The other day I said to John, “You know, I signed up for Facebook eight years ago and a lot of my friends’ children were preschoolers. Now they’re almost teenagers. How is that possible?” Of course eight years ago I was newly married staring into an unknown future of chronic illness, endless nights at Duke hospital, and a heart transplant. So a lot can happen in eight years. But when it comes to children you expect time to stand still. And it never does. This Mother’s Day I’m giving up on making time stand still.
I’ve heard the advice as a young mama. When I was pregnant with my first daughter my face went red with rage the more I heard, “Enjoy every minute, it goes by fast”, or, “Don’t blink, they’ll be gone before you know it.”
“What do you expect me to do about it?!” I wanted to scream back. “I can’t make time stand still!”
This was the response from a new mama who knew they were right. I knew that this, too, would one day end. There would be one closing night in the crib. One last rock in the rocking chair. The final diaper.
Then the day would come for my baby to leave forever.
But despite knowing these days would come, I was determined to not let them. I’d hold onto them tight enough so that I couldn’t blink, and magically they’d go on forever.
I told myself that maybe if I found a way to savor the days, not complain, be cheerful all the time, and enjoy my girls, I could manipulate them into standing still. Time would slow down. The days wouldn’t go by fast.
So I set out to do just that. I was intentional in my thoughts to enjoy motherhood and not blink. I was conscious to play enough and laugh enough and dance enough and be silly enough. I tried not to freak out over stained carpet, broken jewelry, and spilled milk.
And as I held onto each moment, squeezing them so tightly that they couldn’t slip away, they left me anyway, and took with them the present moment I so desperately tried to keep. My perfectionism to savor every moment took my time and my memories.
I think as moms we try to hold onto something that was never meant to be held onto, and we miss the gift the memories are meant to give us. Our memories become images of us striving to make each moment meaningful in hopes that they won’t go away instead of images of the joy our children bring.
This Mother’s Day let’s give up on the idea that we have to incessantly hold on to each moment of our motherhood journey, squeezing it so tightly in fear of it going away. Instead let’s rest in making joyful memories that will carry us through the days when our floors no longer squeak with children’s footsteps and our walls no longer echo their laughs.
And this Mother’s Day let’s pray for these special moms in all different places in their journey:
moms with the hope of future children,
moms of children yet to be born,
moms of children in heaven,
moms of children in their homes,
moms of adult children who have gone astray,
moms of foster children,
moms who were courageous enough to give their child up for adoption,
moms who were courageous enough to adopt,
moms who are carrying pre-born babies in their wombs,
moms who have never met their children,
moms who are sitting in hospitals praying God saves their child,
moms who are considering abortion,
moms who are raising children on their own,
moms who are estranged from their children,
moms who have had an abortion,
moms who are raising their grandchildren,
moms who are now moms to children-in-law,
moms with adult children,
moms who are caring for children who are permanently disabled,
moms who are caring for children who are chronically sick,
moms who work longer hours than they get to spend with their children,
moms who have no biological children but pour their lives into other people’s children,
moms who mentor children in so many different ways,
little girls with the seed planted by God to one day be moms.
Who did I miss? And what are you giving up this Mother’s Day? Leave me a comment!
And no matter what your motherhood journey looks like, if you are female, you are a mom is some way, so Happy Mother’s Day to you!