Happy Mother's Day

6:31 PM

I seriously doubt that when any prospective mother or father looks into the future and imagines parenthood that they grasp even a fragment of what really lies ahead. And certainly no one warns you about what's coming. What's really coming.  There are some aspects that you anticipate, such as paying for college or weddings or the cost of clothes, etc. 

 But there is a host of very real things awaiting you that it's actually best you're not given advance warning.  What are some of those things? Well, for starters, the intense, overwhelming, self-sacrificing love you feel for your children. Which is terrifying and powerful and amazing. To feel such love is automatically to make yourself utterly vulnerable. But that's part of it. Unless there's just something off inside you, you're not able to stop that love and, in fact, it grows astonishingly day by day.  Which means that you have given yourself tremendous exposure to pain, but also joy. No one fully prepares you for that.

No one prepares you for how truly exhausted you're going to be some times and how you just have to plod on one day at a time, in spite of how many hours of sleep you got the night before.  

No one adequately prepares you for how vital you are to these little children of yours. How they rely on you for everything. Hugs, affection, attention, conversation, clean diapers, baths, food, snacks, breakfast, lunch, dinner, overseeing proper tooth-brushing, preventing them  from walking around all day with food stuck on their face, boogers in their nose, tangles in their hair, providing them with clean laundry and shoes that fit, being there to get excited when they need you to or mourn with them when a friend snubs them, getting them medicine when they need it, keeping them safe, buckled in or looking both ways before they cross the street....the list goes on. 

No one prepares you for the helplessness you feel when something goes wrong. When they start running a fever and it won't respond to Tylenol or Motrin and your baby just wilts in front of your eyes, willing with their big soulful eyes for you to make it  go away. And you sit up with them all night, obsessively taking their temperature to see if anything's changed in the last 5 minutes.  You make sure they have cool washcloths and cold water and popsicles. And when you realize time is not improving things, you text your doctor at 4 in the morning and then proceed to pester them till your baby is all better. And you worry because you can't help it. Because this little child is your responsibility and they are hurting and they need you to make it better. You find yourself getting worn down, physically, mentally and emotionally because as a parent, particularly a mother, your existence is wrapped up in this little life you brought into the world. And yet, you're just so powerless. That's the thing no one warns you about. That awful feeling of powerlessness. 

And what I've learned, or am learning, is that you just do your best and you pray a heck of a lot. Kyle and I gave our kids to the Lord from the moment we found out we were pregnant, but you don't realize the full implications of that until they're sick. And that's when as a mother, you run to the cross to find mercy and grace to help in your time of need. 

It's a challenge, this job of parenting. I'm grateful there are so many good and fun days that help you get through those tough weeks when everyone is sick. Like this past week at my house.

I attended the baby shower of a first-time mom today and as I held my sweet little two month old and listened to the chatter around me and the complete innocence of the mom-to-be, I didn't say a word about how terrifying it can be to be a mother. I would never purposefully terrify someone like that! I did, of course, give her breastfeeding advice, but hey, I can't help myself. Seriously, I thought about how much she had yet to discover. And yet how beautiful and rewarding the journey in and through motherhood is. As tired as I get, as much as I have to load myself up with Vit C to keep from getting sick myself, would I go back and trade back in my three beautiful children for the ease and comfort of no viruses or breaking up squabbles or doing endless loads of laundry...

No stinking way.  On my hardest, worst day, I realize how blessed I am with this gift of motherhood. And I also realize that there are moms further along than me who look back and think to themselves...girl, you have so much ahead you can't imagine....and thank you for not terrifying me, either.

Motherhood is best experienced one day at a time, one grace-filled day after the next, with a group of really good girlfriends, a fabulous husband and your precious children.

So, to all those other moms out there figuring it out...keep going. You're wonderful. You're brave and talented and amazing and I applaud you. Happy Mother's Day

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  1. Well said! I hope things are going better at your house. I can't imagine how exhausted you must be. Happy Mother's Day!