Sometimes, the message is loud and clear: savor this moment.
But other times, we get caught up in the struggles of the day to day. We begin our mornings well before we’re ready, wiping butts, making waffles, or packing lunches before we’re even wide awake.
We tell kids to “put on your shoes” 15 times some mornings before the shoes appear on feet and sometimes, they’re on the wrong feet anyway. Shoes on (and even sometimes, still off), we shuffle our kids here and there and off in various directions. Or maybe they aren’t shuffling yet at all, but we are as we set off on our days with or without them.
And the days are full. Oh, so full. And sometimes, they’re full of tears and meltdowns, lost backpacks and lost friendships. And we rally with our arms open even if we wish someone would hold us in their arms.
As the night watch begins, some of us feel the length of the night as the duty just doesn’t end, at least not for long. We might crave a book or a glass of wine or quiet time with our partner, but tonight, a child needs us more. So it all waits and we hold and rock and soothe.
And sometimes, all of these things feel heavy and we just feel so tired and we crumble or stumble under their weight with frustration. It happens to us all and it happens to me.
But we stay our course and obstacles give way to immense joy. The mission and vocational part of mothering comes to us in messages shrouded in the everyday and we heed the call. We are the mother of this child or of these children and blessed are we.
Today, I spoke to a mentor about his granddaughter who is about a month old and was born with a heart defect. This sweet baby underwent her second surgery this morning. I called and wanted to be there for him and his family, but I was meant to call him for another reason, too: he delivered a message to me, loud and clear. He told me to go home today and hug my babies close and to say a prayer of thanks for their health.
Prior to my talk with him this morning, I felt heavy under the weight of parenting. The messy house, the lost shoes and toothbrushes, the endless nighttime routine all just felt heavy to me today. But his words were meant for me to hear them. Yes, mothering might not always be easy, but blessed are we who are called to its table.
Sometimes, the message is loud and clear: savor this moment. And I heard it today and I heeded it. Look at these two. They call me “Mama,” and while sometimes, I wish for them not to say my name a million times a day or not to follow me into the bathroom, talking a mile a minute, I heard the message disguised as my life today and through the words of my mentor. And as I begin my night watch, I’m grateful for their health and for my blessing.
Thanks for Mothering the Divide with me as you do your best, too, to heed the call and savor your own life.