(Hi, Mamas…now that my book is out, I’m going to be doing something fun for those of you who have a copy. I’m going to be blogging my way through the book a couple times a week by writing ‘workbook’ posts for each vignette. If you read my previous post, you heard about the importance of having a big, fat, ‘mama journal,’ for all things motherly. Now’s the time to pull it out and get scribbling. Don’t feel pressured to answer all of these questions or chewing points, just pick one of two that jump out at you and get in the sandbox).
The first vignette in Humpty Dumpty Just Needed a Nap talks about different kinds of mamas and how, whichever kind of mama you are, it’s okay. Relaxed Pooh mamas, uptight Rabbit mamas, you name it; you’re okay. If you’ve spent time trying to beat yourself into being a different kind of mama than God created you to be (and, let’s face it, who hasn’t wanted just a wee bit more Kanga in their mothering makeup?), relax. And go reread this chapter in Humpty Dumpty Just Needed a Nap. Because I’m not letting you go until you believe down to your toes that you are exactly the kind of mama you (and your kids) need you to be. Sound threatening enough? Scared? Good. ‘Cuz, like the Incredible Hulk, I don’t want to get angry. You won’t like it if I get angry:)
After reading the various descriptions of the Hundred Acre mamas, which one do you primarily think you are?
If you were to make a pie chart titled “Me,” what percentage of each Hundred Acre mama would you be? 99% Pooh and 1% Tigger? 25% Rabbit, 25% Eeyore, 25% Owl, and 25% Piglet? Be honest, but kind with yourself.
There’s no way the limited number of characters in Winnie-The-Pooh can represent every personality type. Is there another story character that more accurately describes you and/or your mothering? If so, go reread books with him/her in it. Describe this character.
What can you learn about yourself by identifying with your Hundred Acre (or whatever character you chose) twin? What, if anything, would you tell this character to change about him/herself or not change? What do you love about this character? What does this character want to tell you?
Do you ever feel God made a mistake in making you the way you are? That, perhaps, your children would be better off with a mama who had more of a Pooh groove going on than your nervous Piglet special? Jump into the sandbox and play with this idea for a bit. What if you were like Pooh? What traits might your children NOT have? How would being like Pooh change the dynamics of your family? What problems would being Pooh solve? Which ones might be created?
Who in your life has ever hinted, or outright suggested that you should be a different kind of mama than you are? List them on a piece of paper and revisit these comments. Have these words become part of the newsreel running through your head, especially on bad days? Are these words true? Now, go and burn that baby (the paper, silly). Seriously. Strike a match over the kitchen sink and watch that pack of lies go up in smoke. Then come back, we aren’t done here yet.
Spend some quiet time journaling about your Hundred Acre doppleganger and what you’ve discovered about her, and yourself. Is it okay to be you? Did God make a mistake by making you prone to being uptight? Did He forget to put the organizational gene in the recipe for ‘you?’
To say that God doesn’t make mistakes doesn’t mean we rest back, pull down a long draught of lemonade, and refuse to look honestly at ourselves. We all have sharp corners that need sanding. But we don’t need to be sent back to the factory. I’m convinced the finishing process comes a lot easier if we have this one thing straight out the gate: God doesn’t make mistakes. You are just the woman and mama you were meant to be. We’re not perfect; no one is this side of heaven. Not to get all Oprah on ya, but we gotta love ourselves before we can love our fams. Loving your neighbor as yourself assumes you, uh, love yourself. It’s not heresy folks.
So, I repeat, God doesn’t make mistakes. But if you’re interested in the sanding process, be patient. We’ll get to that in The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Read on.