We snuggled side by side quietly on the couch, savoring our fleeting time together as the girls napped soundly in their room. I was using my best silly voices to read, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, and swiftly grabbed my phone to capture a very innocent moment of my precious four year old daughter staring in wonder at the pictures of that little mouse eating ALL the cookies. “Mama, it’s the best day ever when I get to eat cookies,” she wholeheartedly informed me.
Oh, the innocence and purity of a child.
I suddenly envied her as I sat and observed her sweet and excited expressions from the corner of my eye as I read to her a book I memorized from when my son was little. It doesn’t take much to satisfy and evoke joy from a child. I can’t help but wish we as Mamas were more this way. Most times we are just too burdened down with the heaviness of Motherhood. The weight and stress of the emotional loads that we all carry.
I remember thinking when I was a kid that I just couldn’t wait to be an adult (ha!). Jokes on me, right? Now that I’m an adult, I wish I could go back to being a kid. When my biggest worry of the day was if my Mama was gonna let me have a cookie or not.
I often wish I could relive those carefree days of just playing in the sun, innocent and naive. Never worried about the next moment or day. Just truly happy about all the small things. Life was all about school, and friends, and laying on my bed reading my book until my Mama called and said supper was ready. There was very little sadness or pain….Sometimes I really do wish I could go back. When life was much less complicated.
Why does adulthood and motherhood come with such a remarkable and tangible weight to it? Maybe it’s the unpredictability of raising a new life in this broken world. Maybe it’s an accumulation of all the things we carry: fear, worry, our own child’s heartache or disappointment. We most obviously physically carry them from our bellies and beyond into our arms. We carry all the memories their little brains are too young to retain and cling tightly to them for the both of us. We carry a swelling of love and joy. The weight of sleep deprivation. Maybe you’re like me and you carry a special need or health concern for one or more of your children. Then of course we carry our own insecurities and past failures.
It’s heavy. It’s ALL heavy.
Sometimes it all feels too heavy, doesn’t it Mama friend? But you’re strong enough to carry it. You are. I happen to know a man who can help you carry it. He’s a dear friend of mine.
No, I wouldn’t wanna go back. Not for a second.
Because then I wouldn’t be here. On this couch with my daughter. Feeling every ounce of the joy in watching her enjoy her childhood the way I did. Bottling up her innocence and moments like this one, in hopes of burning the fragments of time into my memory.
The weight comes unexpectedly doesn’t it? I vividly recall the moment they first laid my son on my chest. His tiny, weightless, wrinkled body. The rush of emotions: joy, fear, worry, overwhelming and all consuming love. It happened again when I had my daughter. And again in that ICU room when my precious nurse snuck my twin baby girls in and laid them both into my arms for the first unforgettable time. Oh, the heaviness and weight in that moment.
The love we feel for them as Mama is inconceivable. I couldn’t call it anything but heavy. The intense connection. The fiercely protective love. The immediate worry. The weight of the responsibility is vastly overwhelming. It’s a bit terrifying, yet all at once magical. You’re lying on a hospital bed with your brand new baby that grew inside you for nine months laying in your arms for the very first time and you have this sudden flash back in your memory. You suddenly understand why people used to call your married, pre-child life freedom. Not freedom from something bad like a punishment. But rather freedom from the worry and weightlessness of not having children, and being incapable of understanding ALL the huge emotions that comes along with Motherhood.
People often ask me how I do it. Four kids so young.
The truth is, I don’t. There’s nothing I accomplish that I can take credit for without the Lord’s hand in the dead center of it all. I frequently prayed when I was pregnant with my twins for God to equip me for what was ahead. I didn’t feel prepared (I still don’t). But I trusted what I felt deep down; He wouldn’t have blessed me with something without knowing He would slowly transform me into the Mama they each deserved. (Side note: I’m not close to there yet).
Motherhood is kinda like starting a new work out routine (stick with me through this analogy). At first it’s hideously hard and you can barely breathe through the work out. You’re unreal sore for days and you ache and hurt and want to quit….but slowly and surely, it starts to get easier. You start to notice you’re stronger and even seeing results. You can lift more weight than before and it doesn’t even hurt anymore. It actually starts to feel somewhat easy…such is motherhood. Adding more children to your home and the balancing act of Mama and wife.
The capability is there through Christ. And the weight of it all is SO unbelievably worth it. It’s enough to make a brand new Mama immediately forget the pain she just endured when that new baby cries its first cry and is placed right into her welcoming arms.
A Mother’s love is not easy. Not in the beginning, not in the middle, and from what I hear, not ever. It’s a treasure chest loaded with precious gems and riches. Valuable beyond measure. But it’s not light. And it’s not easy. You can’t have that kind of love without the weight.
Yup, the weight is heavy. But the joy…..
There’s absolutely NOTHING like it.