My postpartum convalescence has provided me with ample time to reflect on motherhood. If I’ve arrived at any conclusions it would be this: motherhood is not a hobby; it’s not part-time; and it’s most certainly NOT a joke. Allow me to elaborate.
Motherhood is raw. Childbirth is simply a foreshadowing of what it means to be a mother: the intense investment of every fiber in one’s being to deliver life that is completely driven by love so deep that it’s excruciating. And then there is the euphoria that comes when my children learn and grow and flourish, when the connections are made, and when they reciprocate my love. It is raw because rarely do I FEEL like a good mom; it’s raw because each day is a battle to put self second or third or fourth or fifth or even after the pets; it’s raw because I know that my family often gets my very worst when I most desire to give them my very best; it’s raw because it is 24/7/365 for the rest of my life.
Motherhood is real. At this stage in the game my days mainly consist of potty times, feeding times, nap times, refereeing sibling play times and cleaning the house just enough to keep it from disintegrating. I have a detailed plan for what I would like to teach my little ones; I have a vision for the kind of human beings I would like them to become. Yet when I sit back and evaluate my average day it doesn’t seem like I’m making any progress on the meaningful things since my days are filled with keeping these small people fed, clean, and safe. I even have to follow a detailed routine to ensure that I take bathroom breaks and complete my own personal hygiene before the day is done. And don’t get me started on my house! I love a clean and organized house yet lately it has been anything but that. And my marriage? Well, my husband and I have noticed that parenting seems to overshadow everything right now – even our relationship. We are taking active steps to reconnect as best friends again. All this to say that real motherhood isn’t ONLY the Facebook highlights, the Pinterest crafts, or the model nurseries. It’s a blending of big imperfect people seeking to raise small imperfect people and that gets messy.
Motherhood is absolutely, totally, beyond a shadow of a doubt worth every moment. I don’t mean to be cliche here, but it’s true. The raw reality of motherhood is what makes it perfectly priceless; it’s my weaknesses that cause me to turn to Christ and to other moms for help. In the 3 weeks since my third child was born, I have reached out to a few mom friends and been indescribably blessed by their loving words of wisdom. One told me to not compare myself to other moms; another told me to remember that I’m not perfect, but I’m exactly the mom my babies need and to rest in that; a third friend shared that I need to accept that I can’t be a mom in my own strength and absolutely need Jesus each and every day (something I had grown lax in). And then there is my very own mother: she has spent several nights at my home, helping with the older kids and the housework and the meals and making sure that HER baby gets time to rest and recuperate. What precious memories I am collecting and treasuring in my heart from our visits together! I am listening to my baby breathe on my shoulder while I type this. To think that she and her siblings are my daily responsibility to raise, refine, and rejoice over is truly a beautiful thought. I am thankful that this imperfect mom has a perfect Savior who sees the raw, real me as worth it, too.