There are times when I am in the middle of life; a day like most other days, full of getting household chores; laundry, meal planning and cooking, floor sweeping…and mommy responsibilities; diaper changing, reading our favorite picture books, being school and activity chauffeur; that I have moments of thought and clarity.
I like to think it is God talking to me, telling me to slow down and take it all in, helping me come to a realization, a truth that He doesn’t want me to forget. Truths not found in any book necessarily or in the nearest library or shelves of your closest book store; but found in the pages of real, everyday life.
As I flip through the pages of these motherhood chapters in the book of everyday life, I am struck by these truths and I feel the need to write them down because I feel they are important. Important to know and remember and important to realize just how special and unforgettable this time and vocation in our lives is and can be.
The truth is if we don’t stop to process and appreciate we may get lost in the pages, without reflection on what is happening around us. We may be at the end before realizing that we forgot to savor the journey. These truths point out a few of those special realizations I am sure you can relate to once you read them.
Here are some of my a-ha moments of bittersweet reflection and clarity on this season of life called motherhood:
- Kids grow up….almost over night. Seriously, I did not believe this….until my little girl started getting older. One day she wants me to hold her hand while I look at her baby face with the chubby cheeks and the very next day she is wanting to go by herself and her face had changed; it had become older somehow. She was still there, but…she was a kid. Huh?! When did that happen? And my baby boy can say maybe one or two words one day to picking out letters and saying phrases the next?! What? When and how did he learn that? 😉
- The days are long, but the years are short. I could have combined this one with the one above, but I almost feel it needs it’s own number just so it can sink in. I do not think I would have understood this before I had children, but now it totally makes sense. This is especially true with a new baby. Oh how the days (and nights!) seem so daunting, endless and exhausting. The lack of sleep and the hormonal overload seem to push us into thinking it is going to be forever, but yet then the baby is 1 and then 2 and so on….soon they will be heading off to school and you will wonder where those days went and hope for one of those l-o-n-g days once again…if maybe for just a moment 😉
- You will never have today back. This is really a life truth. Sometimes we take for granted the time we have until it is almost gone. Don’t waste the season you are in, whether you are a mother or not….each season has a rhyme and a reason. Do your daily tasks and take care of yourself and others, but find out what the season’s purpose is before today is yesterday.
- It won’t always be like this. You might think this is a good thing, and it can be, but usually when looking back we will miss it. Funny how that happens. We think we will never miss certain things, we just want to move on to the next stage, but then when it happens it becomes bittersweet. I remember my daughter Paisley used to say yellow as yeyow, she did not say the l sound but instead made a y sound. It was seriously adorable and I never corrected her, but always said the word yellow the correct way in my speech, thinking she will get it correct one of these days, but she is little and it was ok. One day she started saying it the correct way and my stomach lurched a bit….it was the first of many bittersweet moments, where I was glad she was learning, but sad that she was growing up if even just a little.
- Emotions are more real when you are a mom. Have you heard the quote- “To have a child is to have your heart walking around the outside of your body.” If you are a mom you get it…instantly. As a mom you feel your child’s fear, joy, success and failure. You know when they are hurting and when something just isn’t right. This special “mom sense” is extraordinary and this ability truly sets moms apart. I think Moms can be put down sometimes for being criers or being sentimental, but who do we turn to when we need someone usually? And who do our kids run to when they need someone the most? <3 Our emotions allow us to empathize and be there for our children; while growing as a person experiencing life on a different level and living beyond ourselves.
- Everything makes sense and nothing makes sense…and sometimes at the same time. If you are a mom this statement does make sense. You understand your own parents so much better after becoming a mom, you understand love on a whole different level and you understand purpose and life, even God in a whole new light. You also question everything and are not sure what you are doing once that baby is home, or the first time they get sick, or whether to discipline or not in a certain situation. Sometimes the words come easy and sometimes you have no idea how to explain something to your child. It is a crazy ride and there are so many ups and downs, but it does make sense, it all does come together…eventually…with faith and love we do end up making sense of most of it 😉
- There IS joy in the everyday. The everyday isn’t the big moments that we think about before we become mothers….that seems ordinary and not the unforgettable times that we think will bring happiness. But if we look back to our own childhood, what moments do you remember? I know most of mine are the small moments…the weekly family dinner nights, my mom making chocolate pudding for dessert and putting them in “crystal” fancy dishes on a Tuesday night, playing non-stop “Clue- Master Detective” games with my sister, piggy back rides in the evenings with my Dad and ‘tackle on the field’, going with my Mom to the grocery store and getting to pick out a cookie at the bakery, playing hide and seek with all the neighborhood kids. These are the small moments that actually become the big moments. I hope that is what my kids remember. I want them to know how much the small everyday is what is important…the other stuff is important too of course…but it is in the family cuddles on the couch, the singing songs before bed, the laughter and love in all the little times that help our kids to develop that memorable childhood and give us all joy. That is where it is at…those simple, small moments that add up to one amazing, large childhood. You never know when you are making a memory.
What is your favorite “truth”? What would you add to this list?