Have you ever been out and about with your kiddos and had an older woman come up to you and comment, “Cherish every moment- it will be gone before you know it!” I remember many of those moments. But, being surrounded by my kids, I thought, “of course I cherish them”, and casually toss a “thank you, I’ll remember!”, her way. But, I’m not going to lie, life happened and I’d forget!
Sometimes it’s hard to remember to cherish those sweet little monsters, er – um, children, when they are running amuck, clobbering their sister, sticking paper clips in the outlets, or pooping up their back in their car seat! We get caught in survival mode and, with our heads down, we throw ourselves into our role and we forget.
A funny thing has happened to me though….recently I have realized that I have become that “older woman”. The one who stops that sweet mama in the store struggling to manage a toddler, an infant, and her groceries. Now I’m the one who encourages her to “hang in there, and try to cherish these moments.”
I am at that place where we all must pass through one day. It’s a place I’ve only heard about; a place where others have been and lived to tell about. It’s the place that caused those sweet “older ladies” to look at me, when I was surrounded by my brood, and tell me to cherish every moment. Yes I’ve heard talk of this place, but I didn’t get it until now. This place is tricky and difficult to navigate. You see, it’s as if this place is built on sand, and when life’s tide rolls in, it causes us to have to reevaluate and reposition ourselves, or we fall flat on our faces.
I’m there; standing on the sandy shore as the waves of change lap at my feet; each wave causing the sand to wash right out from under me. Yep, the sand is shifting alright…. and I’m off balance. It’s time for me to reevaluate, and reposition before I fall!
In my effort to regain my footing I have become a bit reflective. I’ve spent some time looking back, pondering the years of my motherhood. I’ve looked at where I’ve been, the good the bad and the ugly…. For some reason I needed that perspective, I needed to go back in order to see where I need to go now…how I need to reposition myself so I don’t crash and burn.
I contemplated my years of mothering, from infant to toddler, kindergarten to high school, college and beyond. I see where we’ve been and it’s been a wild ride! Wild for sure, but it’s also been sweet. It’s been great and …it’s been horrible!
From the yummy scent of my newborn’s head nestled under my chin, to the chubby little hand held tightly in mine, from learning to ride a bike to learning to drive a car, smelly barn clothes, stinky sports bags, personal belongings strewn throughout the house, car accidents, broken bones, stitches, death and near death experiences, family vacations, sleeping ten in one hotel room, driving from Atlanta Georgia to Quebec Canada, first horse, first car, first love, first apartment, proposals, engagements, nursing a baby while trying on mother of the groom gowns, weddings, first babies, grandchildren, and here I am, I’ve come full circle….
Now, I am that woman, the one who’s been there, done that, the woman who is in “that place” where the sands are shifting. Part of my “repositioning” is embracing my new role; I am that woman who will remind the younger women to slow down and look around at those little faces. I am an encourager of younger women. So as I encounter those sweet young moms… I’ll step into my role…. I’ll encourage them to cherish these moments, and remind them that this is the best, hardest thing they’ll ever do.
Once a mom commented to me, that if she had known how hard it was to be a mother, she wouldn’t have done it at all. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t have missed this adventure for anything. When I look back over the 34 years of my motherhood, it’s all been worth it. I’d do it again….all the same. Because it is truly the best – hardest thing I’ve ever done…and ever will do.
There are so many “best” things about motherhood; but for me, the best thing about motherhood is that I got to give birth, raise and nurture some of the best, most amazing people on earth, and now, I have the privilege of calling them my friends.
I have discovered that some of the best things are also the hardest things. As much as I’d like to hang on to them, my kids were never my own. God has called them into being for His purpose; He has a plan for them. They have their own adventures to embark on. (Jeremiah 29:11).
So what is the hardest thing about motherhood??
I think the hardest thing about motherhood is ….Letting go…..