Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day Invaders

The sun was shining. A cool morning wind was gently blowing through the leaves of the plants around me as I pulled weeds - trying to make sure to get the roots. I admired the shrubby ground cover that spilled over the wall in the bed. It was in full bloom. The bright yellow cheerfully popped against the red barberry and pink azalea.

As I continued to pull weeds, a flash of green caught my eye. Green where it was supposed to be yellow. I went to investigate, and found it. Here...and there...and over there.

I had Invaders.

Plants that weren't supposed to be there. There was some English Ivy hiding out just under the flowers. A couple of volunteer baby maple trees on the edge of the bed and a Japanese Snowbell coming up right between the azalea and the Barberry. How did all of these trouble makers get there without me noticing? They were big and established enough to have been there at least a couple of years.

These Invaders had grown undetected. In fact, they were protected by my own carefully selected plants. Small and inconspicuous, they sat, biding their time, waiting for their root systems to become strong. Pretending they belonged there.

Removing them from these beds will be difficult. To make sure it's permanent, I must pull them out roots and all. Getting a shovel or other tool in there could cause damage to my other plants. But if I don't remove them, they could all too quickly take over, or displace my carefully chosen arrangement.

As I was thinking about how I needed to get them out, it occurred to me that I had other Invaders with which I must contend. 

These Invaders aren't overtaking my flower beds. But they do just as much damage. 

They have grown protected and sheltered. But unlike the unwanted plants in my yard, these other Invaders don't reach for the sun. They stay below the surface, preferring the dark. They bubble and foam and froth - eroding from within.

These Invaders tell me that I'm not doing enough. That I'm doing it all wrong. They tell me that, on this Mother's Day, I should not be celebrated. Contrary to the card on the window sill, I am not the "Best Mom Ever!" and that maybe, just maybe I'm not cut out for this Mom Stuff.

I used to hate Mother's Day. It seemed like a cruel joke that anyone would celebrate when I was being denied what I wanted most. And those Invaders told me that I wasn't supposed to be a mother - that I didn't deserve to be a mother.

And then it happened! Finally, we were parents. And all of a sudden, we had what we wanted and it was wonderful! It was an answer to our prayers and our wishes and our dreams and we were so, so happy. But it was also so, so hard, and it was exhausting, and although we had been waiting twelve long years, we had an almost two-year-old and suddenly it seemed too fast. What did we really know about being parents? And then, there were two. What a blessing and how scary!

After we had waited so long, how could I complain about how hard it is? After finally getting what we wanted, how could I not enjoy every minute? After having our house be so quiet how could I now curse the craziness? My Invaders told me I must be doing something wrong. 

Those Invaders are well established. They've been here long enough that they think they belong here. Getting in there to pluck them out, root and all, will be difficult.

I know that I'm a good mom. I also know that I have a lot to work on. Just like the invading plants steal the water and nutrients from my desired plants, these Invading Thoughts suck my confidence and steal my joy and break my spirit.

I'm not sure why it is so easy to believe those darn Invaders.

They have to go. They must be plucked. I need to make room for the positive, for the joy, for the fun.

 So don't let those Invaders take root, my friends. Let's make room only for what reaches for the sun - for the light. It's worth the work.

This week's weight gain/loss: -3.2 lbs
Total weight loss: -24.8 lbs
Exercise: Not great - just yard work - no formal exercise
Food: Not too shabby - down a bit on the veggie intake, though
Food Tracking: Excellent! 6 days out of 7
Hydration: Good


  1. This is so true! I always try to live by the motto: What would my best friend say? Those invaders in our heads sound like jerks!

  2. Here, Here, I so totally get you because I'm so totally there......we must be related :)
    love you keep smiling and thinking good things Maxine

  3. This is an amazing concept. I'm glad you are seeing it for what it is. Mother's Day is the day to celebrate that you are a survivor and haven't run away yet!!!!! All mother's struggle with the craziness of it all. It's a hard gig, and one of the best parts about being alive. Love you.
    It's getting to be that time again Amy . . . . . . . check your calendar. =)