I have been a mom now for over eight years. Eight years, three kids, and more loads of laundry than I care to think about. It is the single greatest thing I have ever done, and brings with it unending joy and immeasurable love.
I shared with Brad last night, though, that recently I've been feeling a bit weary. Just tired, I think, in general, of the daily grind. A bit worn out by my everyday routine and the boredom I experience with all the household tasks I'm responsible for. More than that, it's emotionally and mentally exhausting raising children, and I'm really quite exhausted from the current stage we are in. Brad asked me, quite sweetly, "Well, what else would you like to do?" And it took me all of .2 seconds to answer.
"Nothing." Because there's no where else I'd rather be and nothing else I'd rather be doing.
Yes, I'm tired. Yes, it's currently wearing me out. Yes, I'm having some trouble finding joy in my current everyday experiences. But oh my goodness there is absolutely nothing else I want to do, than to be here, right where I am, taking care of my family and raising my children.
This is my dream come true. Even in the weariness.
So, in honor of Mother's Day, and of eight years of motherhood, I wanted to gather my thoughts a bit to record what I'm loving about motherhood, right now. Because I know the list will change as the kids grow. There is so much to remember about the "right now" (I wish I would've done something similar five years ago) and I want to eek out every smidgen of goodness I can.
Without further ado, here are the top 8 things (eight years, eight things) I'm loving about motherhood, right now...
8) I get to experience both the joy of toddlerhood and the joy of the elementary years at the same time. I feel like I live in some sort of duality. Lately, I have found myself yearning for Baby Drew (especially), wanting to remember what it was like then. I think I'm going through a phase of sadness at his growing older (even though it's pretty darn sweet to see him maturing). While at the same time, I get to experience all that is baby and toddler with Ruby, which allows me the best of both worlds.
7) And on that note, while it wasn't our "plan" to have such a gap in years between the boys and Ruby, it has turned into the greatest gift. Watching how the boys adore her and care for her and make her laugh and want to play with her - their relationship as big brothers to their baby sister is sweet and honest and so wonderfully beautiful. Having a front row seat to that - priceless.
6) Regardless of my current feelings (referenced above), I continue to count my lucky stars that I am able to be at home. Who knows if/how things will change in the future, either when Ruby begins school or if (hopefully not) there is a financial need for me to return to work, but for now, for these days, I consider myself incredibly fortunate to be able to take the boys to school and pick them up everyday; to fold laundry with Ruby as we watch Sesame Street; to eat lunch with my hubby every noon; and the countless other things, big and little, that I'm afforded because of my current job title.
5) I absolutely love having a daughter. And I know that those of you that know me and know my kids - and especially those of you that have both sons and daughters of your own - know that it takes absolutely nothing away from Drew and Reed by my saying so. I am loving this time with her, just Ruby and me, throughout the day. I love our mother/daughter moments. We're beginning to build up what will hopefully be our own little traditions and experiences together, just the two of us. Daughters are special. Ruby is special. This time with her is incredibly special.
4) I love elementary school. This is likely because if I were to go back and get to re-live a portion of my early years, elementary school would definitely be it. I love the discoveries and the growth and the knowledge and the light bulbs that go off when something finally clicks. I love hearing the boys read to me. I love reading to them. I love their art! I love that Drew and Reed have this shared experience. I love that they get to be a part of each other's days in a way that the rest of us are not.
3) I love my soccer mom status. I mentioned to someone the other day that before I became a mom, one of the images I had in my mind of motherhood was sitting on the sidelines, rooting my babies along in whatever sport or activity they were involved in. It's sorta iconic, that image of motherhood. And I totally dig it. And I don't give one hoot or holler that I drive a mini van, either. I kinda like it a lot.
2) I love that my snuggles can take the fear of a nightmare away and that my kisses can heal a scraped knee. I love that they still believe that I can do anything. I love that there is special Mama magic in that. I love the way they need me, right now, at this age, because it is sure to change. It will be different as the years pass. I'd like to think they'll always need me (I still need my Mama!) but I know that the ways in which they will need me will change and mature, and likely won't be as sweet or sentimental. They may need money or advice or space. I pray to God they don't need their laundry done or bathrooms cleaned...cuz this Mama ain't doin' that!
And 1) I love that I am their Mama. It is them that make this whole experiment worthwhile.