks and insider tip books were dogeared, underlined and packed to go. I had learned the history and political environment of my new homeland. The tools necessary for my survival and comfort, were packed. Everything ready, I counted down to my departure.
Excited, nervous and a little nauseaus, I boarded my (very bumpy flight) and made it to my destination. Exhausted, I waited at baggage check. All I wanted was to get settled in.
Around and around the luggage carrier went- I saw all kinds of luggage passing me by.... suitcases that looked like mine, but weren't. Duffles like those I'd left at home...But not mine. I stood there long after the last bag was gone. Watching.
Normally- I can roll with most punches. My view is- whatever I forget or lose in travel- can be bought/replaced on arrival. (I'll tell you about trying to find a strapless bra in Germany. Let's just say, I don't speak German, but now know: Busten halter. )
But this wasn't just any trip. This was my voyage to Motherhood. Not a vacation- but a serious life move. And when I arrived? All that packing and preparing? Somehow it didn't arrive when I did. After a bumpy pregnancy, I arrived at motherhood exhausted, travel worn and completely unprepared. Like a traveler who packed "heavy" only to find her luggage lost- I was in trouble.
Yes, I'd read the books. (just about all of them, I swear!) I even had experience with children. But none of it prepared me for motherhood. The "insider guides" (all those Mom written and full of wisdom books) left out so much. The "language in 30 minutes a day" (books by professionals who gave me opposing advice in every book) .....well- they didn't cover the universal baby language of crying. (Mine or the babies;)
After a bumpy pregnancy I arrived exhausted, travel worn and busier than I'd ever been, and completely un-prepared.
Luckily- I was met by a welcome wagon. New to the "mothering neighborhood" I found a group- MOPS International, that helped me fill my new life with the skills, tools and support I needed.
Nobody had all the answers... (a few may have thought they did- but that's just part of being Moms) But together--- we figured it out, got through it and grew. Meeting after meeting...year after year... speaker after speaker convention after convention... slowly my suitcase full of preparations was more than replaced.
It even started overflowing. I still don't have all the answers, (Still think I do sometimes... but my kids are quick to point out the truth.) but I don't feel totally unprepared anymore.
Even when change comes- I know I'll have help. Like for the next phase of mothering I'm quickly entering, there are always other women who've been there- done that- and now proudly wear the t-shirt ready to help the next Mom survive! (You can call me multi-tasking/ multi-phase mom... I have one getting ready for college in the fall, and one going to first grade.. as well as a middle child who'd gladly point out that he is listed last....) we are all about change around here...including my entering my *gasp* forties!
I've never been here before--- but other moms have. And- at MOPS....I know I'll be able to pull on them for support through this too!
If you're a mom- and feel like your luggage didn't arrive at mothering when you did..... you're not alone. And you're welcome to come to MOPS, for a cup of coffee, a little encouragement and a bit of suitcase re-packing;)
(MOPS is an International Support group for Mothers of Preschoolers... please stop by the website and find a local group to be involved with!)
Labels: mothering, random domesticity