That first day we welcomed you home, sweet child, I knew it. Your eyes, wide-awake, met my weary ones, and I realized right then that my heart better be much stronger than my body, because motherhood is not a sprint. It’s a marathon.

Those nights, every night, you woke me up, crying. Those days, you wouldn’t let me put you down to nap. 

Each feeding, I questioned whether you were eating enough. Each diaper, I counted to make sure you were OK. And I knew motherhood is not a sprint. It’s a marathon.

As you grew, the questions got bigger. Yours and mine did, too. You repeated yourself, begged and fussed. It took more discipline to help decide which choices were best to make. And as I wondered if you’d ever understand what’s right, I knew motherhood is not a sprint. It’s a marathon.

Now you make up stories for me to hear at bedtime, and you pick which clothes and shoes you want to wear. You find the friends you want to play with outside, and you tell me now how much you love me and care, and I know motherhood is not a sprint; it’s a marathon.

And time will take you to middle school, to the high school prom and to college, too.

It’ll rush right on by, as your voice gets deeper and your stature taller, and I’ll still be on the front row cheering for you. 

I’ll still have questions and the same prayers and hopes to comfort and keep you safe. 

Because I know motherhood is not a sprint. It’s a marathon.

The inhale and the exhale.

Having to push and catch my breath.

The running along beside you.

And letting you go to try new things yourself.

The arms that picked you up from each fall—

Are lifted in gratitude for God’s goodness I see.

Each step, one after another—

I’ve had to surrender in trust, because I believe . . . 

Motherhood is not a sprint. It’s a marathon.

Each lap we take, we must keep our eyes focused on where we’re headed. 

Not on the crowd or on the competition the world throws our way. 

And if you look over, you’ll find me there.

Feeling each stumble and celebrating victories with cheers.

And I will remember the distance we’ve traveled, as I pray for the time we have left to go. 

And I’ll thank God every single day that motherhood is not a sprint. It’s a marathon.

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Jaclyn Warren

Stay-at-home mommy of four on mission to encourage parents to savor the meaningful in the midst of the messy. Take your 15 minutes; it’s your turn for timeout. You can find her at www.mommys15minutes.com or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Mommys15Minutes-543229312706302/.