I’m a list person. A structure person. A make-a-goal-and-accomplish-it person. Task-oriented. Sometimes I’ll write things like ‘shower’, ‘eat lunch’, ‘make dinner’ on my t0-do list just so I can cross them off.
I’m learning, however, that this is not how motherhood works.
It’s sometimes frustrating, being in this stage with a newborn. Everybody loves newborns. Their smells. Their movements. Their noises. Their adorable little outfits and their sweet, soft, fuzzy hair.
Everybody loves newborns…unless they currently have a screaming one in their arms. One that has been crying for hours? And it’s 3 am. Am I right? Or is that just me?
Often, social media and those who are not in the same stage of motherhood can glorify certain moments. And those moments are real. Those sweet snuggles. That first tiny smile. The soft hair, and the accompanying bald spots. The kicking and punching arms and legs. The moment that they turn their head to your voice. Oh, it’s all so beautiful and wonderful. And miraculous.
But some days motherhood looks more like this:
(Yes, that is me holding Tera, while she screams and kicks her legs. And I’m eating a cookie. With no hands. Because I couldn’t put her down long enough to make lunch.)
And on those days, I tend to get stressed out. My house is a mess, dinner is not cooked (or even thawed, or ordered), I haven’t looked at myself in a mirror for over 24 hours (who knows what my face looks like), I’m in tears, Tera is in tears; I can’t console her, Theo is trying to hold us all together, and the dog is most liking barking, and I’m most likely losing my temper, at the dog and life in general.
And often..the number one thing on my mind is how I failed at completing, or even starting my to-do list.
Come on, Suzanne! You only put three things on your list today, and you didn’t do any of them! Theo is HUNGRY, I’m unable to calm down my own baby, and the bed didn’t even get made! How much time/effort/energy does it actually take to make a bed? Plus, I yelled at the dog, which totally makes him an abused animal! Failure!
Anybody else? Anybody?
So I found this quote by C.S. Lewis. And it might stay on my chalkboard forever. Because I need to be reminded of this every single time I rush around the house trying to get something else done, while Tera (finally!) takes a ten-minute snooze.
(Ok, horrible picture. And pretty horrible art work, too. And I had this ‘project’ on my to-do list for at least 5 days before it got done….)
Oh, what a sweet reminder. Tera is my job. Yes, Theo and my home are also my job, but one thing at a time. Tera is my job. Who else has such an amazing job? Who else gets to grow and bond and cuddle and feed and provide for a tiny human? Who else gets to watch a baby grow more every day and hit all those developmental milestones? Who else gets to open Scripture and have so many of it’s words come more alive than ever before? Who else gets to carry a baby around, and receive one of the greatest compliments ever: “She is so beautiful! And she looks just like you!”. Who else gets to pray over, dote on, and constantly take pictures of a little, live human being? Who else gets to open sleep deprived eyes at 3 am, and see those beautiful blues and that crooked grin and realize that this thing, this precious baby girl, grew inside me and was created to glorify God in this world?
Motherhood is really hard. And I’m learning that I need to lower my expectations. I need to remember what my priorities are. I need to give myself time, give myself grace. I need to live in this moment, and remember that these moments will fade so fast.
Anybody else? Am I the only one?