Sunday, August 4, 2013

the early years

I just sent an email to a friend about this, and it has been on my mind a lot so I wanted to type it quickly into a blog . . .

Dear Moms of Young Children,

You have no idea how crazy life is right now. You don't realize how tired you are, or how much that affects everything. Everything. 

You are probably just going through the motions, trying not to think because who has time to think anyway. You can't admit that life is hard because it might sound like you're complaining and you're not- you are wildly, unspeakably grateful. And tired.

One day, I promise, you will stand up and shake off the dust and say, a hundred times a day, Can you believe how easy life just became? I can't believe how easy this is! 

All week I have been thinking, someone should tell moms after giving birth that her own birth is two or three years away. She is now wrapped so tightly around her children, but one day she will unfold again and find herself in a new way. The person you were is still there. Your branches right now are being pruned, and they need to be, but they will grow back.

As I have been looking back at the baby phase I've been thinking about some of the things I wish I'd done differently.

1. I wish I hadn't tried to do so much. I knew I couldn't do everything I wanted to do, but I shouldn't have felt so guilty about it.

2. I wish I had spent a little more time on a dirty floor with my kids rather than cleaning it. A messy house is okay.

3. I wish I hadn't let them grow up too fast. I think I allowed the girls to move on to Disney when they should have still been watching Peter Rabbit. 

4. I wish I had leaned in earlier to the no-sleep thing. My kids couldn't sleep and I thought I needed to fix it, but that only created stress. What I needed to do was put mattresses on the floor and keep a family bed. It is okay for children to need to be close. The same is true for many of the things we think we need to fix. I wish I had learned this sooner.

5. I wish I had been better about not giving them sugar.

6. I wish I hadn't been so hard on myself. It wasn't God demanding so much from me. The limitations He gives us are a gift, they set us free. His yoke is easy.

This is what I don't regret: 

I was not a perfect mother, I could fill several blog posts on what I wish I'd done differently. 

But I know that I enjoyed my kids. 

It came as such a terrific surprise- the gift of motherhood, of being entrusted with a life- it is the most magical thing that can happen to a person. I never took it for granted. I became tired and blew it in many ways. But I could not have delighted more in being a mother. 


Brandee Shafer said...

Love this.

Cami said...

I find it's so true, the turning around and suddenly something is easy again. I'm beginning to experience that in this season and I'm not sure why it's so surprising.

Thank you for posting this beautiful letter.