Before I was a mama I imagined that raising kids was easy.
My young mind pictured motherhood as holding babies, changing diapers, late-night feedings and early afternoon naps.
I pictured firsts. First words, first tooth, first steps.
Never did I envision mouthy toddlers, independent school-age kids, and a sulky teenager.
I didn’t foresee the days of exhaustion and thanklessness.
The heartache, doubt, regret, and irritation that sneaks in on a daily basis.
Before I was a mama I equated having a baby to instantaneous happiness.
I didn’t think my life would be any less but so much more.
And part of me was right.
Babies are hard work and in giving so much of yourself away to care for them, you might feel like you lose yourself, the person you were before.
I know at times, many times, I did.
But before my eyes, as my babies grew through the years I started to see the light in motherhood.
It comes from little messy smiles, an unexpected hug, bedtime cuddles, Eskimo and butterfly kisses, the sound of their laughter, knowing that to them you are the entire world.
As they grow it comes in the form of asking your opinion, telling you about their day, asking how your day’s been, an ‘I love you mom” in a text, wanting to sit next to you on the couch, still giving you hugs even though they are almost as tall as you.
Like life, motherhood goes through phases and they are each so precious, yet so fleeting.
Don’t rush them.
In the blink of an eye, they will be over.
Nothing about being a mama is like I pictured long ago in my youthful days, long before I could ever understand this kind of grace, this kind of sacrifice, this kind of joy.
I could never know because I had never understood this kind of love before.
Until I was a mama.
Everyday you are made new.
Everyday is an opportunity to be born again.
To say yes to what you need to and no to what you don’t.
You will never be the person you were yesterday nor the one you will be tomorrow.
Twenty-four hours can set you on a totally different course.
Wake up and rise.
Be present on purpose.
Watch the sun rise and set.
Look for the good.
Everyday hold grace, forgiveness, honesty and joy close by.
Take a chance to live the life you so desperately want.
Because one day you’ll run out of every days.
Beautiful mama, stop comparing yourself to that woman on Instagram, your friend who seems to have the perfect everything, your neighbors who just bought that new something or other.
You are you and they are not.
Theodore Roosevelt once famously said that” Comparison is the the thief of joy” and no truer words have ever been spoken.
When we compare ourselves we fail ourselves.
Here’s why, there’s no one else, in this entire universe, who is you.
You are rare.
A lone creation.
God created you, beautiful mama, in his image and in his eyes you are flawless.
You’re not supposed to be an image of someone else.
He wants you to embrace your entire being and find true joy in the life he has given you.
He wants your body to tell a story of adventures, mistakes, babies, love, triumph, contentment, hurt.
You were never meant to remain small so He gave you the entire world as your playground.
Take up space.
Fill a room with your laughter.
Wear your bathing suit to the pool and jump in with your kids.
Do big and small things with great intention.
Dare yourself to be unafraid.
To let go of expections.
you are perfect exactly as you are.
A stunning piece of art created by the king himself.
I’m getting in touch with my soul.
She’s been there all along, but somehow I’ve overlooked her for all these years.
I’m finding that she is quite the hippie.
Dancing, rain, travel, nature, freedom, yoga, words, music…
these are the things that set her on fire.
She is sensitive but hopeful.
She longs for simplicity and peace.
She yearns for grace and patience.
She feels at home in solitude but can also hang with a crowd.
Like the sun rising after the darkest of nights she shines,
and the more I let her, the brighter she gets.
Like an old friend who knows every part of me, she has always been there…
I wake to the sound of birds chirping, the suns light washing over everything. The first thing I see when I roll over is the framed picture of us.
A small oak frame that holds the memory of a moment once alive but now only a snapshot.
The way you are looking at me, your smile as wide as it ever was, reaching ear to ear. The look of love so evident.
We had the kind of love that some people never even know exists. I didn’t even know it existed until I met you. Oh it was magical.
Staring at that picture, I have proof that it existed. You were once real. You were once here, a living, breathing man that stole my heart on a cold November day.
I sit all the way up and plant my feet on the floor, taking hold of the frame as I do every morning.
I feel the wood, the softness of it between my fingers. I stare at who I used to be. I hardly recognize that woman anymore.
When you left, you took most of me too. You were my heart, my soul, my other half. It felt like, at times, you were even the air I breathed.
I try to hold back my saddness but a single tear flows down my cheek and I can’t help but feel my heart breaking all over again. I still need you. I don’t think I can do this without you.
I take a few minutes to compose myself and rise, setting the frame back in it’s resting place.
A new day is here, I cannot force the night to stay no matter how much I beg. The sun always rises and forces me to wake.
Like yesterday, and the day before that, I will try to get through these hours of daylight. I have to live, for you, for me, for us. I know that is what you would want because while you were here, you lived life to the fullest and thought of each new day as an adventure.
You taught me how to stop being only alive. You showed me how to open each new day as a gift. You did not waste a single second of an hour. Maybe somehow you knew that you had a short life, or maybe you just knew how precious life was.
You were truly magic and you made life magical.
I am not sure I can do this today, lie you to rest and say goodbye. I always hated goodbyes but knowing this one is so permenant, that I will never see that smile again or hear your voice…how can I ever say goodbye?
In a few hours I will be glancing at your face, touching you for the last time. You will become a memory of what once was. A man that once existed and was the love of my life.
I will wear black and I will mourn you but I won’t let go. Not yet, maybe not ever.
Then I will return to a life without you and learn all over again how to be alone. Knowing that without you, my life, forever changed, can never be whole again.
You are irreplaceable.
Even though you are gone, our love will remain through me, and this child that grows inside me. A part of you that will live on, a part of us that will forever be ours.
Living, breathing proof of our love and what we created.