This post is from contributor Stephanie Sears
I sat on the couch and listened to my 3 year-old and 15 month-old playing a game in my son’s room. With the doors open I could hear laughter and screeching as they pretended the room was filled with butterflies.
My heart swelled.
Part of me was sad that they had invented a whole make-believe world without me, but most of me was thrilled. These two little children had created an experience together that kept them entertained for almost two hours. Just them. No one else was privy to their game, and I didn’t dare interrupt.
I didn’t know what to expect when I became a mother. During my first pregnancy, I joked that I only wanted to be certain he could read by college. I had no delusions of grandeur, and I was pretty sure I could handle what was going to be thrown my way.
Maybe it was that lack of expectations, but I love motherhood. Each moment.
My incredibly type A personality seems to disappear when it comes to my kids (sadly not to anything else). I ignore conventional rules about bedtime and nap schedules. Instead, I find myself just going about our days letting kids sleep in the car or in my arms as we spontaneously stop at the park for the third time that day just to watch the ducks.
In our society it can be tough to admit this. When I open Facebook I am bombarded with statuses from moms who are complaining about their kids (or husbands for that matter). In real life I hear friends talk about regretting motherhood. I often sit silent, wondering why our experiences are so different.
Loving motherhood doesn’t mean it is always easy. There are days my husband walks in the door, and I haven’t even looked at the shower let alone stepped inside it. There are days I correct behavior more than I knew possible. However, those aren’t defining moments of my journey. I won’t let them define these early days.
My journey is defined by laughter and messy hands and children’s books. It’s defined by those moments when my kids forget I am there and love each other more than I knew they could. It is defined by questions about God, trees, monsters, and cars. It’s defined by the moments before bed when I’m holding my toddler, wondering what happened to the newborn girl in her sleeper.
I don’t want to look back on these early years and think I just survived them. I want to remember how much I loved them. I want to embrace these moments before they pass. I only get 18 years with these kids under my roof. When the average American lives 75ish years, that really isn’t a lot of time. I don’t want to spend those years angry or only seeing them as a burden.
Loving motherhood is a choice I made the same day my son was born. I swore to myself that I would enjoy the moments that came our way.
It’s okay to love motherhood. In a world that sometimes tells us we should be burdened by it, I’m comfortable and happy and fulfilled in this role.
Above all let your love for one another be intense, because love covers a multitude of sins. (1 Peter 4:8 NAB)