Longing to Belong

I just finished reading a book called, “Daring Greatly” by Brene’ Brown.  It was an enlightening book for me.  It gave me lots to think about, lots to work on, and has changed my perspective on things.  I want to talk about one passage from the book;

“Fitting in and belonging are not the same thing.  In fact, fitting in is one of the greatest barriers of belonging.  Fitting in is about assessing a situation and becoming who you need to be in order to be accepted.  Belonging, on the other hand, doesn’t require us to change who we are; it requires us to be who we are.” p. 231-2

I have been thinking about this a lot and trying to assess this in my own life.  When I have been in social situations, at home, and during play groups I have be mindful of the way I am feeling and the way I interact with others.  I also associated fitting it with being with the cool kids and all that jazz, but I never really understood that what I was craving and searching for was belonging.  I am really bad at fitting in, truthfully.  Case in point, I remember when I was around 12 and I was invited to a neighborhood friend’s birthday sleep over party.  I was so excited, but I was also terrified.  I didn’t feel like I fit in to begin with but was so excited to feel like I might.  But when the silly things started, like the first one asleep gets their bra frozen, the second one asleep gets shaving cream on their face, and so on…I didn’t want to fit in I just wanted to hide so none of those things would happen to me.  I remember my introvert self feeling more and more uncomfortable but not wanting to say anything because I wanted to fit in.  I played around for awhile but after being with a bunch of girls all night and not sleeping, I wasn’t in the best of moods.  I went to the extreme…to get away for a little while I went and sat on the stairs.  I didn’t understand then that I was over stimulated as an introvert and that all my stores of being social were on empty, I just knew I needed some space.  Well, that backfired because that drew attention to me and then I had to seriously deplete my store of being social and fitting in.  I didn’t do a very good job at fitting in, but have longed to.  But now, I know the difference.  I have been longing to belong, to be accepted for who I am.  I am an introvert, bookworm, soccer loving, sports watching, loyal, friend who would much rather have a “sleepover” with one or two friends and talk about meaningful things.

It our society, especially with social media, we always want to fit it, look our best, and make everything look effortless.  Well, my friends what we really need to do is turn to our families, our good friends and talk with them in person.  Be present with them, give the gift of belonging- to them- and you will feel the gift of belonging for you.

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Confessions of THIS mom, Part 1…sleeping, or the lack of

I am not a morning person.  I really want to be, but I have figured out that sleep is too important to me.  That may sound really dumb, but let me explain.  Since having kids and staying home with them, I have realized that if I don’t get sleep I am not a very good mom at all.  The newborn stage of kids, I would say by far, is the hardest stage of life.  Keeping up with the demands of a newborn and other kids can be brutal and I had a hard time keeping my head straight because I wasn’t sleeping.  After my first baby I had to go back to work while my husband finished his last semester of his bachelor degree and found a job.  I worked four 10-hour days, which really was like 12 hours away because of driving time and lunch time.  I woke up at 5 am every morning to pump milk and then get ready to go to work.  I pumped at work as well and came home around 7 pm to feed her and put her to bed.  The schedule was brutal.  For my last baby my husband was in graduate school. Even though I was able to stay at home and not work it was still hard because I was aware of my husband’s need to sleep to be able to function.  SO…as my kids have grown I have found myself wondering how in the world did I ever survive?  But I did.

Now, I just know that I need sleep.  I really want to be that mom that wakes up early, exercises, fixes a wonderful breakfast for her husband and her kids and walks out the door ready to go, but that is not my reality.  Yes, most of the time I take my kids to school in my pajamas.  I have tried at times to wake up before my kids and exercise, but WITHOUT fail my kids always wake up earlier than my alarm…ALWAYS!!!!!  I have tried at times to wake up early and read in the quiet of the morning, but my eyes are usually burning because of lack of sleep.  Granted, I am not the best sleeper.  If something wakes me up…uh said children…it takes me A LONG time to get back to sleep.  I am jealous sometimes of the ability that my sweet husband has to just roll over and be in dream land…how would it be?  So I am trying to embrace my need for some more sleep.  Scott and I have an unwritten rule that we don’t stay up past a certain time.  I try and get as many things done at night after the kids have gone to sleep and call it a day.  No, I will probably never be the person that gets up early and exercises (I wish I was because I am not the best at exercising) but I will at least be able to be a good mom because I have gotten some sleep!

Today my four year-old asked me why I am always tired…I could have named a lot of things i.e. daylight savings time, but instead I asked him why he was always grumpy at breakfast.  He didn’t have an answer, just a little head nod, and we moved on with our day.  To all of you moms out there that are morning people, you amaze me and I hope that one day I can be more like you!