In honor of Mother’s Day, I wanted to write something that captured the complex experience of being a mother. But I knew that was impossible.
One afternoon, I was walking along our quiet country road with my children. My three-year-old son was clinging to a fistful of crab apples that he refused to put down. His hand was small and sticky inside of mine. I could feel the warmth of my baby girl riding in her carrier against the front of my body. I thought to myself, if only I could put this feeling into words. But motherhood is more than the peaceful feeling of walking with your children, there are also moments when you are so frustrated you think your head might explode.
All of it is important. All of it is our experience as mothers.
1. Guarding a handful of half-rotten crab apples with your life because these are someone’s “treasure”.
2. Loving the way your child’s small hand fits perfectly inside of yours.
3. Looking in the mirror and wondering how everything got so saggy.
4. Repeating rules like, “No sticks allowed in the house” over and over again until you hate the sound of your own voice.
5. Looking forward to Saturday Family Movie Night the way you used to look forward to partying with your friends.
6. Never getting to drink your morning cup of coffee when it’s actually hot.
7. Being constantly vigilant of cars, cliffs, mean people, and bees.
8. Carefully cutting your child’s food into a million tiny pieces before you can take a bite of yours.
9. Seeing the inside of every public bathroom in your town.
10. Finally going out on a date night, vowing not to talk about the kids, and then doing that the whole time anyway.
11. Rediscovering the fun of forts, bubbles, mud, and sledding.
12. Getting really good at typing one-handed.
13. Looking into your child’s eyes and somehow catching a glimpse of your own father and marveling at the mysteries of genetics.
14. Learning all the proper names of dinosaurs, princesses, and construction vehicles.
15. Coloring with whatever crayon your kid says you should use, even if that means making the treetops purple.
16. Leaving the house without your coat but somehow the baby is bundled in four color-coordinated layers.
17. Understanding and forgiving your own parents, even just the tiniest bit.
18. Wanting so badly to capture the smell of your tiny baby’s head and knowing it’s impossible.
19. Falling into bed totally exhausted at 8pm on a Friday night.
20. Buckling and unbuckling car seats.
21. Trying to decide if whatever you need at the store is worth the trouble of getting everyone out and then back into the car.
22. Pretending you didn’t smell the dirty diaper before you hand your husband the baby.
23. Stealing your child’s Halloween and Easter candy.
24. Memorizing every word of Owl Moon, Goodnight Goodnight Construction Site, and Pinkalious.
25. Letting your child eat the sprinkles off of your slice of birthday cake.
26. Deciding who to run towards first when both the kids are crying.
27. Tapping into previously unknown wells of patience.
28. Making mistakes everyday and constantly trying to do better.
29. Cuddling and reading stories in the hammock.
30. Searching for the matches to socks.
31. Having a messy living room.
32. Never having everything crossed off on your to-do list.
33. Reaching into your purse for your wallet and pulling out a half-eaten granola bar instead.
Motherhood is…Loving someone so much you think you might explode. It’s using parts of your heart you didn’t even know you had. It’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done and yet if given the choice you’d easily agree to do it all over again.
Happy Mother’s Day!!!