How dare I complain about that?
After reading a wretched blog post about motherhood, I felt totally discouraged and bummed out. The author insists that she loves her life, though she just wants it to be “more about her.” She says she’s made a living from pointing out our culture’s double standards (which I agree do exist), but my guess is that writing these diatribes are mostly her way of dealing with the craziness of her life. And I’m sure she congratulates herself on being “brutally but refreshingly honest” or some BS like that. But who am I to talk? My blog basically exists for the purpose of complaining as a coping mechanism.
Then I read this truly lovely post shared via a friend on facebook, and it was a breath of fresh air. And it made me examine my own heart.
I don’t love every second of motherhood. Admittedly, there have been a lot of seconds so far that I haven’t loved. If I’m honest, I had a handful of moments (mostly during the first 6 weeks when everything blended into a hazy, sleepless fog) that I wondered, “Is there an undo button?!?” I’ve had a series of identity crises as the fabric of my daily experience is transformed into something utterly unfamiliar.
But my incredible daughter is almost 5 months old now, and we’ve had millions of brilliant, glorious, wonderful seconds, and those far outweigh the bad ones. I have a tendency to focus on the negative, so I have to be intentional about cherishing and remembering every beautiful moment with Isabella.
Every smile, every grin. Every tiny sigh, every big old yawn. Every time her eyes light up when I walk in. Every morning that she wakes up and scoots across the bed towards me. Every time she makes that sad little pouty face that would be funny if she wasn’t being so completely serious about it. Every time her little pudgy hands reach up to touch my face or grab my hair. Every sweet sound she makes. These are the things that make motherhood worth all the sacrifice- so worth it that complaining about what I’m giving up almost seems trivial.
What an honor, what a privilege it is to be a parent. What a massive responsibility it is to care for, guide, and lead another human being into healthy adulthood. I sometimes feel that I’m spending an inordinate amount of time managing Izzy’s mood, changing diapers, and being fussed at, rather than simply enjoying her. But she’s not here simply for my enjoyment. What I’m doing is not solving a temporary problem or trying to satiate her so I can go back to bed.
It’s far more meaningful and enduring than that. She’s learning that when she has a need, it’s met; her parents are trustworthy, and she is deeply valued and unconditionally loved. Through Stephen and I, Isabella should experience the Father’s abiding love, indefatigable patience, and prevailing grace. I get to love her every day, and in return, she’s teaching me how to do it better. How dare I complain about that?