Gratitude in Motherhood

I glanced over at the light coming from my alarm clock. Ugh, I don’t think I slept at all last night. Another night of tossing and turning, wasted sleep.

I lay there trying to will myself back to sleep before the alarm sounded. Instead, my mind began to race. I took a deep breath in, mentally going over the day ahead. Take kids to school, pick kids up from school, therapy for Berni, phone calls that need to be returned. So many things.

Before I knew it, the girls were up. David was making their breakfast and I was frantically getting myself ready for the day after pulling the covers back over my head once my alarm started yelling at me to get up. I could hear the girls chattering at the breakfast table. A sweet and beautiful sound coming from the kitchen I don’t often take time to notice.

I walked into Berni’s room, pulled back the curtains and began to get her ready for the day. This particular morning, I had somewhere to be shortly after school drop-off and instead of relishing in her morning cuddles, I quickly changed her and sent her off to breakfast.

I could feel my emotions rising, the older girls now arguing over the hair brush. How quickly their sweet sound turned into loud noise. I fought the urge to snap wondering why that happens, sweet one moment and the next not so much.

I walked to the bathroom to intervene and let out a large sigh before addressing the hairbrush situation. The girls were quick to apologize and we went about our morning routine.

I picked up my own hairbrush and gently brushed out the bedhead and could feel the tightness in my neck. I attributed it to the long sleepless night and noted the frustration surfacing for reasons I couldn’t quite recognize yet. The tension stretched down through my shoulders.

I paused and took another deep breath. Thank you Lord, for these beautiful babies I have the honor of raising.

I have come to realize, it can be easy to let the negative behavior fog over the good and precious moments. It’s loud and difficult to navigate through more often than not and I can let it cloud the beauty of my motherhood.

Motherhood is nothing like I imagined. We have walked through difficult seasons I never expected and these girls have stronger wills than I ever thought possible. And some days, I find myself allowing the narrative of exhaustion to overwhelm instead of pausing and thanking the Lord for the gift of raising three daughters that have a purpose far beyond what I could ever imagine.

A friend of mine recently reminded me how fleeting the long days of childrearing truly are. In the moment, it can seem unending, but before you know it kids are heading to college. What a wild thought, I pondered silently to myself. It seems as if those days are far beyond my reach but if I look back at the eight years I have been a mother, I’m speechless it has already been eight whole years!

I desperately want to pause those moments in time, the chatter from the breakfast table, the late night giggles, the pretend play, building blocks and learning to ride bikes. But I fear I have already gotten in the habit of rushing through their childhood.

I have thought often, if they were just a little older… fill-in the blank. Sometimes, I am completely overwhelmed with Berni’s communication delay and I do set myself up for failure by setting a lofty communication goal for her thinking somehow, magically all of the difficult behaviors we face with her were disappear my her making it that goal.

Those imaginary checkpoints come and go with what feels like not enough progress and I find myself once again giving into the emotions of failure and hurry up and grow instead of savoring the moments she delicately grabs my hand and leads me to a corner in the house she has set up toys for her and I to play with.

It’s in those moments of reflection I take note of how much she truly is communicating and the importance of me adapting to her way of getting her point across right now. It takes time and patience, something I always trick myself into believing are qualities I do not possess, when in reality it’s more of a choice I am making. Deciding where to dedicate my time instead soaking in those fleeting moments with her.

Instead of rushing from task to task and placing an immense pressure upon myself to take care of every single little detail as it pertains to the organization of my house, I have noticed the importance of letting things go. Maybe I don’t need to fold that load of laundry the second the dryer buzzes or perhaps the dishes in the sink can in fact wait until I will be in the kitchen making dinner anyway. Finding tasks to ease up on in turn relishing in my daughters’ childhood.

Ponding these moments promotes pause to the seemingly unending winds of flutter around to ground my attitude in gratitude.

Yes, the days may be long. The continual sleep issues, the countless arguments between the girls, etc. but their hearts are ripe for the God’s word. Their precious beautiful and compassionate hearts that take time and patience and consistency to pour into, day in and day out are of the upmost importance. How incredibly grateful I am to have the opportunity to do such a thing.

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  1. Loving your precious family and praying for you all every day. Tnx for sharing. You do have a gift for expressing your thoughts and feelings.

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