Every day for the countdown until Christmas I will be having guest bloggers visit my page and share some tips they have learned along the way in their motherhood journey. Be on the look out for our Guest Bloggers Series!
Every year around this time we hear the same question – What do you want for Christmas?
It seems innocent enough. And every year until now I could usually come up with at least a few things that I either needed or wanted and just hadn’t gotten around to buying for myself. Last year was especially easy, I was a first-time mom to a newborn. There were plenty of things that I didn’t realize I needed until after I had my daughter. Nothing glamorous, my list included things like nursing bras, a baby carrier and a new breastpump bag, but they were wants all the same.
This year was different. This year for the first time I had difficulty coming up with an answer to that all-too-common question. What DID I want for Christmas? And then I realized that what I really wanted wasn’t anything that anyone could give me.
What I really wanted could not be purchased in a store or delivered to my door in 2 days courtesy of Amazon Prime.
What I really want for Christmas this year is strength.
I’m not talking about physical strength, although I could probably benefit from a few extra sessions at the gym. I mean the strength to go on raising a child in this scary world we live in. A world where someone opens fire on hundreds of innocent men, women and children at an outdoor music festival. A world where the same thing happens just a month later inside of a church of all places. Is nothing sacred anymore?
I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t keep up with current events. I don’t listen to the news on the radio, I don’t watch it on TV and I don’t click on the headlines when they come across my Facebook feed. The only reason I have a subscription to the Sunday paper is so that I can clip the coupons and plan my grocery shopping trip for the week.
I’ve never been one to gossip. I don’t like drama. Life is hard enough as it is, why make it more difficult? So if I am the last to know about the latest sex scandal or the brawl that happened at the club downtown, I can live with it. It doesn’t bother me if I’m the last to know. Who really wants to know about that kind of news anyway? The stories that really hurt me to my core, though? Anytime an innocent life is affected. Whether it be a case of animal abuse or child neglect. I’ve been irrational and made my husband change the channel when a story like that comes across the screen. I’ve stopped him mid-sentence and asked him not to finish reading the news article.
What kind of world is my daughter going to grow up in?
Stories like this have always bothered me, but since becoming a mom I can’t seem to stomach them. The love I have for that little girl is so strong it can only be described as fierce. I love her so much it hurts. I look at her and I can’t possibly imagine anyone wanting to harm her. The day she comes home from school and says that someone was mean to her is going to be a tough day for me, one of many, I know. It’s all part of this motherhood thing.
But I have to stop hiding. Hiding from the bad news and the evil of the world isn’t going to make it disappear. Pretending that these things don’t happen isn’t going to stop them from happening. And in order to do that, in order to come out of hiding, I’m going to need strength.
Strength to explain to my daughter that there are people in the world who do bad things for no good reason.
Strength to encourage her to stand up for herself.
Strength to urge her to stand up for others.
Strength to teach her how to be kind, brave, humble and compassionate in a world filled with greed and hate.
Strength to raise her to be a person who can make a difference. Someone who doesn’t accept the world for what it is, rather fights to make it a better place.
As tempting as it is to pack up our things, move to a deserted island and live blissfully unaware of the chaos, I know that I won’t be able to protect her forever. And I know that children learn best by example. If I want her to be a strong person, she’s going to need a strong role model. Figuring out how to protect her innocence all the while preparing her for the real world is becoming an arduous task.
So this year for Christmas, I am asking for strength. Because the change that I’d love to see in the world will never happen if I continue to hide from what needs changing.
About the Author
Misty Hofert is a first-time mom to a 15-month old little girl. She and her husband reside in a small town outside of Buffalo, NY where she works as a physician assistant. With a passion for writing and the need for a creative outlet, she started her blog, Winging Motherhood to share her journey through motherhood.
IG: @winging.motherhood (winging.motherhood)
Facebook: Winging Motherhood Blog