I remember sitting in the glider in our old nursery, rocking back and forth, back and forth, my hands covering my belly as I felt the little kicks from the baby inside. Our first baby. We had dreamed about this, prayed for this and I was so excited to finally be a mother. I imagined our baby as an infant, snuggling him or her, and basking in their sweetness. I imagined that same baby as a toddler and then a preschooler - a small child who earned compliments from strangers for how well-behaved they were.
I remember sitting in our bedroom, rocking back and forth in that same glider that had been moved out of the nursery in order to make room for a crib and a toddler bed. My hands were again covering my belly as I felt the little kicks from the baby inside. Our second baby. I imagined that baby and their big brother - I saw them playing, running and laughing, and being the best of friends.
Some days the reality of our daily life is in such stark contrast to these early dreams it's almost laughable: meltdowns, tantrums. fighting, accidents, messes to clean up. Motherhood can be overwhelming and some days it feels like I'm failing miserably at this job as Mama.
As I was putting Hutton to sleep tonight I found myself thinking about this nest and these eggs that we found today. I thought about their Mama and her job once these babies were born and I realized how our jobs as mothers aren't really all that different:
Feed them. Feed their bodies, their minds, their souls.
Nurture them. Support them as individuals and honor their strengths and desires. Encourage them to try hard and be their very best.
Protect them. We can't protect our children from all the dangers of the outside world, but at home, in our little nest, we can make them feel safe by protecting them from anger, quick tempers, hurtful words, and violence.
I have work to do to be the mother that I really want to be, but at the core I think my three greatest responsibilities are these: feed them, nurture them, protect them. Parenting young children is so much work, but all too soon these little guys of mine are going to grow up, they are going to test their wings and before I know it, they will fly away. When that day comes I want to look back on these days and remember them as joyful; a crazy time filled with lots of sticky hands and dirty faces and mud all over the floor, but also laughter and smiles and hugs galore.
Happy Mother's Day, Mamas. xoxo