I took the above photo on the morning of the first day I returned back to work after having C. I didn’t have much leave saved up and I only ended up staying home for 8 weeks, using time I borrowed and spent the better part of the next year paying back. (We do maternity leave wrong in this country, but that’s another argument for another day.) I remember the heartbreak I felt when I left her that morning, and I well know the ache of leaving my children each day.
I look so young in that photo. That was nearly 8 years of sleepless nights ago. Motherhood changes you- far beyond the physical aspects, it pushes you past every limit you thought you had. Your capacity to love, hurt, fear are all multiplied when they place your first child in your arms.
It only gets better and harder and scarier after that.
I still don’t have it all figured out. I yell when I should whisper. I set unrealistic expectations. I forget things. I lose my patience. Often I feel completely overwhelmed.
I get to the end of some days and my failures are greater than my victories. It’s easy to feel defeated, but then I remember this… my children know I love them- beyond a shadow of a doubt.
Motherhood is predictable, only in its unpredictability. There is no pattern. There are no cookie cutter answers. Every child is different… as is every mother.
What I’ve learned is that I don’t need perfection. I cannot grasp it.
These truths I know- My children will have mismatched socks. They will eat hotdogs when I am too tired to cook. They won’t get a bath everyday. I won’t sign off on every single paper that comes home from school, because I won’t always read them. I won’t sign up for the PTA. I’ll plan a birthday party two months late. I will cry when it gets hard. Those things are a given…
But so are these…
I love my children. I love Jesus. I want my children to love Jesus. So everyday, I pray they will see past me, past my flaws and insecurities, and see Him. That is my hope and prayer- that I can point them to Him- imperfectly as I may, even in mere shadows of a reflection, and that He would draw them daily ever closer to Himself.
Happy Mother’s Day to my own sweet mother and all the mamas out there loving their babies! God bless.