I tried with all my might to stop the tears of sleep deprivation from flowing, but I could not. Perhaps I would have better luck had I tried to stop the raging waters of Niagra Falls from crashing into the lake below.
My dinner lay cold on the counter, awaiting the witching hour to pass.
I rocked and I bounced and I sushed; I simultanously filled my two-year-old’s milk cup for the third time since she woke up from nap.
I don’t need much. I don’t want much, either.
However, sometimes I would like to take a shower that I don’t rush through in fear of being needed; where I don’t feel as though I have to choose between shaving my armpits or my legs — heaven knows there’s never time for both, and many times neither.
Sometimes it would be nice to eat a hot meal from start to finish, and not have to share it with my sweet toddler (though I must admit I’m lucky that she’ll eat anything we are eating too).
Sometimes I would like to pick up and go someplace I want to go, when I want to go. No loading and unloading of children into car seats, no checklist of snacks (bribes), milk cups and diapers to be grabbed for the diaper bag, and no waiting or rushing to accomodate nap times, nursing sessions and meltdowns.
And then there’s the guilt. Did I mention the guilt? There he is, crying in the infant swing while I get my eldest her dinner. It’s only a few minutes, and I know he’s fine… Yet my heart aches because I know he will never have the same amount of undivided attention that my daughter received for two whole years.
On the other hand, he is just a tiny newborn whom requires a majority of my attention and relies on me for nourishment. I don’t quite grasp just how much attention I’ve given him until I hand him to someone else, only to have that sweet daughter of mine practically run into my arms the second she notices they’re empty. She clings to me so tightly during these times, and my heart shatters when I realize she misses me, despite being around me all day long.
This is motherhood. And it’s the hardest, sweetest, most important responsibility I’ve ever been entrusted with.
Through the tears of fatigue and self doubt, I find myself overwhelmed with joy and unworthiness. How did I get so lucky that I get to raise these precious beings? I wouldn’t trade this job for the world.
After several weeks the fog of this new season lifts and we start to find our rhythm. Old challenges are put to rest and new challenges will continue to rise as each stage quickly comes, and even more quickly passes.
They say life is but a vapor. If this is true, then you can imagine how quickly just this fragment of that vapor disappears.
In the days of weariness, there is joy. What better gift does God give us on this earth aside from love?
My gosh — love. The love I have for my children is a love that makes my heart literally feel as if it might burst.
Surely this feeling — the feeling of my heart overflowing and yet moments where I want to lock myself in the bathroom and cry because this job is just too hard and I am not enough — surely that feeling is relatively universal.
I meditate on these moments of overwhelming love in the midst of the all-encompassing responsibility, and I find a deeper appreciation for my own mother. I’m more aware of how she loves me without abandon; how I’m sure her heart ached for me when I experienced hurts of all kinds over the years; how I frustrated her and wore her down; the fatigue and and tears I’m certain I caused; of the times she felt like maybe she wasn’t enough — and how she loved me all the more through it all.
I assume these things are true, because I am experiencing them firsthand.
To all of the moms out there — biological, adopted, mothers who have lost, and mother-figures — there is no one this side of heaven who loves the way you love. In the moments when the tears fall, the patience thins, and failure roars it’s ugly head, know this:
I celebrate you; tears and failures and all. You are more than enough, and your unconditional love deserves to be acknowledged. I pray you are blessed and filled with joy immeasurable in the seemingly mundane moments of motherhood, and that you know that YOU. ARE. AMAZING.