Many days when my role as a mother feels like a lot of don’ts and can’ts.

As a mom, I can’t just decide at the last minute to catch a concert or grab a drink, or just drop what I’m doing to meet my friends for a cup of coffee. 

I can’t leave the house after 7 p.m. unless it’s worked out ahead of time with my husband or babysitter because someone needs to stay close by in case she needs a diaper changed or some help falling back asleep.

I can’t spontaneously jump into the lake after a long hike in the heat of the summer because someone has to stay back to watch the baby.

I don’t get to do all of the same things I used to do before someone called me mama.

And if I’m being honest, sometimes I miss that old life of mine.

Sometimes, I look at people without children and think, “They don’t even know how good they have it.”

I sometimes find myself jealous of the people carrying a single bag through the airport and as I lug a diaper bag, a car seat, and a screaming toddler to the gate for a quick weekend trip. 

Enviously eyeing the people who can eat a meal in peace or sleep in on a Saturday morning. Sometimes I find myself wishing my life was as easy as that.

The sacrifices we make as mothers (and make no mistake, they are sacrifices) challenge us in ways we’ve never been challenged before.

I often feel lost in all of the diapers that need changing, and the late night cries of a teething baby. Sometimes, I feel like the title of  “mother” doesn’t fit me the way it should, or at least the way I hoped it would.

But in all those moments of fear, insecurity, doubt, and sadness is a grace I never knew I could possess.

I’ve been given an opportunity to be made whole again, to experience resurrection, to be made new.

For every “don’t” or “can’t” I get even more “dos” and “cans” with this little person stepping out for the first time into this big, beautiful world of ours.

I can experience this life with her.

I can teach her how to read and how to eat a watermelon in the summer.

I can be the hand she held when she learned to walk, the eyes she searches for, the arms she runs into at the end of a long day.

I get to go on her first camping trip, hold her as she dips her feet into the lake for the first time, hear her laughter as she learns what a swing is.

I get to watch her face light up when she when faced with some treasure the world has forgotten.

I get to be reminded every day what it means to stand in wonder and how God the Father loves us.

And at the end of the day, I’d give up anything for that. 

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Carissa Pluta

Carissa is a blogger and freelance writer. She has Bachelor's Degrees in English and Communication Arts and has a deep desire to create and cultivate beauty in everything she does. Carissa enjoying hiking, Paul Simon, and drinking copious amounts of herbal tea. She currently lives in Birmingham, AL with her husband and daughter.