Mothers of young children are generally not as “transportable” as they once were. Responsible for the needs and naps of little bodies, they are not able to go out to the same places, or do the same things, at any of the same times.
Experienced mothers will assure you that feelings of isolation and frustration are completely normal. It is a phase of life that will pass. Little ones will only be little for so long.
But knowing all this doesn’t always make it easy.
When negative feelings creep in, it is helpful to remember that there is a whole vast world out there that mothers play an incredibly important part of. Participating in the building of the World Order of Baha’u’llah, no matter what capacity one is serving in, is a most glorious job.
Children will not be little forever. One day they will not require constant attention. Some day they will be older children who will be capable of sitting through meetings, junior youth who want to have their own share in a project, and youth who will take initiative for projects of their own. And one day (gasp) they will even be adults.
It is only natural for mothers of young children to sometimes miss the easy outings and the time they had before having children to do things with other adults without constant interruption. They may wonder if they will ever have more time to pursue their own interests and hobbies, engage in activities for their own personal growth, and even be more active in service to the Cause.
If you are feeling this way try finding a way to tweak your perspective, if only for a few minutes, to focus on the magnificence of the Cause. This meditation can lift you beyond your own personal concerns. Pondering the gifts of service (in any capacity) can bring us to a true state of joy and help us to take more pride in those daily tasks of wiping endlessly messy counters and sweeping continually crummy floors.
Here are some inspirational verses to reflect upon:
[quote]O SON OF MAN!
Wert thou to speed through the immensity of space and traverse the expanse of heaven, yet thou wouldst find no rest save in submission to Our command and humbleness before Our Face.[/quote]
(Baha’u’llah, The Arabic Hidden Words)
[quote]If we are not happy and joyous at this season, for what other season shall we wait and for what other time shall we look? This is the time for growing; the season for joyous gathering! Take the cup of the Testament in thy hand; leap and dance with ecstasy in the triumphal procession of the Covenant! Lay your confidence in the everlasting bounty, turn to the presence of the generous God; ask assistance from the Kingdom of Abha; seek confirmation from the Supreme World; turn thy vision to the horizon of eternal wealth; and pray for help from the Source of Mercy![/quote]
(Abdu’l-Baha, Baha’i World Faith – Abdu’l-Baha Section, p. 351)
[quote]The more we search for ourselves, the less likely we are to find ourselves; and the more we search for God, and to serve our fellow-men, the more profoundly will we become acquainted with ourselves, and the more inwardly assured. This is one of the great spiritual laws of life.[/quote]
(From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, February 18, 1954; Lights of Guidance, p. 114)
This stage of parenthood will not last forever. Before you know it, you will be able to go out carrier/stroller and diaper bag free.
Until then, be kind to yourself and make sure you are finding a way to feed your spirit on a regular basis. Ultimately it is up to you to choose to be in a place of spiritual happiness for most of the day and to ward off the negative feelings that do not contribute to your inner state of joy. You can use prayer and reflection on the Holy Writings at any time to assist with this.
(This is by no means easy, but it is an ideal to try to live up to!)
What habits or quotations help you stay positive and spiritually energized throughout the day?