It’s easy to get caught up in complaining, noting repeatedly how hard it is. The negatives. No sleep. Not sitting through a meal. Cold food. Frigid coffee. Nights spent over a crib with a crying baby. Inconsolable children. Toilet training accidents. Stained carpets. No free time. Constant parenting.
It’s tough, this job.
Motherhood is round the clock, nonstop work. Even when I am sleeping, there is a part of me listening. Waiting. Aware. And watching. I’m the first one to hear it, even if I don’t move at first. I’m the last one to fall asleep.
Because they have my heart.
But, occasionally I get caught up in focusing on the negative. Cranky toddlers and clingy babies make for a bad day. No housework done because the girls were so needy. Wishing I had a little “me-time.” Hoping they fall asleep at bedtime for some quiet time. Getting frustrated and lonely. Because I’m here with them all day. And often times, we stay here. All day.
But, then, I think–well, they could not be here. And my heart stops for a moment. My precious girls, my beautiful children. It puts things into perspective.
What really is important?
They are. Not the laundry, the cold coffee, the stale sandwiches I never seem to finish. The crying all night long. It could be silent. And I don’t like that kind of silence. My crib could be empty, the tiny bed barren. The toy bucket gone. The laundry neatly put away. The meals on time and eaten quickly. I could come and go as I please, with no one in tow. Empty hands, small purse.
Instead, I wait for it every morning:
“Mommmmyyyyyy….Good mo-ning.” And I smile. The chattering from the small room. And I’m up. Even if it’s early.
Because life is short. And it’s fragile. And it’s so precious.
And I’m blessed with two of them. Two fresh faces in the morning, two sets of tears to wipe. Two hearts to love, two bodies to hug. Two sets of cheeks to kiss. Two souls to care for.
It’s not about what I don’t have, what I sometimes wish for. Those things are so transient–the food, the coffee, the sleep. It doesn’t last.
My girls. They are here. And they last longer than the burnt coffee and the undone laundry. But their childhood will fly by. The times they want a hug, want to be held, ask for snuggles and kisses. That is important. That’s what, at the end of my life, I’ll treasure and remember. Those memories will flit through my head someday when I am alone in the house, and they are off living their adventures. The boo-boos I kissed and bandaged, the broken hearts I mended. The phrases that leave me laughing in tears. When my home is immaculate, the crayons long gone. The toys boxed up. I’ll remember.
Motherhood is so beautiful. So worth it. Motherhood gives way to life. And life is precious.