Happy (almost) Mother’s Day! (If you had forgotten, that was your subtle reminder to get yourself together before Sunday…you’re welcome!)
I was thinking back to this time last year – I was as big as a house and anxiously waiting to meet our sweet baby girl in just a few short days — and now just look at her! Walking, talking and finally here : ) It truly does go by so quickly…
With all the infinite wisdom of nearly a year of motherhood, allow me to impart what I have learned so far:
- Motherhood is many things — most often, it is being covered in something that requires pre-soaking to remove. It’s becoming extremely strong in one arm as you learn to do your daily chores with one hand and a baby on your hip. It’s being amazed at the dexterity of your toes as you use your feet as you never have before. It’s feeling that your heart will burst out of your chest as you watch your little miracle grow and change and fill your home with love.
- If you would like for your children to have the absolute worst day ever, try to make plans. They can sense that you were about to actually get out of the house for some adult contact, or heck, even just some fresh air, and they will instantly make you rethink all of your life decisions as soon as you walk out the door. The secret to surviving these days is snacks. Lots of snacks. And taking a deep breath and remembering that this too shall pass.
- Motherhood is all about balance — some days are a productive dream! You will teach the kids something or do a craft, have time to play with them, clean the house, have dinner ready when hubby walks in, and if its a bonus day, you may even have deodorant and mascara on! But on other days, you may just keep the kids alive and remember to put pants on — its all ok. Those days are the good ones too — have a big cup of coffee and congratulate yourself for keeping the tiny humans alive another day. You are awesome!
- ALWAYS clear a path through the toys and turn all the lovely musical ones off before bed — nothing kills that quick dream-feed-and-back-to-sleep thing faster than accidentally kicking something and seeing a kaleidescope of colors dance across the dark nursery, bringing your child fully awake with songs of kittens and elephants. As an added bonus, it helps your morning start fresh and clean the next day when your floors are visible and uncluttered!
- You will develop a sixth sense that cannot be explained — you will just know when your little angel is into something, waking up, or if something is just plain wrong. There is no other way to explain it, its just a mom thing. They call it intuition, but its just plain magic. Don’t ignore this. People will tell you what they think is going on, or what they think is best, but you have a connection with your child that no one else does — listen to it!
- You will be exhausted and cranky and frustrated at times, and need to walk away for a break, and that is ok. But then when that sweet baby is away from you, you will miss them so much it hurts! When they raise their arms to be held and nestle their head on your shoulder, everything melts away and your heart just feels at home, no matter the struggles you have had that day. This is the essence of what motherhood is — being home base. Nurturing and caring and loving, even when its hard. Even when you don’t know if you did a good job that day. Even when you fail. Being there. Being there to hold and to nestle against — being there to love and to pray and to try again.
- You will find your sense of silliness again and wonder where it has been all this time! You will do virtually anything, no matter how goofy you look, to hear those sweet giggles and see those smiles again and again. Nothing is life-giving like baby giggles! I think that is God’s design to boost you up when you are running low from no sleep and endless dirty diapers!
- You will compare yourself to others, its inevitable — to mothers around you, mothers that you knew growing up, and mothers that you see on social media and television. Don’t. Comparison is the thief of joy, and having ridiculous expectations destroys the magic of your reality, whatever that may be. You are the best mother for your children — don’t try to be anything else but what you are. God gave your kids you for a reason — be the best you you can be, with His help, but don’t try to be any other mother. You are what your kids need most. And I have news for you, I don’t think many mothers feel they are doing it “right” all the time either — we all are just doing the best we can!
- You will rely on God like never before. You have this little life depending on you for every single need, and some days, you won’t know what to do! The responsibility of caring, nurturing and protecting this little one can be so overwhelming — it takes faith to remember that your sweet little one is truly in God’s care and that He loves them even more than you do! It takes faith to remember that He has called you to this, and so has equipped you with what you need to survive, and even thrive, as a mother. It takes faith to pray for patience, for wisdom, for discernment, for everything. It takes faith.
- You will have a midlife crisis…or a midweek crisis, or heck, even a midday crisis…when it hits you that you are giving your whole life to someone who is going to leave you. They say that to be a mother is to live with your heart walking around outside of your body, and this is so true. Seeing your heart walk away, and knowing that that is how it is supposed to be, is the most painful of all. Knowing that one day, this little dear heart won’t need you anymore, and will have their own life, even though you have given them life. This is something you will never understand until you are a mother yourself, as you have only ever been the child that was itching to get away. Every other part of motherhood seems easy in comparison to knowing that you are raising this little life to leave the nest one day.
Now, I haven’t been in the trenches for long, but if someone were to ask me what I wanted for Mother’s Day, I would say, in no particular order, a nap, a hug, a nice extra large latte, and to be told that I am doing alright, and that what I am doing is important work. Whether you are an expectant mom, or a grandma of 13, I think every mom still wants those things – most importantly to hear “You matter – you did/are doing important work!”. There are so many verses in the Bible about the importance of parenting, and how raising children up right in accordance with God’s laws is so vital to their success and to His glory. So this Mother’s Day, show the mother figure in your life that you appreciate the sacrifice she made for you, and that you know she has brought glory to God!
The last thing I wanted to say was heavy on my heart and I wanted to be sure it was said — for some of you, I know that Mother’s Day is not a joyous time. If you are struggling with loss, this benchmark on the calendar can be a sad reminder of what you lack and can be extremely painful. I was there for several years – I understand what you are feeling, and its hard. Even though I have my sweet baby girl, I still remember the ones that I have lost. I want you to remember that God sees you, He knows your heart and your struggles and you are not forgotten. Have hope, take this day to celebrate the woman who gave you life, and pray to the God who gives you life more abundantly. He will provide for you! One of my favorite selections of Scripture during the years I was waiting comes from Psalm 71:
For you have been my hope, Sovereign Lord,
my confidence since my youth.
From birth I have relied on you;
you brought me forth from my mother’s womb.
I will ever praise you.
I have become a sign to many;
you are my strong refuge.
My mouth is filled with your praise,
declaring your splendor all day long. (verses 5-8)
As for me, I will always have hope;
I will praise you more and more. (verse 14).
Praise Him, have hope, and live with love.
Happy Mother’s Day, xoxo
♥ Dedicated to my mom, who loved me first; and to my three angels who have made me a mama with a full heart ♥