Confession. I know basically nothing about synchronized swimming or archery. But I do have a nice ‘clipart’ version of both in my mind.
When I first became a mom I felt like someone signed me up for a synchronized swimming club without my permission. As the tide moved, I was to move. Keep my place in line and do as the others do. Oh and look really put-together while doing it. But I always just felt like I was one step away from being kicked out of the club.
I was the short stubby girl with an off-brand bathing suit from TJMaxx who’s toenail polish was always chipping off in the pool, while my compadres- tall, slender, and Speedo dressed, floated around gracefully, never a toe out of place. My legs never went high enough, my moves not quite quick enough, and for goodness sake I was the only one who had to take a break to stop my swimsuit from riding up my rear.
All that to say, being a new mom made me feel like there was always a ‘right way’ I should be doing things and I could never quite fit the mold. Sleep train at this age, but don’t let them cry more than ___ amount of time. Breast is best, and while you’re at it you better have a freezer full of milk so that you supply never runs dry.
Sleep while the baby sleeps even when your eyes don’t feel like shutting, and never look tired. Swaddle for goodness gracious. And above all, make sure that baby is never crying in public. Keep in line, this is synchronized swimming.
But what I’ve come to realize is that motherhood is a lot more like archery. You try your best to make your best decisions, you pray your guts out, and you shoot your arrow. Even if you don’t hit the bullseye every time, I’m pretty sure they still give you points for getting close.
All sorts of moms do all sorts of motherhooding in all sorts of ways. And while one way works great, it doesn’t automatically make every other way wrong. Really when you get into the thick of it moms, we’ve only got each other to learn from. That’s the greatest blessing when we can take in the variety of wisdom, get our own arrow ready, and shoot with all our might. But it can also be the greatest curse when we use it to create a mold we’re supposed to fit into.
I’d probably never make a synchronized swimming team in real life. Holy cow they have to be able to hold their breath for crazy amounts of time and keep their limbs straight.
Archery seems more like my jam. I wouldn’t win anything, but at least I’d go home with a few points in my name.