I have a vivid memory of bringing our first little boy home. Being a mom was all I ever wanted to be. We set his car seat down in the home we'd spent hours preparing for him and I felt a wave of emotions. My heart was heavy, and I was certain I was completely unqualified. Now, seven years into this journey, I've come to understand that this feeling of inadequacy is a universal emotion for moms everywhere.
Leading up to this day, I'd read stacks of books about sleep schedules and feeding routines. The reality was far different than I had ever dreamed. The wave of responsibility swept over me and I was quickly drawn under the tide. Nothing went the way we'd planned and it was a quick lesson in throwing my controlling qualities out the window.
Having a child changes you. It forces you to hold hope in one hand and fear in the other. Time becomes both your friend and an enemy.
Mothers attempt to soak up the goodness of every, single moment while also living in the reality of motherhood. It is a beautiful state of being that pushes you to the very end of yourself and then asks you to give more when you are fairly sure there is nothing left in you. In the middle of this exhaustion, you're very aware that you need to soak up these moments because they are so fleeting.
Moms come in every shape and size and are scattered throughout the world. We are gifted this coveted role in different ways -- yet our celebrations and hardships are often the same. We spend our days doing the work of motherhood and then grab onto a few special moments begging time to just stand still.
Ask just about any parent and they will tell you that the old adage is true -- the days go slow and the years fly right on past you. Just like the memory I have of bringing our son home, I've captured other moments like these as they've happened. They feel like out of body experiences. I catch myself saying, "... remember this, don't forget the way he looks at you, this day is going to matter ..." And now I am the mother of two energetic boys, 4 and 7. I am often overcome with pride in who my children are becoming and how they are leaving their mark on this world - in spite of me. Moms intuitively know that their work lays the foundation for their children, but nearly all of us would agree that what and who they become is all them. We sit back and soak up every last moment knowing that what we are doing is good but what they are becoming is even better.
Motherhood is celebrated because it isn't easy both in the sheer exhaustion and the emotional journey. We are all in the balance of the fast nature of our culture and slowing down to enjoy the quiet grandeur of each ordinary day. This Mother's Day, my gift to myself is going to be trusting that I am enough and I will slow down - because these are the days I don't want to miss.
Recently, singer and songwriter, Nichole Nordeman shared a video that has resonated with so many mothers like me, who are in the balance of the day-to-day work of motherhood, while also attempting to soak up these precious memories. This video has quickly reached over 8 million views within the last week. Hopefully, it will mean as much to you as it does to me.
"I don't know of a more uttered or whispered phrase from a mother of any age, about her child of any age, than 'It's going by too fast.' I feel like I spend my life trying to slow time. Trying to celebrate the growth and the milestones of my children, and then secretly day dreaming about building a time machine in my garage, so I can return to rocking my babies at midnight. If you've ever looked at your child running across a field, or striding across a graduation stage, or walking down the middle aisle of a church clutching a bouquet, you'll know why this song is special to me. Please enjoy the video below, remembering the moments we wish we could slow down, and sharing them with those we love most." - Nichole Nordeman