I sometimes picture myself as an older woman. My children have flown the coup. My sweet husband and I have dinner with only each other as company most nights. I fill my days with…I really can’t picture that part. Will there really be a time in my life where I am not trying to keep other small humans fed, clean, happy and healthy. I digress, sorry. I fill my days with a part time job, lots of reading, hiking and I take a nap whenever the heck I like. I can picture myself driving to the store and passing the neighborhood park. As I look over I see a young mother sitting on a large blanket. She is surrounded by 3 precious children. They are all eating a picnic lunch in the sun. I don’t know if every on of those children are happy in that moment, or if someone isn’t too hot, or has to go pee. All those things don’t matter. I have a sudden heart wrenching ache for that time in my life when all my children wanted nothing more than to go to the park with their mama and eat PBJ’s and pee in the bushes because things got desperate.
Maybe I am not the normal mother. I adore my roll as a woman, wife and mother, but I still sometimes find myself dreading the day to day monotony of my life right now. I fantasize about a time in my life where my life is a little bit more mine. I don’t think that it is a bad fantasy! We should always look forward to the future with hope. But I often find, even in my fantasy future, I miss the time I am in right now.
There is a beautiful young mother in my community that is on the last few days of her journey here on Earth. Very aggressive breast cancer is taking her away from her two young children and loving husband. As I thought about her life and what she is going through now I was struck with a sudden heart wrenching realization of how wasteful I am with my life.
I have had a rough few days with two sick children, both of which have nasty head colds, and a toddler who has been covered with blood 2 too many times. Last night I caught myself thinking, “NOOOOOO! I don’t want to wake up and do it all again. Not with these hard kids. Not on this little of sleep. Not with the list of things I need to get done. I can’t wait until they are older.” I pushed those feelings down and went to bed. But as I think of this mother who is inwardly yelling NOOOOOO as well I can’t help but feel differently about my “rough day”. I am actually wishing away what she is wishing for.
In honor of this young mother I am making a conscious choice to enjoy the constant physical touch I am getting from my clingy 10 month old. Her sweet tiny weight leaning against me is truly precious. I didn’t cringe at the marinara covered hands gave my legs a hug after dinner. Even now I can hear my older girls talking, singing and bickering instead of sleeping. I choose to take a deep breath and let go of my frustration. I know that this young mother would tell me to stop wishing away my “hard” days and be grateful. Today was not a waste because I lost my temper or because of all the tears…
Today was a day spent with the people I would be aching for if I couldn’t be with them tomorrow.
I also am going to try to fight the guilt about the moments I complain or struggle. I know many people would love to live my life, but that doesn’t mean it is always easy. It is okay to daydream about showering alone or eating a bowl of ice cream without a blanket near by to hide the sin from a sleep walking child. It is okay that some nights I burrow deeper into my pillow when I think about how tomorrow it all starts over and I am supposed to run the show from dawn till dusk. It is okay to feel tired, stressed or even angry. I will take a moment and let those strong emotions swallow me up and then I will blow them right out. I don’t want to waste another minute wishing away this beautiful gift of motherhood I have been given.