I know this is a novel here but on Mother's Day, I kept thinking about how far I've come in the last (almost) 8 years as a mom. I'm just at the very beginning of this journey but still can't believe how much I've learned so far. When I was little, I dreamed of someday being a mom. I know I've written this before but it's true. That was what I would dream about. I didn't get pregnant with my sweet Ellers until I was 29. So by the time I had her, I was really ready and really excited. And let me just say, it was waaaaaaaay harder than I ever anticipated. Elle was an extremely difficult baby. For months I wondered why in the world people talked about how "wonderful" the infant stage was. I was losing my mind. She screamed for 5 months solid, day and night. I am not exaggerating. Right up until having her I was teaching school full time and also going to school at night to finish my Masters Degree. I went straight from that craziness into being home all day, alone with a baby. Now combine that with postpartum depression which I didn't even realize I had until after the fact, and you get the picture. When Jon would come home from work I would also be crying and I would just hand her to him. All I can remember him saying was, "I thought you were going to like this". Time passed and Elle got thru that phase and ended up being a very easy baby from 6 months on. I wasn't supplying enough milk for her which was what the doctors finally thought this issue was but that's not the point here. It was what Jon said to me that one night that I have never forgotten - "I thought you were going to like this....". There are lots of parts of motherhood that just aren't fun. What is amazing though about this job is that even on my worst days when it's so hard and I don't "like" it, I still have a sense of the magnitude of what I am doing. I have been entrusted with these little girls. That responsibility weighs heavy on me but at the same time gives me purpose and meaning even beyond the most seemingly menial parts of my day. There is a sense of fulfillment in being a mom for me and in trying my very best to be a good mother to my girls.
I now have 3 little girls that call me mama and it is still so humbling. At this stage in their lives I am their "everything" quite literally. It's exhausting for sure, but oh so rewarding. This picture above is one that Gwen took using my phone recently of me dancing with Lily one morning in our jammies. My Lily-pie was having a rough moment for whatever reason and I just put some music on and held her tight. She calmed right down. I have done this with all of my girls. It's these moments that are almost never captured that to me, define motherhood. I want so desperately for my girls to know how deeply I love them. I want them to know that even though I'm not perfect, and even though I have lots of days that I fall short, I really am trying my very best. They're so little right now and I can't believe that a lot of what I do with them they will never remember.
I want them to remember how when we're driving and if no one's around I will drive "crazy' just to make them laugh even though it makes me CRAZY carsick. I want them to remember how I put my hand back to each of them as I drive and squeeze it really tightly. I've told them that each squeeze means, "I love you". Now all I do is put my hand back and give them a squeeze and they say, "I love you too mama". It's so cute. I want Elle to remember that I love lying in her bed every single night before she goes to sleep and scratching her back. Actually, I don't like the scratching part but I do it because that's when she opens up the most to me about things in her life and her feelings. I want Gwen to know that I think it's so cute how she likes to show me how tall she is getting and that she can "get a glass from the cupboard without tippy toes" and that I love it when she crawls on to me like a little cat to watch her cartoons. I want Lily to know that I love her kisses. She will walk right up to me and say, "double". I bend down and she gives me double (2) kisses right smack on my lips. I melt every time. I love how when I brush the snarls out of their hair they hug me tight around my waist so that it won't hurt as bad. I hope they know how much I love how their faces light up every single day when they see me in the pick-up line for school or walking into the preschool. I love that when they lay just 2 inches away from me, I always say, "you're too far away" and make them scoot closer. They always roll their eyes but do it anyway. I love that they think I'm an AMAZING cook even though I'm not. I want them to know that when they help me cook and clean it takes 5x's as long and usually ends up worse than when we started, but I do it because I love to see how sweet their little proud faces are when we're done. I love the little notes Elle leaves me around the house and the pictures Gwen draws of me in preschool. I love that whenever they do something they think is great, they can't wait to show me and I always try my best to make it a big deal. I love sneaking into their beds at night to give them kisses while they sleep. I love all of these little things and I feel panicked as to how fast they are growing up. As a mother, I've come a long way from those days when Elle was an infant and I can honestly say that I do "like this" thing called motherhood. Actually, I love it and that's the truth. More than anything, I just hope that my girls know that their mom loves them. I am constantly telling them but what I hope most, is that my actions are letting them FEEL how much those words that I whisper in their ears, are true. I Really, really loved, love and will continue to love them....Forever.