I have a confession to make:
I haven’t always enjoyed motherhood.
The act of being a Mom came so naturally to me at first. When Sloan was born I was immediately comfortable with him. I wasn’t one of those neurotic moms who worried about every little cry. I didn’t care if people held him without washing their hands first and I didn’t freak out at every little cough or sneeze. I was laid back.
Except when it came to sleeping. I made that poor child take naps all the flipping time. Four naps a day for the first four months of his life, three naps a day for the next four and two naps a day until he was eighteen months old and he staged a morning nap coup resulting in me freaking out for a solid month before requiring he take a three hour nap every afternoon without possibility of negotiation until he turned four when he staged yet another coup and has refused to sleep since.
Okay I might have been a little neurotic.
I also required 12 hours of sleep per night and made sure bedtimes were rarely messed with. No wonder that child hates sleeping now.
Alright, alright – I was a lot neurotic.
But, neurosis aside, I was comfortable as a Mom. Babies are hard, but now that I’m on the other side of them I find myself snorting at how not hard babies really are. Am I confusing anyone yet?
The real work of motherhood starts when their reasoning ability kicks in. When you are no longer merely keeping them alive and sustaining them from day to day (or nap to nap in my case). Wait…you mean..I…have to…ya know…teach them? I have to raise them to be morally responsible, compassionate citizens of the world who contribute to society in a positive way?
I love being with my kids. I love doing the fun things with them. Going to the Zoo, playing at the park, going to the beach and the pool. I love to do the activity of life with my kids. But the day to day training that’s imperative to their development?
It hasn’t always been my favorite.
In fact, the day to day instruction has always been a bit daunting to me. The business of training them to be respectful and obedient. It’s hard! Give me a fussy newborn over an insolent toddler any day of the week. Can I get an Amen?
For those who know me well, you know I’m not what you might call a homebody. I don’t enjoy just being home. I like schedules and activity. I like to be on the go. I like to sprint through life. But guess what? It’s hard to sprint when there are three little ones whose legs aren’t as long as yours. My metaphor is getting a little rough, I know. Stay with me…
I’ve spent the better part of the last few months trying to slow down. I’ve cut out a few activities here and there and tried to pull back. I’ve tried to spend a little more time at home and when at home, I’ve tried to stop being so…busy all the time. I tend to equate down time with idleness. That’s not necessarily the case. Sometimes it’s good to sit and read a book to the kids in the middle of the day. It’s good for them and it’s good for me.
I’m finally beginning to enjoy the art of motherhood. The hard part. I’m even getting excited about it. I know, right? It’s about time. I’m looking forward to and excited about the process of training them. I look forward to praying for them and being with them. I’m so excited for this summer to just be.
I know it will be tiring and exhausting and hard. But I love the hard. I love the tiring. I’m learning to love the process. I’m learning to sit, to be still, to play Barbies, to have imaginary tea parties, to read books, to live every day life. I’m finally enjoying that part of motherhood a little more. Fewer schedules, more free time, more playtime. I’m slowing down my pace and finally giving my kids a chance to catch up.
This is a great place to be.