Motherhood is feeling hard lately. Over the weekend, I tried and FAILED to get the baby to nap in his bassinet rather than the swing or bouncer, which led ME to feeling like a big, fat failure (because apparently my self-esteem is so deeply entangled with my children and their behavior and cooperation?) and also led me down a slippery slope of “What if he NEVER naps in his bassinet? What if he stops napping at all? What if I’m setting up bad sleep habits? What if none of us ever get good sleep AGAIN?!”
So rather than dwell on those difficult, exhausting moments, I’m trying to remember that there is beauty and bliss in every dark corner along this parenting journey. Like when the baby is fussing for his mama and the moment I lean over to speak to him, his mouth becomes a wide, open smile, all gums and chubby, pink tongue. Or when the two-year-old is crying because I said no to using markers right now and I ask if she wants a hug and, with a pouty lip, she says, “Yesssshhh,” and throws her plump arms around my neck, so tight that if I were a cartoon, my eyes would bulge. Or when I brought home a cheap Anna and Elsa book for the five-year-old and she said, “Oh, thank you, Mama! Thank you, thank you, THANK you!” while clutching her book to her chest and dancing around the room, and then I knew exactly why, finally, I had given in and surrendered to the Frozen craze that I had been trying to avoid.
Or like today, when I accidentally stumbled upon a newborn photo of said five-year-old:
and I suddenly remembered how this whole journey begins. With them so tiny, so new, so very fresh from God.
So much beauty. So much bliss.
So much to be thankful for.