Exhaustion. The end of the day. Heart, mind, and body running on empty (my car too). But the only way to be filled? To be empty. To give all you have, because to love is to give. This whole take thing is a myth. The only way to “get” love is to receive it. And that leads me to my mommy meltdown of the day:
It is really, really hard to give. Especially when you’re tired. Especially when they won’t eat the food you cooked. Especially when the toys are scattered everywhere. Especially when all you want is an uninterrupted shower. It’s really hard in those moments to stop and say, “for this child I have prayed…” (1 Samuel 1:27). It’s hard to stop and remember all the good that outweighs this moment of bad.
Motherhood teaches me something everyday. I’ve learned more about sacrificial love in my short time as a mom than in all the years leading up to it. Through labor pains, late night feeds, and now toddler tantrums. Through every setback and victory of breastfeeding. Through teething and colds that keep everyone up all night. Through two miscarriages. I have learned how to love until it hurts, and then wipe away my tears and love some more.
Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t change it for the world. Because there is joy. SO MUCH JOY. There’s first smiles, first hugs, first words like “mama” and “dada”. There’s watching a newborn turn into a little person, complete with their own personality, their own perfect brand of loving you. There’s the humbling beauty in being someone’s favorite everything.
The other week, Rose was testing every limit I gave her. Screamed if anything didn’t go her way (she gets it from her mama) and didn’t listen to anything I said. I went to the bathroom for 2 seconds and came back to her throwing folded laundry ev.er.y.where. At the end of my rope, I lunged for her and yelled “no!” I startled her, which quickly changed from fear to a puddle of giggles. So we spent the next 10 minutes giggling and playing. If you want to see my heart melt, give me a giggling Rosie. Mike came home from work not much later and asked how our day was and I quickly replied, “it was good!” Then I stopped and thought, “no, it wasn’t, it was awful.”
But our mothers’ hearts were not designed to hold on to grudges or tantrums. They were made for the giggles. They were made for sloppy kisses and big bear hugs. They were made to reset the clock and start anew everyday, every minute when necessary.
So, let’s lift our glasses/mugs/wine-filled sippy cups and have a drink. Here’s a smile and a flower to say “good job today, mama, you’re doing GREAT things”.