A few months ago I put some of the thoughts swirling around in my head on paper in a personal essay. Usually they just remain on the pages of my journal, but I decided to step out of my comfort zone and share it with others. I want to be an encourager, especially of women, as we all need a little boost every now and then. I realize this is a different from the usual writing I do professionally, and obviously different than what you typically see on my photography blog. But, this has been on my heart for awhile.
*Update* I’ve received so many positive comments and messages about this piece, which is truly humbling. I know I always feel more connected to people when they let their guard down and share their heart. It’s something I do a lot more with my close, trusted friends and family; however, I’m realizing, maybe I need to share with broader audience. Sometimes in this day and age we focus on our differences, but really deep down, we are so, so similar. We all want love, acceptance, and reassurance. And we all need grace. I think sometimes from the outside it may look like I have it all together, but goodness knows I have my daily struggles. It’s nice to know there were other women—other moms—who felt the same way. It’s nice to not feel alone in this crazy/awesome journey of motherhood.
We moms—we women—put so much pressure on ourselves.
We’re bombarded with choices to make for ourselves and our children the minute the pregnancy test shows two pink lines.
Breast or bottle, work outside or stay home with the kids, jarred baby food or homemade, co-sleep or crib, cloth or disposable diapers—the list truly goes on… and on…
And really, no matter what you choose, there will be times when you hit it out of the park and times when you make the wrong choice. Some days you nail the mom thing. Other days you fall flat on your face. I know I have—a lot. But you’re trying. You are desperately trying to give your children the best you can.
You love them with a love that you never knew was possible until you had kids.
I’m not saying motherhood is great all the time. Many people say, “Enjoy every minute of it because it goes by so fast.” I’ve even uttered those words myself. But honestly, I don’t know if it’s truly possible to enjoy every moment.
I mean, when your first baby has a major diaper explosion at a formal family dinner event and you forget to pack an extra set of clothes, I’m not sure you’re actually relishing that moment. I know—rookie mistake. Or when your 4-year-old is refusing to stay in bed and you’re on the outside of the room holding the door closed, praying that your tough love will work. That’s not a moment to relive over and over again. Just try not to wish away all the hard stuff. It will pass.
I have enjoyed my kids at every stage of development. I had good babies, even though I remember two of them being colicky, so there were certainly times when it was hard. Maybe you have a colicky baby, too. Maybe you’re walking around the house, standing up and sitting down, using warm rice bags, swaying to and fro—whatever it takes to make them comfortable—and you’re thinking I CANNOT WAIT until this stage is over! I get it. I have been there. Just remember, it will pass.
We’ve just entered the teen years with our oldest, and while she’s been pretty easy going so far, I’m sure she will test us. There will be moments when her dad and I think, “Who is this little person we created, and what do we do with her?!” In fact, I’m pretty sure we’ve already uttered those words in reference to each of our children.
When I think about all this hard stuff—the crying newborns and the testing teenagers and everything in between—I realize that there is one gift I need more than anything else. Maybe you need this gift too.
To read more about this gift and how I accept it, head over to Mother.ly for the full post.