May 8, 2011 by Shannon
Sometimes, I feel a little bogged down by motherhood. I get frustrated. I get annoyed that I have to strategize in order to accomplish the most basic of tasks. Because let’s face it – keeping a household running while you have a baby on your hip and a busy preschooler to corral is not the easiest of tasks. In fact, I do most tasks one-handed these days, which takes me two times as long. Frustrating.
But then, something snaps me back into reality.
Like last week, when we ran into a dear family friend who has grown children. As he looked fondly at our kids, I could tell that he was thinking of the days when his were little. And words he once told me echoed in my mind: “When we had our first child, I looked at the baby and instantly realized – this is child is not ‘mine.’ This child is entrusted to me.”
Today, as I fed and rocked Ella at naptime, I stared at her, taking a mental picture. I noticed how her wispy blonde hair stood on end at the back of her head. How it looked almost white against the brown velvet rocker. I listened to her swallow quietly, as sleepiness set in. I must have stared at her for 5 straight minutes like that, burning the image into my brain. I may only have 3 or 4 more months of nursing left. And I don’t want to forget what it’s like.
A couple of nights ago, I watched a video clip of Kellan when he was about two. It was like being transported back in time – I had forgotten about his quirky two year-old language habits. Like how he used to say, “I oh no,” meaning “I don’t know,” as a nearly standard response to any question that was posed to him. Watching that video, seeing long-gone baby fat still clinging to his face, reminds me to welcome the millions of questions he now barrages me with on a daily basis. Because this phase will also pass all too soon.
I used to bemoan the fact that I had to do chores with a clingy baby Kellan on my hip. Now he’s got better things to do. And before long, Ella will follow. So even though these early years are tough at times, it’s up to me to make the most of them. Motherhood is a gift. It is the gift I will treasure most on this Mothers’ Day.