A few weeks ago, I found myself swinging at the local park with Felicity on my lap. John was playing on the jungle gym with some other children, completely absorbed with his games. It was a beautiful 75 degree day, slightly cloudy, with the smell of wood burning in the breeze. It was a perfect afternoon. It was a perfect moment in my life as a mother.
For that moment, I really felt like I was succeeding at motherhood. I really felt like I had figured it out. For that moment, I felt good about myself. I felt like a good mother. Both of my children were happy, I was happy, and I knew that several miles away, my husband was happy as he wrapped up his second semester as a full-time college professor. My family was happy. Life was good.
For that moment, I felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude. I was grateful that God had given me the opportunity to care for my children on a daily basis. I was grateful that my husband loved his job and was willing to work long hours so that I could stay at home with John and Felicity. I was grateful to my parents for raising me in a home where my father worked so that my mother could stay at home with us. I was so grateful for this life of mine, and I knew that the only way that I could show my gratitude was by being the best mother that I could be.
My life isn’t always so peaceful. Sometimes there are tears. Sometimes there are spit-up stains that refuse to be lifted from clothing, pillows, and carpeting. Sometimes there is poop on the floor of the bathroom, after your toddler missed the toilet. Sometimes there is chaos. Sometimes my life at home with my children is difficult, but it is always beautiful. Even in all its occasional ugliness. Tears of frustration often lead to shouts of victory. The spit-up stains might be here to stay, but my baby girl’s newborn stage did not, and I can already catch glimpses of the beautiful woman that she will become. John might have cried over his fallen feces, but a day later, we were celebrating his first successful trip to the bathroom. The ins and outs of life as a mother might not always be pretty, but motherhood is always beautiful.
In that moment, I knew that I was living a beautiful life. I knew that I was lucky, living a life that so many women dreamed about. In that moment, my heart felt like it might just explode, it was so full of love for my two darling children. In that moment, I really knew what love is. I knew that I was blessed. I knew that I was doing something right. In that moment, I knew that I was a good mother. And then in the next moment, Felicity leaked through her diaper onto my lap, and John came up to me sobbing for the snack cup that he was already holding, waking me from my musings. Oh, how I love my life as a mother.
Mary Help of Christians, pray for us!