Under the radar, barely breathing. Shallow movements undetected. My life has been that of a worker bee buzzing in the opposite direction of revolution. I am the peacemaker; calm and even, slow, compliant. Rebellion implies passion, ringing of conflict leading to decisiveness. The mere word resonates negatively in my soul. It is everything I feel I am not. This prompt to look at my motherhood and myself paired with a positive view of rebellion is altogether uncomfortable. But new ways of looking at things are good because they lead to growth or help us see growth that has already taken place.
I’ve always wanted to be a mother, however producing four tiny people under the age of 4 was not my perfect plan. Yet, here I have arrived. Three boys and one girl (two being a brand-new set of twins) all wail (or fist fight) for my lap at the same time in the mornings. Perhaps these children were my ignition. After a very complicated and critical birth of our second child, we knew there was uncertainty in having more. As our souls continued to yearn for another addition to our family, we trusted the Lord moving forward. We were beyond astonished to see two heartbeats at that first appointment. While twins significantly rose the risk, it also rose our faith. Our rebellion was forward motion – refusal to be pressed down by the fear of what could happen and instead walk in the joy of new lives for however long they were ours to have.
Motherhood today comes with copious information. There are too many products and too much to read – we are all overwhelmed. When my first was born, I would inadvertently keep myself awake most of the night by the glow of my phone, blearily reading about sleep training. All I could think about was sleep. I was convinced that someone out there had discovered the magic method that would make my baby sleep better and I had to find it. It took many months before I was ready to rebel against that notion. As my confidence in mothering grew, something clicked. I knew my baby and I could figure this out. My husband and I brainstormed together and came up with our own modified sleep training plan that we both felt at peace with. We tackled it together and guess what? It worked!
As I continue to age in motherhood, I advance in my rebellion. I am able to quiet the voice that tells me that I need to do it like friend A or look like friend B. Whether it is sleep training, feeding, clothing, activities, school or discipline, I choose for myself what is best for me and my family without apologies or a feeling of offending others. This isn’t always easy or executed perfectly and it can be tricky to pinpoint where this spark stems from, but three sources come to mind.
Jesus. Our church has this saying, “The unexpected joy of desperate dependence on Jesus.” This. Every day. It might just be a plea under my breath – Help me Jesus. Or seeing my Bible on the table as I walk by and flipping it open to a random spot to read one or two verses that keep me going. The more I depend on the Lord, the more confidence I have. Because of his grace and love in my life, I can have confidence in my mothering and confidence to rebel against parenting cultural norms.
Always stick with your buddy. For me, this person is my husband, but it could be a trusted friend or mentor. This requires me to rebel against silence – to be brave enough to bring up tough parenting topics with him and make the time to come up with a game plan together. It’s totally worth it!
Surround yourself with support. A main source of my mothering community comes from my MOPS group. Sometimes I have to rebel against fatigue, logistical challenges and my own cranky attitude to make it there, but it’s always worth it. MOPS is a place where I am encouraged by other moms like myself, poured into by the sweetest mentors and inspired by incredible speakers. It is hard to imagine mom life without it.
So, Mama – let me ask you: What ignites your confidence? Where is one small space your rebellion can be lit today?
Jordan Canafax is currently a stay-at-home momma to four darling little people under the age of 4 in Dallas, Texas. With a master’s degree in speech language pathology, she enjoys talking to them all day long. Jordan and her ruggedly handsome hubby love daydreaming together about moving to the mountains.