Splat! I took a deep breath and wandered over to the basket overflowing with spit-up rags and wiped up the mess for what seemed like the 50th time that day….and it wasn’t even lunch time yet!
I’m not sure what I envisioned motherhood looking like, but it certainly wasn’t what I was experiencing. Dressing up my adorable babies, watching them coo and giggle and enjoying picnics at the park with other moms is what I had dreamed of.
I hadn’t accounted for their need for naps (if they’d take one!), nursing at the drop of a hat regardless of where we were, packing what felt like a small suitcase before leaving the house. Night after night of interrupted sleep leaving me exhausted.
That baby who spit up all of the time ended up living in just a diaper most days. I finally decided that there was no point dressing a baby who would soak every outfit and require a change at least once an hour. One day, I grabbed my diaper-wearing, mostly-naked baby to head out for the big outing of the day, our trek to the mail box. 🙂 We walked the 30 feet it took us to reach the mailbox, retrieved the mail and headed back inside and that’s when I looked down and realized that I did all of this with my tank top half off! I had forgotten to pull it back up after nursing. At least I had my nursing bra on! My poor neighbors. Oh, those were the days.
I remember wishing, dreaming, and yearning for the days in the future. Days when he would sleep through the night so that I wasn’t falling asleep every time Andy and I attempted to watch a movie; learn to walk so that I didn’t have to carry him everywhere; and become old enough to enjoy playing with toys so that he could entertain himself while I washed the dishes, made a phone call, or just sat down to catch my breath.
I was told over and over again by those ahead of me, “The days may be long, but the years are short.” I was sure this was true, but in that moment I was tired and unsure of my mothering. I compared how put together others looked and what a mess I felt like. So “the years may be short”, but those days felt REALLY long!!!
Oh, how I miss those days. Life may have seemed overwhelming, but the memories of sleepless nights, potty training failures, and crying babies (as three more followed that first one) become fuzzy in my memory as I remember the adorable way my babies smiled, how chubby they were, and how in their eyes we could do no wrong.
Reminiscing about those early days made me aware of how often I have wished life away, looking forward to the future without appreciating the blessing of today. I believed that getting to the next stage of motherhood would bring the ease I so longed for. But, as mothers ahead of me tried to share, each stage brings its own challenges.
There is so much to look forward to, and I have enjoyed different stages for different reasons, but I don’t want to continue looking ahead for what’s to come. I want to live in the moment, enjoying where we are for today.
So, although I look forward to the future, what I really want to do is enjoy the days I am living, realizing that these truly are the best days of my life!
Let’s grab hold of these days together, recognizing that THIS is the day that the Lord has made. Let us REJOICE and be GLAD in it.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering about that spitting-up, diaper-wearing baby? I’m happy to report that he hasn’t spit up in about 9 years and is one of our greatest blessings. 🙂