I feel warm like I might have a fever. I’ve been so busy wiping runny noses and holding fussy kids today that I’ve been ignoring that nagging sore throat and dull headache. I need to go to bed, but who has time for that?
This part of motherhood must have been in the fine print of the mommy manual. After the cuddles on page three and giggles while changing adorable little outfits on page ten. I didn’t see it either when I flipped through the cute mommy outfits or the section about taking the perfect autumn walk while pushing your sporty jogging stroller.
No, it definitely wasn’t in there. I guess moms aren’t allowed to get sick. Or tired.
I feel the need to make some honesty amendments to the mommy manual before we hand them out to any more naive little girls. And start by saying motherhood is not a walk in the park. Well, not a pretty one at least. You’ll get there with three kids in tow and crowd as many as you can onto your double stroller. You take a few steps and the complaining starts, the asking for snacks, then of course, the poop explosion.
Motherhood isn’t all cuddles and coos. It’s hard work. It takes a strong woman or rather makes a woman strong. It requires a lot of learning and laying down. Laying down your pride when you have to say no to friends. Laying down your selfishness as you split the last pecan truffle among the kids rather than hiding in the kitchen and eating it yourself. (No wait, I failed on that one…) Laying down your very desire to lay down and instead staying up late to comfort your little one in the dark. Holding, loving, giving when you have nothing left to give.
It’s in these moments that I feel like I can barely see my hand in front of my face. I’m just doing the next thing. Its stressful, but exhilarating. Almost like I can physically feel God shaping and molding me into a better person. It’s raw and it’s real. And I’m not sure how He does it, but He’s taking the ones I love the most and stretching me to love them more.
I guess it’s not something you can put in a manual or even really describe. It’s just experiencing it. The good, the bad, and yes, sometimes the ugly. But I can tell you…its worth it. All of it. It fills my heart with love, my days with purpose, and my soul with joy. Its colorful, adventurous, meaningful, and precious. Motherhood is a gift. A wonderfully messy, tiring, rewarding gift.