Tuesday was a rough day for me. Hollis is in a “clingy” stage and there is literally not a moment in the day where he isn’t touching me or pulling at me or saying “mommy, mommy, mommy.” Simply put, it is overwhelming. I adore being the mom of 3 however lately my “job” and mom has been requiring much more than I feel I’m able to give.
I had written almost 3 paragraphs on the sacrifices of motherhood highlighting all the things I have given up in order to be what I consider “a good mom.” And just to clarify, this is MY personal list y’all, not one I’m imposing on all mothers. There is no denying I have been physically and emotionally drained. These days the calling of motherhood doesn’t always give me feelings of pride and gratitude, but rather guilt of not doing enough and shame for even needing a break.
But then Tuesday night happened.
This Is Us was back after their holiday hiatus. The show that chronicles the life of The Pearson family always draws me to tears. Who are these writers who can see directly into my soul???
This particular television show not only provides us with an interpretation of how we may be feeling in this moment of our lives, but it gives this unique perception of how we could possibly feel in the future as parents of adults. At least for me this is my view of the television show. Rebecca Pearson’s young character speaks directly to my soul each week.
In an effort to not give the episode’s storyline away, I’ll be vague. One of the adult children is struggling to find meaningful memories from his childhood with either of his parents. In the scenes you also see his mother Rebecca too is struggling with her own perceptions and memories of her life as a young mother.
As usual, I was a bundle of tears and mommy feelings when the show ended. The depiction was definitely hitting home as I have recently felt myself falling deeper and deeper into the monotony of each day. One child requires more of me which often times leaves less time for the other two. Another load of laundry here, a child on my hip there, another homework question answered, another activity to be attended, another blog to write. My reassurance to myself has been “these days will pass, it’s only a season, just get through this” and with these words I’m allowing precious moments to slip right out of my mind. Because it is the truth! It is the truth me for me, and it is also true for my children. Their days will pass, they are only this age for a short time, they will move right through this season.
I don’t want my memories of them to be clouded with the hastiness of life and routine. I never want one of them to feel as if the other one was more important simply because of their neediness at the time.
What I do know though is that I am their earthly source of love. Their father and I are their earthly source of everything! And just as my husband and I work hard to provide for all of their physical needs, I too should be working hard at providing for all of the emotional needs. There shouldn’t be a choice between the two simply because stages of life are more difficult than others. There will always be a time when I’m stressed and tired. SUCH IS LIFE!! I can’t run away from it. But I want to hold myself accountable to the emotions I project onto my children during these seasons. I want my emotions to be more intentional and not simply a reaction from the crazy day I had.
Lists keep me motivated and on task. Lists serve as a reminder for me, so naturally I made a list of the things I want my three children to remember about me when they become adults. My hope is that my seeing these I will become more intentional with each moment I spend with them regardless of the stresses, the chores, the schedule, or the task.
I want them to remember that I listened. On any given day I can be doing 4 things at once with a baby on my hip. I have gotten into a habit of listening with one ear while doing something else, just nodding along. I want my children to know when they want to talk I will always be there to listen. I want them to remember I was there to hear what they were saying, not to give my opinion, but simply because they were worth being heard.
I want them to remember the time. I can’t expect them remember every single moment that I try to make memorable, but I do want them to remember there was intentional time spent where we were all laughing and having fun together. I want them to remember that simply spending time together was a favorite activity of ours.
I want them to remember my positivity. Life throws us curve balls and there are days where it will seem that everything is going wrong. I want my children to see me finding a positive outlook even in a negative situation. I want them to see me choosing to smile and say “It is well with my soul.”
I want them to remember I prayed. I know I require the guidance and grace from my Heavenly Father and I want my children to know that as well. I want my life to point them directly to our Savior. I want them to remember when I was happy I sought the Lord and when I was sad I sought the Lord. I want them to know perfect prayers don’t exist and all they need is a humble heart to make their request.
I want them to remember I loved them. I almost left this one out because I feel that it goes without saying. I don’t struggle saying or expressing love to my children. I want them to remember that. I want them to remember I said I LOVE YOU often and I want them to remember I hugged them just because.
Today as I was rocking our 2 year old Hollis for his nap I took a moment and stared at his little eyes getting heavy and I started singing a song that I sang to him while he was in the NICU. “In moments like these, I sing out a song, I sing out a love song to Jesus….” During those NICU days I wasn’t sure of Hollis’s future, when or if he would ever come home. I was so very mindful of each of the moments we spent together because I never wanted to forget just in case there wasn’t a tomorrow with him. I pray that I can take that feeling into every day with each of my children and I pray they too will be able to remember moments withe me.