It’s 11:40 am and I am finally eating breakfast. Yes, breakfast. Being a mama is hard work, and I am at a point were I either feel like eating UDairy Creamery out of all of their ice cream or sitting down to share a bit of my story. So, I’m picking the better option, I think.
I attempt to make us dinner sometimes, which doesn’t happen often since becoming a mama. Thankfully, I have a husband who likes to cook and can cook really good nutritional food. Win! But, I like to cook too, and I can’t really do that so much anymore because when it’s time to make dinner that’s when the little babe needs her mama most. So most of the time when I try to do dinner, I’m left with forgotten stir-fry on the stove and coffee grounds on the counter .
As taxing as these days can be, my daughter is loved more than she knows. I find myself often in wonder that she is mine. Love finds a way of pressing into every part of our lives.
Fatigue is real,
Love is more.
Love is much more.
Anxiety is tempting,
Love is so much more.
Motherhood, and fatherhood for that matter, is one of the craziest most beautifully exhausting journeys you’ll ever take. Every now and then, on the hard days, you’ll find yourself wondering if you made the right decision to have kids, but most often then realize you have never decided something so right in your life.
Also, talk about what you are going through. Mamas, talk to mamas. Papas, talk to papas. Having a baby taxes every emotion you knew you had and you wish you hadn’t. And even as I write this, the babe is waking up from her all-too-short 40 minute nap.
When you have a baby you have to plan to not make plans.
It’s about learning. She is learning how to be a little person and what this world is like, and I am learning what it is to be her mama and to help her discover this world. There is beauty to be found, and the simplest of joys can be the most magnificent moments.
My father-in-law (gosh, that sounds weird. He’s Dad. Truly he is just like a dad to me, and for that I am so thankful.) Anyway, my “dad” told me once that when he had his firstborn, she reached out her little hand into some rays of sunlight coming in through the glass, and squealed with delight. “Look, Daddy!” she exclaimed, “Sunshine!” He was profoundly struck by the innocence and joy of that moment. I love that story.
And I have to remind myself my girl only knows the calm of her Mama or Papa’s arms, the satisfaction of warm milk and her Mama’s skin, the delight it is to feel a leaf for the first time, the wonder of watching her Papa strum his guitar as he sings her songs, the warmth of the sunshine on her skin…
As adults, we have such a big picture of this world. What we know is formed from past experiences and future hopes just as much as the present circumstance. But babes, they only know this, here and now. And that is both scary and exhilarating for them. They need us to help them learn this world. Am I saying we should only live in the moment? No. It’s important to be present, but it’s also so important to be shaped by things that have happened to us and to have hope that keeps us going. But how many of us go on thinking about the next five things rather than just being completely present with whomever we are with at the moment?
So when it’s 3 AM and she’s wide awake for the 5th time or when she’s mad as a hornet because Mama just wants to sit her down and make a cup of coffee or when she’s upset because she can’t see where Mama is right that moment… I just need to remember this.
My world can pause for this moment, to be with her and bring her comfort, even if it’s for the 100th time today. God, I need that grace. God gives me that grace.
“All is grace,” |St. Therese|
But it’s beautiful, because being a mother means you always have to put someone other than yourself first. In a culture where we elevate the idea of “self” (which is a rather taxing notion), we constantly see others as competition to our own personal happiness. Parenting, however, or even marriage for that matter, allows for the opportunity to love another more deeply and selflessly than you otherwise would left to your own devices.
But when I come to my baby and she gasps with delight because I am her mama and she loves me or when I get her from her crib after a nap and she gives me the biggest grin because I am her mama and she loves me or when I have tears from exhaustion and she looks at me with smiley giggles and touches my face with her tiniest hands because I am her mama and she loves me… that’s when I’m reminded of the grace of motherhood. For over 9 months our bodies were given the gift of growing and sustaining a small human, and for months afterward our bodies are given that same gift of sustaining that small life as they grow. It’s a bond like no other.
I am her mama. She is my babe. That bond goes deeper than time itself. It’s an eternal love manifest between two souls learning life together. I see it in my marriage. I see it in that mama-baby love. I see it in friendships. It runs deep, and it’s in us all.
Love transcends time. So I can be present with my babe. Those coffee grounds can sit there. Because I don’t want to miss those moments when a simple ray of sunshine is the most magnificent joy.