Written by Girl Birthday Gift
Quietly sitting in the back corner of the room, I gently rocked Wes back and forth as he dozed off for a nap on my chest. A wrinkly, adorable old man stood at the front of the room talking about how his 50th wedding anniversary was an arm's reach away. Immediately my mind began to frantically race with dramatic thoughts of my parents not living to meet all of my children, and I felt my heart crash like a ton of bricks. My eyes flooded with unexpected, hot tears at the thought of how fleeting life is. I felt the immense pressure of sorrow, and then had one of those epiphanies that suddenly make you feel decades more mature.
The more sorrow we endure, the greater our capacity is for love.
This can take on many meanings for every stage of life, but for me at this exact moment in my timeline it means that the older I become the more sorrow and sadness will creep its way into my life, whether it is people I love passing on in one way or another, or empathizing on behalf of a loved one or my child. Yes, my child. Now that I am just a little bit older, I am at that phase where I've been given children. And there is no greater love than a mother's love.
All of this trickles down to the thoughts I've recently been entertaining and tossing around in my mind; reasons why I love being a mom. This photo began as a bit of a probe, and I've decided to dive more deeply into this topic. I find comfort in knowing that if I write it down somewhere, I will never forget the little things that give proof to the hype of why motherhood rules. And it wouldn't be right unless I compiled it in a list, because lists rule.
1. I couldn't be a mom without babies, and babies are like manna from heaven. Their sweet, delicious breath that I wish I could bottle up by the gallon and keep with a guaranteed lifetime supply. Their droopy hound cheeks and squishy rolls. The coos. The way they grab hold of your hand with those perfectly formed, one-inch fingers. Fuzzy lint caught inside of those perfect fingers. Discovering those perfect fingers ... and toes ... and then trying to eat them, while simultaneously trying to blow bubbles with a tongue that has also recently been discovered. The way they look at you as their mama, and how you are the only one to bring them comfort when not another soul can. This list could go on for a mile, but I will stop here for now.
2. I get to hang out with a miniature human, commonly known as a toddler. A hilarious toddler. A toddler who mimics my bizarre catchphrases and goofy mannerisms and makes me realize just how ridiculous I, in fact, am. One of my favorite things about toddlers is how they go around putting together fantastically delightful sentences to describe the world around them because of their limited vocabulary, which deserves its own coffee table book. It's all so endearing. And the laughs. Oh, those deep-bellied giggles only toddlers can muster! I wish I could bottle those up, too. Toddlers also know how to raise hell like the devil himself, which is always an excellent reminder to work on that little virtue called patience that I really suck at.
3. Motherhood has taught me how to love myself. I think when you deeply love other individuals —namely children in this case — your capacity to love yourself deepens, because you receive a full understanding that the worth of every soul truly is great. At least in my case it has. I firmly believe in teaching my children by example. It is such a powerful tool, and I want them to love themselves and be confident in their own skin. If I encourage a healthy self-confidence in my own life, they will hopefully pick up on it and learn the tools to have their own sense of self-awareness and feel empowered in who they are as individuals.
4. Motherhood has stretched my capacity for learning and developing skills. I am that person that will not venture across the comfort zone line if I don't have to. But, parenting couldn't give two poops about comfort zones! It is kind of one giant bundle of uncomfortable experiences in the best of ways. Like growing pains. But at the end of each uncomfortable daily situation is a valuable lesson learned, a newfound skill (I can actually kinda sorta cook now that a child depends on a routine dinner schedule!) or a fancy, tear-jerking emotion you didn't know you possessed. That's the best kind of self growth.
5. Being a mom brings me inexpressible joy. I really wish there was a word to describe this love, kind of how other cultures have loads of cool words that are untranslatable and often describe intense feelings. I suppose I know what word I could slap on to describe the ineffable mother's love ... Luke and Wes. Their names are my special words that make my heart swell with the warm fuzzies of the mommy variety.
As I said before, this list could continue on for years, but these are the specific things I am loving as a mother in this exact stage of life as a mama of a four-month old and a two-year old. It will positively change as time passes, and as much as I wish I could hold on to each stage forever, every coming stage will indelibly become my favorite.
Motherhood undoubtedly gets defeating and crazy (translation: hormones) a good chunk of the time, but focusing on the love that fuels the mom train melts those I-want-to-rip-my-hair-out scenes away. I encourage you to compile your own list as to why you love being a mom, and celebrate the joys of motherhood with me. And let's spread this love! If you would like to play along, simply post a picture spotlighting a personal mom moment of your own that screams "I love motherhood!" on Instagram using hashtag #proclaimyourmamalove. Or write a blog post about it! Or journal it for your own eyes and safekeeping. Whatever it is, just take a moment to proclaim your love for being a mom!
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