Recently, I visited with a friend who is expecting her first child. As we sat on the couch and talked pregnancy and motherhood (me expecting my fourth baby,) I pondered on how the decision to become a mother has changed my life. My friend's visit was a sweet one, with brief interludes where I consoled a crying baby back to sleep for nap time and caved to let my oldest kid bypass nap time for reading time. As I tried to explain the joys of motherhood to her, I felt a sense of gratitude and love for my role as mother.
What a blessing it is to be a mother! I am a security blanket, a comforter, and a nourisher. They run to me to wipe their tears and kiss their ouchies. It is my privilege to hear their first words and see their attempts at walking and watch their little brains processing information from books and cartoons and nature. I see their personalities develop, and every day they learn something new. Motherhood can truly be a miracle and blessing.
Having that positive conversation with my friend helped me realize that moms need those positive, affirming conversations in order to survive the rough moments. The morning before she came over was a rough morning. After she left, I felt so uplifted that the day seemed brighter. The next day was one of those almost perfect mommy days - even though the kids still acted like their normal selves - because my attitude was uplifted. Sure, I still had to ask them a few times to complete a chore and to stop hitting each other. They hung from the doors at Chic-fil-A and wanted to stand in the shopping cart at Home Depot. The baby even figured out how to undo her belt buckle in the cart - yet it was a great day! All the happy moments in between the stressful moments of keeping them alive in the parking lot left my mommy ledger full of joy. Dinnertime went smoothly, bath time was enjoyable, and bedtime was full of snuggles, because I was still feeling the joy of motherhood.
I am amazed how one short, affirming conversation rippled into so much positivity. What kind of differences would you notice in your daily routines if you were feeling the mommy joy? Would those bad days reduce to simply bad moments? Would the rush to accomplish the schedule lose some of its burden? Would you allow yourself to see the overwhelming goodness in your children, rather than the exhaustive back talking and rule bending?
Every parent has rough moments. If I can offer any advice to expecting or new parents, acknowledge that bad moments will happen. Your kids will push boundaries, refuse your service, hurt your feelings, poop on you, and embarrass you in public. It happens! But those moments are usually rare.
Something cringes in me when I hear of motherhood defined by trenches, warfare, and never-ending battles. So many women blast to social media that the reality of parenting is exhaustive, unappreciative, and almost unrewarding. Memes and cartoons show mothers as overworked zombies, barely functioning day after day after day after day. No wonder today's young women are afraid to "lose" their freedom for the sake of family. Mommy wars and booby wars and organic wars and schooling wars make raising a family out to be a formidable foe. But it doesn't have to be that way! Getting stuck in a rut of negativity only makes parenting harder. Focusing on the frustrations, pains, and annoyances of motherhood keeps those rough moments fresh on your mind. I acknowledge that sometimes mothers need to share what's happening to feel support and comfort, but then it's time to heal. In essence, turn your face back to the sun.
Bring back the mommy joy!
Tell the stories of positivity as a mother. Embrace the times you see a smile, hear a "Thank you," and feel a hug from your kids. Share those happy moments when your son asks to hold your hand. Talk about the cuddles that happen in the early morning when your mothering heart instinctively starts singing a lullaby. Relish the moments when your daughter races down the hall, jumps in your arms, and says, "I'll always love you Mommy." Take time each day to breathe and recognize the glorious goodness you have been trusted to raise. Sure, rough moments will come, but you will get through them. Seek after love, peace, and joy in motherhood, and you will find a renewed sense of peace in your important role. The calling of motherhood is divine.
Leave a comment with some of your mommy joys!
I want to hear how you have been blessed, because every momma needs some more positivity in this crazy world. I'm excited to hear your stories.
Labels: Emotional Health, Parenting, Spiritual Thoughts