Motherhood. There is so much wrapped up in that one single word. Everyone has their own understanding of it, what it means to them, what they think about when they read it or hear it spoken. There’s one thing for sure, though… being a mom is no joke.
The moments we cherish, and those we may not
There are some truly beautiful moments in motherhood. Ones that take your breath away and melt your heart, like when your little one comes up to you to whisper a secret in your ear with a soft voice saying, “I love you mommy.” There are moments of joy when your baby starts belly laughing uncontrollably and you can’t help but join in. You celebrate with your son now that he has learned how to put on and zip up his coat all by himself. And there are the comical moments when innocent questions are asked, “Why did it snow last night mommy?” Perplexed, because it’s 70 degrees outside and has been for days, you look outside and realize the trees are covered in white because everything bloomed with the arrival of warmer temperatures from spring. These are the moments you want to hold onto for forever.
And then there are other moments that are not so appealing. These are the ones when you wonder when the day will end, because you feel like all you’ve told your kids is “No!,” “Don’t do that!” “Stop aggravating your brother” “Listen please!” All. Day. Long. Over and over. And with that are the tantrums, the same questions answered multiple times a day and the endless messes of dirt spread throughout the house because your child has once again put his hand into the potted plant. Not to mention, he wanted to bring you the present of dirt he found and share it with you too by placing some in your hand and spreading it across your jeans.
Motherhood is beautiful and messy all at the same time.
A matter of perspective
It’s hard though when I often find myself focused on the frustrations of the day instead of the joys that are happening all around me. My focus is on what I haven’t accomplished, what is left to be done, how I’m going to fit everything in and then frustrated at the end of the day because I couldn’t do it all. All the while, I continue to get interrupted from my little ones who need me, so the cycle continues.
I always feel guilty taking so much for granted with my little ones, for feeling like I have to keep up with the Jones’ in so many aspects of my life.
But the thing is, I don’t have to focus on the frustration or rushing around to accomplish as much as I can. I can look at it differently, perhaps from the perspective of my child and see things through his eyes, and suddenly the weight of the world is gone for a while.
The life of motherhood – changing my view
I did this the other day. With my oldest in preschool, my mornings are usually packed with “to-do” items and goals to check off as much as I possibly can before I have to pick him up and focus on two little bodies again for my afternoon. But this particular morning, I decided to take a step back. The house was a littered mess with toys and objects dropped from my youngest as his interest changed from one object or toy to the next in front of him. I had laundry to do, e-mails to write, groceries to collect, dishes to put away. But it didn’t matter. All of those things could wait. I decided to take time to intentionally focus on my son, interact with him at his level and not be distracted by the every day of my “adult” things to do.
I found that time to be priceless. In truth, I believe it was easier to do this with my oldest child when it was just him and me during the day and everything was new and exciting, for both of us. And once my youngest came into the picture, it felt as if life went into overdrive and it was hard to know where to put my focus.
So for the first time in a long time, I put all of my tasks aside and put myself in the shoes of my toddler and experienced his world for a bit.
It was liberating. There were no worries except to make sure every letter came out of the container and ended up somewhere on the floor. We had to stack the play dough containers and topple them with sound effects every time they hit the carpet. And even though my little guy can’t speak in English words yet, he spoke in his own language and told me and showed me exactly everything that he was doing. I even became a road for a bit with his little toy truck.
The moments that matter
These are the moments I’m going to remember always. These are the ones I’m going to hold onto forever. Not which bill was due when. Not the accomplishment of emptying the dishwasher and making sure the counters were clean by lunch. With the frustration of the day to day, I want to remind myself always to see things through my child’s eyes and not always my own. There is so much beauty there and I know I won’t have my little ones forever. The moments truly are fleeting.
You’re not alone
So to all of the moms and women out there who feel like you can’t fit it all in, you’re not alone. I hope we can be an encouragement to one another and our little ones knowing that their perspectives matter and that everything we go through is a season. Perhaps we can take a step back and know it’s going to be ok that every task didn’t get checked off the list today, but that instead we spent precious time with our family and remembering what it was like to be a child. May you have a beautiful day and enjoy the beautiful moments that matter.
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