When All You Want to Do is Run Away to Narnia…


12 July 2020

I have a Spare Oom in my new house. For those of you unfamiliar, Spare Oom is Mr. Tumnus’s mispronunciation of “spare room”, where Lucy Pevensie found the wardrobe that would take her and her siblings to the wondrous Narnia.

“Daughter of Eve from the far land of Spare Oom where eternal summer reigns around the bright city of War Drobe, how would it be if you came and had tea with me?” – Mr. Tumnus, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

In our new home, Spare Oom is “my” room. It is supposed to be my office/guest room, though I have had a hard time verbally claiming it as my own. I have done so metaphorically with the bookshelves and their arrangement, but I have found myself, in other ways, tailoring it more to my mother’s tastes and aesthetic, as she will likely be the most consistent overnight guest we will have (should this pandemic ever abate and borders reopen). So I often catch myself referring to it as “Grandma’s/Marmee’s room” rather than my own. I am trying to train myself into the more middle-of-the-road name of Spare Oom, to which I have become attached because I have decorated it with the Narnia-themed art that one of my best friends, Courtney Pritchard, has created for me over the years.

Spare Oom is supposed to be somewhere I can get away to hide when I need to, supposed to be something that I have not had over the past few years: a space of my own. This particular day is the first time I am using it as such, seated in a corner with my faithful stuffed pupper friend Deborah by my side, and wishing that I escape through my own closet, just for a little while. Today, I am hiding from my little girl and what feels like her constant state of being upset with me. What made her angry today? The suggestion that I might need to go to the store and therefore take her with me because Ben is helping a friend move some plants.

I am the Breaker of Hearts. The Dampener of Dreams. The Ruiner of Lives. The Forcefeeding Warden. The Tower-Banishing Queen. The Woman Who Doesn’t Know ANYTHING.

“Mom” is an unenviable position to be in right now. At least it is for me. I am the person saying”no”. I am the one reminding her of washing hands, turning off lights, and putting things away. I am the person refusing to let her have chocolate right before bed. I am the person dragging her along on errands and chores while Ben is at work and thus ruining her day…or her life, whichever is worse. Nope. “Mom” is not the most fun position to be in right now. 

2020 has been a year of massive change, both obviously and surprisingly. From school closures to quarantine and isolation to distance learning to, finally, our then finding a new home, packing up, and moving an hour and a half away all in the space of a month. There has been change after change not only for us but also for our girl, I know. And change is hard. I am doing my best to help her process through it, which proves challenging at times when I have barely had time to process myself (as I am learning even right now). Still, it’s hard to feel constantly at odds with her. I am trying to pay attention to and temper my words, actions, and body language with her (as I know my big feelings bleed through at times, too). I want, above all things, to remind and reassure my little girl that she is safe with me. Often, though, the moment where I do constantly feel the bond between us is at bedtime, when, after prayers, a story, and a mug of warm milk, she wants me to sing to her and stay close until she falls asleep. It’s a sweet moment that I so very often wish I weren’t so tired during but am still thankful for.

While mothering is difficult (so very difficult!) right now, I know that giving up is not an option. Things are still very hard, the world is still unsteady, and the idea of normal activities (such as going back to school) is still scary. And if I am scared, then she might be as well. If my girl will have no other stability, no other rock in this environment, I am determined that she will have me. Even if I do need to disappear into Spare Oom for my own sanity from time to time.

Hold fast, dear friends. There are days when the hard will be insurmountable, and all we can do is hole up, hold fast, and try again tomorrow. That is okay. That is allowed. And you are still loved, rooted for, and believed in. Rest when you need to. Spare Oom is waiting.

Deborah the Faithful

NaBloPoMo 2014 Day 26: I Feel Like Sorry


(Cross posted from my Mommy Blog – “I Have a Forever“)

There are days – many days – when I feel like I should say I’m sorry.

I’m sorry I’m constantly tired and only good for sitting or lying on the couch after Elizabeth goes to bed.

I’m sorry that I get distracted by my toddler when you’re talking (whoever you are, whether in person or on the phone). I really am listening to you and interested in what you have to say.

I’m sorry that portions of my house are messy. I can only do so much in a day and I just didn’t get to that one room.

I’m sorry for the repetitive meals. They are quick and easy and something all three of us will usually eat without a problem.

I’m sorry that I have to say ‘no’ to plans out more often than I can say ‘yes’. It’s not that I don’t want to go or do things with you. I really, really do.

I’m sorry for the times that I say to my daughter, “Get off me!” because I’m so inundated with the little personal space invader that my skin is starting to crawl.

I’m sorry for feeling like I should feel sorry. I’m sorry for not being the confident “I can do anything” woman that society (or at least part of it) wishes for all mothers to be. I’m sorry I’m not a Pinteresty SAHM with all kinds of crafts and cleaning hacks and design tips.

I am just a mother with a small house that never seems entirely clean, a rambunctious toddler that can turn on the sun with her smile, and a hard-working husband (teacher and pastor) whom I will never be able to thank enough for all he does.

A friend of mine shared this article this morning, I am entirely thankful for its honesty and truth. I agree with it wholeheartedly, though I am definitely one of those mothers that often feels guilty for wanting time to myself. But I’m working on it.

Just a moment but a beautiful one


So I had a total Mom moment last night. I went to check on my baby girl after she had gone to bed and, when I held her little Snow White nightlight over her crib, I was so struck by how beautiful her little face was that I just had to stand there for a moment and marvel. I guess I never really imagined just how much you can love an infant; it’s really striking and beautiful.