When you first become a momma you can’t understand how there could ever be anything in the world better than this. And it’s true, there’s nothing better in the world than the gift of being a mom.
I remember when I first had my daughter loving how much she needed me. I was humbled and overwhelmed by the new responsibility in front of me, but there was nothing quite like the feeling of holding that sweet baby in my arms and knowing she needed her daddy & I more than anything else in the entire world.
But time continues to move on. That sweet little newborn is now a rambunctious, full of attitude (and full of joy) toddler. She’s Miss Independent in all her ways and doesn’t need me like she used to, and yet, somehow, still needs me ALL THE TIME.
As a stay-at-home mom, and I’m sure the situation is much the same for working moms, it can be wearing. The days can begin to blur in my mind. We stick to a good routine, and we mix it up with lots of different activities and reasons to leave the house, but it still can seem all the same. There are those days. Those days when you can’t even go to the bathroom without an audience. Those days when you can’t get two seconds to yourself. Those days when your kiddo just can’t stop needing you long enough for you to even be you.
Those days when your life doesn’t seem your own, your time is definitely not your own, and you seem like your own last priority.
And it is tiring. My daughter sleeps 11 hours a night and takes a 2 hour nap every day (toddlers have it made!) yet I find myself exhausted. The problem is that the house still needs cleaned, my toddler is faster than me, she makes a mess faster than I can clean up, and I’m pretty sure God meant to put 25 hours in a day, and 24 was just a typo. (Just kidding, God doesn’t make mistakes. But, He and I have had a lot of conversations about this one.)
Sometimes I am simply overwhelmed by all I need to do, and I can’t handle another moment of my clingy child needing me. I just want some of my own time. I want to spend devoted quiet time with God every morning by myself without needing to get up at 5 AM to do it. I want to shower for as long as I want without telling myself I need to be done so I still have time to accomplish other things. I want to binge watch TV and experience Netflix asking if I’m “Still Watching?” I want to sit outside and drink my coffee while the birds chirp without a toddler talking about the birds and trying to mimic their sounds. I want to eat something, ANYTHING, in its entirety and not have to share.
Sometimes these thoughts overwhelm me and take over my day, creating a bitter heart that is not finding peace in the moment. But then I take my daughter outside and she finds another flower she hasn’t seen before. The JOY on her face and the excitement she has is unexplainable, and the most important thing to her at that moment is to share her excitement with Mommy. In these moments, I realize, I don’t want those things I said before. Sure, there are times when those would be nice. But I wouldn’t trade this life for anything.
I will continue to take short showers and clean the house after she goes to sleep so I get to soak up the time with her when she’s awake. I will continue to attempt to do my devotions with her next to me so that not only will I get to sleep an extra hour, but she will get to see her mom spend time in God’s word. I will continue to just re-watch every episode of Friends after bedtime because I don’t have the time to start any new shows (And who needs anything besides Friends anyway?). I will continue to listen to her bird sounds and airplane imitations because I am her favorite audience.
I find myself praying this never grows old. I find myself earnestly asking God that my heart would never grow tired of this. Her smile, her excitement, and her need for me. I pray he puts my heart in a position of remembering why this is the life I want and that there’s not one second of this I would ever trade.
Lord, I pray, even on those harder days of tantrums and nothing but tears, I can focus on knowing the bad will end. There’s always a good day coming. I pray I won’t grow tired of hearing my toddler laugh. I won’t grow tired of seeing her discover something new for the first time. I won’t grow tired of the joyful expressions and the endless energy. And I pray I will never grow tired of her wanting to be just like her mom. Let mine be a heart I would be proud for hers to resemble.
Help me be able to rest in knowing these years won’t last forever. One day I will sit and drink coffee while the birds chirp, wishing my baby was still a baby who needed me. Help me value these days now so I’m not filled with regrets later.
After all, they’re only little for a little while.