Thursday, 4 February 2010

Dreams fulfilled

This week I got my dream job. For years I have wanted to work in a teen parent unit and the opportunity has come up to work part time teaching English. As I was interviewed and then started preparing for the term to start I have been amazed that so much of my teaching experience which I thought was a big mess of restlessness and bad decisions turns out to have prepared me so well for this role. I feel like my career path is being redeemed. And I have my passion back. I am full of ideas and excitement about working with these young women. And I am so grateful to God for his goodness. Ella will be just across the road so I can continue to feed her and see her when I need to and I am able to work the days which suit. I really couldn't ask for more.

I truly gave my work situation over to God and have so little energy and not much confidence in myself that I have really had to leave it all in His hands. And this means I have a real sense of peace about the job. He has opened all the doors and put everything in place so I can trust Him with how it will work out. And all my past experiences are helping me to have realistic expectations of people and what it will be like but also inspiring me to risk more in my commitment and vision for what I could do.

For the first time I think I have my dream job!

A beautiful moment

Sleep - the eternal debate. I have been struggling with helping Ella to sleep. She is a really alert baby and struggles to relax enough to sleep. But this morning as I fed her after trying to settle her for a while she peacefully closed her eyes, turned her head away and stretched towards her cot. I put her down and she drifted off. What a beautiful moment where I was able to help her to relax and then she was able to tell me she wanted to go to bed now. Many people have told me not to feed to sleep but Ella has told exactly what to do and I love that we can communicate so well now. It is times like these that all my confusion and questioning turns to clarity and love for my sweet girl and how smart she is.

Pride comes before a fall

Sometimes I have magical weeks where it seems like everything is going smoothly. Ella and I seem to have this whole thing sorted. I am doing lots and getting lots done. The house is clean, the laundry done and I have managed to cook each night. I feel I am awesome at this motherhood thing. But I also call these weeks manic weeks. Because it is not reality, it cannot last. I am doing too much and eventually the wheels fall off. Ella stops sleeping during the day, or I have a crisis of confidence or I get sick or any number of normal things happen and I realise again that perfection is not a target or a goal.

I am a very task orientated person and I love routine and achieving things each day. But being Ella's Mum is not about that. It is a relationship and you can't be in relationship with someone by setting up systems and structures. Instead you love and care for another person by being available, by listening, by risking and responding. And slowly I am letting myself truly relate and respond to Ella. Every day is different for me so why wouldn't it be for her?

I often fall into the trap of thinking predictability and structure will make life more manageable. But it doesn't. It often results in me doing too much and feeling like I have to perform each day at a certain level. Instead by going with my energy each day and where Ella is at I find that I am more joyful in each day. I am more in touch with my own voice and hers and feel so much more satisfaction. And I tend to avoid the huge crashes which come at the end of a 'manic week'.

So life muddles on. I has taken the best part of the week to recover from our camping trip and have the house in some semblance of tidiness. But in that time I have rested and enjoyed Ella. So I keep learning that when I feel so proud about how wonderfully I am managing everything maybe it is time to slow down and muddle a bit more.