Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Tower of Terror....or, if you will, the journey of motherhood

I belong to our local MOPS groups and I absolutely love it. I look forward to those meetings more than anything and not just because childcare is provided for a whole 2 hours (though that definitely is a perk, I won't lie) but also because I get to interact with other mothers, who also have young children. We're all experiencing very similar things with our children and there's a genuine understanding of the rewards and challenges of motherhood.

What I love most about these meetings is when one of the moms who is considered to be a "mentor mom" gives a presentation. She has 4 children, including a set of twins, who are all adults now, so she is living proof that I will survive to see my kids well into their teenage years. Recently, she gave a presentation on HOPE. What gives us hope when we're at our lowest points? Do we feel the presence of God in our everyday lives?

One major point she made was the comparison of the journey of motherhood to an amusement park ride. I had honestly never thought about it like that but as I listened to her explain the analogy, I found myself nodding my head in complete agreement. Let me describe:

1) Tower of Terror: You and your family finally decide to splurge and go on vacation to Disneyland. You're hesitant at first...can you afford it, will it be more work than it will be fun, will everyone want to do the same things or will you spend most of your time separated? You're feeling all kinds of pressure so you decide to just go for it, figuring a trip to Disneyland with the family will be the ultimate fun vacation.

Motherhood: You and your husband consider starting a family. You're hesitant at first....can you afford a child, will it be more work than it will be fun, will your husband share in the childcare responsibilities equally? After feeling a little bit of pressure from family members ("when are you gonna make me a grandma already?"), you decide to just go for it, figuring motherhood will be the ultimate fun journey.

2) Tower of Terror: At the park, you're waiting in line to ride the Tower of Terror....45 minutes of waiting. When you first get in line, you think it's moving rather quickly. But after about 15 minutes, it feels like you're still standing in the same spot. Your feet are tired, you're irritated and your excitement about the ride is starting to fade.

Motherhood: You and your husband are having a lot of fun "practicing" for a baby. After the first month, you just KNOW it's gonna happen right away and you anticipate all the fun ways you'll tell your husband that he's gonna be a father. But after about 3 months of failed cycles, your excitement starts to fade and you realize this may take longer than you expected.

3) Tower of Terror: You're finally up to the front of the line, waiting for the next available elevator. You feel your excitement begin to surge once again! As the elevator opens , your heart starts pounding in your chest.

Motherhood: Your period still hasn't arrived when you were expecting it....do you dare allow yourself to consider that you may be pregnant? You start to feel excited at the very thought. You do a home pregnancy test and as you wait to see those 2 lines, your heart starts pounding in your chest.

4) Tower of Terror: You get on the elevator, get buckled into your seat and start the slow, bumpy ascent to the top. Your heart is still pounding in your chest but now you're also beginning to feel anxious and nervous. Was this a good idea? Is the ride going to be super fun or are you going to regret it? As you get closer to the top of the ride, you start to panic....is it possible to get off this ride NOW? Just as quickly as that thought enters your mind, you are thrust out into the open and you realize there is no turning back.

Motherhood: Yes, you are pregnant. You are excited but also very anxious and nervous. Was this a good idea? Is motherhood going to be everything you dreamed about or are you going to regret it? As you get closer to your delivery date, you start to panic....is it possible to announce that you want a "do-over"? On the day your water breaks, you realize there is NO turning back....ready or not, this baby (or babies, in my case) is coming...

5) Tower of Terror: Once you are thrust out the doors into the open, you realize you can see for miles and miles. You can see the entire Disneyland park and the view is amazing and beautiful. You certainly appreciate the view but, at the same time, you feel scared and wonder if the operator of this ride is going to keep you safe from harm.

Motherhood: You've given birth to the most amazing and beautiful little human being you've ever laid your eyes on. You never realized how much love your heart could hold until this very moment. You can certainly appreciate the beauty of motherhood now but, at the same time, you feel scared wondering if you'll be a good mother and if you'll be able to always keep your child out of harm's way.

6) Tower of Terror: Without warning, suddenly you start to descend.....down, down, down....so quickly that it literally takes your breath away. You feel your heart in your throat, your stomach drops and you're not sure you can take much more of this. You just want the ride to be over with. This is totally NOT what you were expecting this ride to be like.

Motherhood: Suddenly, the adrenaline has worn off and sleep deprivation has set in. You're so tired you can't see straight, your boobs hurt from breastfeeding, a seriously bad case of post-partum depression is looming and you're not sure you can take much more of this. This is totally NOT what you were expecting motherhood to be like.

7) Tower of Terror: Just when you think you're going to puke, the ride comes to a sudden lurch and you realize that it's over. You're safe....you're still alive....and, believe it or not, you can't wait to get back on the ride again.

Motherhood: Just when you think you're going to lose your mind, your baby starts sleeping through the night. You feel tears fill your eyes as your baby smiles at you for the first time. You feel an overwhelming sense of pride and confidence you hadn't begun to feel until just now. And, believe it or not, you can't wait to go through it all again.

And that, my friends, was probably the wildest ride of MY life thus far....how about yours?

36 comments:

Creative Junkie said...

I would have loved to have been there and heard this speech. I think it's a great analogy.

Did you ever watch the movie Parenthood, with Steve Martin? That scene where his grandmother is comparing parenthood to a roller coaster? This speech reminds me of that scene.

Hit 40 said...

The tower of terror is good. Babies are wonderful, but so hard to enjoy when you are caring for them 24/7.

I have loved every age my boys have grown through, but I really like that they can now entertain themselves and pour their own chocolate milk.

Tami said...

great analogy, and so very true. I compare the "teenage" hood of my older boys like this. I wanted a do-over when they hit it. I wanted to change so many things. Yet, now if given the opportunity and GOD said, I'll give you a do-over, I WOULDN'T do it. It's lessons they have to learn, lessons they will learn to change or go forth with. As much as I want them too, they have to learn from the mistakes, and the knock me downs in life.

LOL, Thank God, he never gave MY mom a do-over! haha

Your post was brilliant today (as always)
HuGZ!

Ginny Marie said...

My little one has FINALLY been sleeping through the night on a regular basis, and now she's getting older, making me wonder about another baby...

I love the mentor moms at my MOPS meetings. They have come up with some great mentor moments! Tower of Terror compared to Motherhood...I'm going to send my MOPS friends this link!

Morgan said...

Motherhood is definantly a ride of ups and downs. I always think of pregnancy as a rollar coaster ride. You get on and it seems like it's going okay, that is until you realize you have to give birth to that growing baby! Then it's just like riding a scary roller coaster when you're heading to the top and there is no way to get off, that is unless you want to fall straight down! You just have to ride it out- scary hill (birth) and everything else. It eventually levels out again.

BTW- my favorite part about MOPS is the hot breakfasts. It's pretty much the only time I ever have a hot breakfast! !

Missy said...

Written so true!!!! I love amusement parks & the Tower of Terror aka Motherhood! It is my most favorite thing that I have ever done!

Kristina P. said...

You are completely amazing and creative. I loved this analogy!

The Mother said...

Wow--and you haven't even gotten to the teenage years yet!

newlyweds said...

What a wonderful analogy. And so perfectly relates to motherhood. And we've all survived!!

How's the garden doing?

Karen said...

Sign me up!

BlogBaby said...

Fabulous post!

Just like our children sometimes, amusement rides are best appreciate when you step back to see the beauty of their whole rather than focusing on their scary parts up close.

BlogBaby's BabyMama

Hajar Zamzam Ismail said...

That was totally how I felt. From the time I peed on the stick, only it told me I was pregnant before I even finished peeing on it! Heehee. When I had morning sickness I kept thinking I feel like I have motion sickness, only I can't get off the ride that is causing it! I kept thinking, "they're inside now, and they have to get out somehow, sometime, fasten your seatbelts now, the ride is going to get wild before it's over, oooooh, it's to late to change my mind."
Only I had no idea just how wild. Little buggers! I'm grateful to God that he gave me the ability to feed and wash my babies even though I was sick as a dog after they were born, recovering from the c-section, then my gall bladder going nuts immediately thereafter. I had more than just two new-born babies and "post-partum depression" is not the word. I was emotionally numb from exhaustion and being in excruciating pain. Besides all that I had the rage about the way I was treated at the hospital to deal with... Looking back I think it was a miracle that my udders produced even the few drops of milk that they did. I am proud of myself and grateful to God for the 12 ozs. a day I was able to give each kid for the first three months, besides the formula.

Mother of Multiples said...

I couldnt have said it better than this...You are brilliant and thanks for sharing. I just love it that we all have something in common. thanks again for sharing

The Lane Family said...

This is an amazing analogy and so how I felt at various times through this process called motherhood and I am only starting!! I really needed this today because after running on 7 whole weeks of maybe and hour of sleep a night I need a little hope!!

Thanks,

Wendi :)

The Lane Family said...

Sleep deprivation is getting to me seven whole days not weeks!! By the way can I borrow this analogy for a lesson I have to do in church on Sunday on being a mom!!??

Amy W said...

Excellent analogy! I was nodding my head too! :)

Heather said...

Hilarious! I would say that is a pretty accurate portrayal! Who knew it would be so hard...or...so rewarding. Good to hear from you!

Sara @ Domestically Challenged said...

So, so true, isn't it? However, since I have a toddler, my roller coaster is still loop de looping.

Amy said...

I would take motherhood over any ride like that. I think it is a bit safer.

Onna@toddlercraft.net said...

What a great analogy!! There are so many ups and downs. Scares and wonderment! I love my children dearly but like all mom's sometimes need some me time too!!

MamaHen Em said...

Completely great analogy! I loved MOPS when I was in it. It saved my sanity after Chickie Girl was born. Literally, saved me!

Heather Happymaker said...

Brilliant! I love it! And I'm so glad you attend those meetings. I swear, there must be three of you running around out there.

Jen said...

you are so right!

Jennifer said...

LOL! You hit the nail on the head!

I think I'm in between steps 7 and 8!

Semi-Slacker Mom said...

That is a wonderful analogy!

Stacy said...

What a great comparison! It works perfectly!

The Daily Dean Chronicals said...

You are correct! Such as great comparison! Thanks for putting in to such great perspective! Happy Wednesday!

Mrsbear said...

What wonderful parallels. You make it sound like so much fun. ;) You forgot the part where that burger you had for lunch makes a reappearance. I do love that ride though and The Tower of Terror too.

Veronica Lee said...

You are such a creative and brilliant mom. I seem to be using the same words each time I read all your awesome posts.

Debbie said...

That does sound great! Motherhood is so wonderful.

Paula Constable said...

That's a good analogy! Thanks for sharing. What a wondeful mentor your MOPS group has!

Fearless Mom said...

no wonder i've always avoided the tower of terror.

Tess said...

As usual, I love your posts-they are right on when it comes to explaining motherhood and family adventures!

Sharlene said...

Great analogy. You should really write a parenting book Helene. I funny book about the realities of being a mom.

The High Family said...

Helene, you are awesome!

This has got to be my favorite post thus far...GREAT analogy! I was shaking my head up and down the entire time...this was/is my life at this very moment!

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I figure that if the children are alive when my husband gets home at the end of the day, I've done my job.

----Roseanne Barr



 
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