“It’s all a blur” I hear a young mom say from across the playground as she chats with another mom about the memories and milestones of her little one.
Her words resonate with me as I think back on the first few months of each of my children’s lives. Late nights, middle of the night feedings, early mornings.
Coffee in the AM.
Coffee in the PM.
Swaying, rocking, snuggling.
I remember everything, and yet I don’t. There is so much that runs together.
As I swing my son back and forth and listen to his little laugh, her words also bring a twinge of sadness and I am convinced of one thing: I don’t want it all to be a blur.
Motherhood means more to me than that.
I don’t want it to turn to mush in my mind.
While I know many of these vibrant moments will fade, I want more than a string of bleary days to commemorate this work I’m doing.
I know I won’t remember it all, but when it’s all over, I want something to say.
I Want To Be Your Mom
For me, the hardest days of mothering are when I am either tired or distracted. In one sense, both of these things are inevitable.
Being tired is a stake a mom drives in the ground the moment her child is born (and the weeks leading up to birth or adoption). It comes with the territory and it really is some sort of rite of passage.
Distraction, on the other hand, is something I can somewhat control. With a husband working full-time and in school full-time (PhD), there are many tasks outside of the realm of motherhood which call my name.
Helping my husband, making time to be in the Word, managing our home, and taking care of as many tasks as I can to free Grant up are very important to me.
But I’ve also learned (and am learning) to let go of a lot of things that in this season of my life, prove to be distractions.
There is a lot of pressure these days for young moms to be and do so much. A lot of distractions.
And yet being a wife and a mom are so much more than mere bullet points on a list of other things.
Nothing, nothing, will ever compare to the love between my husband and me and this work of raising our children.
It’s just not even on the same playing field as anything else.
It is hard, all encompassing, and ever rewarding.
I’m figuring out how to say no, how to take advantage of blocks of alone time, get a sitter when I need time with just my husband, but most of all keep perspective so that I can lay on the floor with my kids and put together a puzzle or we can all climb into my overstuffed rocking chair and sing song after song of their choosing.
Because they just love that.
And at the end of the day, they don’t want a million things I can give to them. They just want me.
I never want my children to look back and remember a mom who was always distracted. A mom who always had something else to do that was more important than them.
I want them to know in the core of their beings that I always wanted to be their mom. Even when they were little and even when I did indeed have many things to do.
I want to remind them often, “I just love being your mom” and then show them because that is how they understand.
But if I want them to see that clearly, I must.
As I pour that second cup of coffee, I remind myself that I don’t need to be anywhere else and that no work is more important than this work.
No people are more important than these people.
And when I do, the blurriness seems to fade and it’s true, I don’t feel as tired.
Teach Me To Count
We are living in scary days, aren’t we? I’ve been spending time meditating in the Psalms the past couple months and have been thinking a lot about what David says in Psalm 39, “O LORD, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am!”
I don’t know how long I have here on this earth.
And while I don’t think the point of this Psalm is to spend every waking moment wondering when I will die (that wouldn’t be healthy), it is a call to living life with perspective.
I have this one life. I don’t know how long it will be. How will I spend it? What truly matters?
I don’t want to spend it investing in things that won’t last, but in people who will.
These little people matter.
So stop beating yourself up for not doing a million of other things that are outside of this work.
You are only one woman. Focus on the things that matter. The things God has called you to do.
This work we are doing as moms, it is not mushy work. It is not temporal.
It is not something to check off on my “to-do” list.
It is lasting.
It’s not hay, straw, or stubble. At least it doesn’t have to be.
It may not hold up well on a resume, but it can stand the fire if done for the glory of God.
There will be bleary days, there just will.
But it doesn’t all have to be that way.
Mothering is lasting treasure after all, even on blurry days.