While you were making breakfast you remembered that your husband was leaving for work early today and would thus need his lunch early too. Rats!! In trying to flip eggs, slice cucumbers, and hear a third presentation of the fire-airplane-candy dream all at once, you dropped the yoke-coated spatula just as your handsome man came into the kitchen all ready for work. "You were up early!" he said.
Using monumental restraint you did NOT give him "the look" but rather you crowbarred a smile into place and said with as much neutrality as humanly possible, "Yep".
Having gotten a great night of sleep he said with perhaps more enthusiasm than was necessary in that particular moment, "Great! Is my lunch ready?"
Oh the restraint . . . "Ummm, no. Not yet, but I'm working on it."
After your husband was lunched, kissed, and waved to from the front door, your day REALLY took off . . . There was laundry, a second outfit for the baby, stimulating play, the doing of dishes, more laundry, wiping down of the bathroom - again, a third outfit for baby, singing of songs, a walk to the park with sandwiches, encouragement to not eat TOO much dirt, retrieval of a hat from a tree, soothing and Band-Aiding of an owie, a fourth outfit for baby, consideration of what would be for dinner, yet more laundry, the reading of stories, the planting of sticky kisses and finally - FINALLY, it was nap time!!
Feeling like a terrible mom you plopped down on the couch praising God - albeit guiltily - that children require naps. You reached for your Bible and . . .
Yeah, well . . . zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
Forty minutes later you were awakened by the ringing of the phone and, having taken a deep, deep nap of the perfectly wrong length, you spent a full 60 seconds trying to regain consciousness and get your bearings while your mother-in-law (who was returning YOUR call) went to voice mail. Well . . . shoot.
Your focus snapped together when you realized that the phone had awakened the baby and you were down the hall in 2.4 seconds lest he wake the others. PLEASE, Lord, not THAT!!!!
Back in the living room you sat on the couch to nurse your precious bundle of chub, and as he latched on and you heaved a deep sigh, your eyes locked on his. Those blue, blue eyes framed by long dark lashes the origin of which you and Daddy still can't determine. He looked at you, stopped, and without relinquishing the num nums, he gave you one of those slow sweet smiles that sends milk streaming down his cheek into his ear. You stopped then too - stopped fretting, stopped sighing, stopped grrrrrring - and you smiled back at him. You brushed your fingers across his forehead as he got back to business and your heart heaved a different kind of sigh . . . enduring gratitude for this little life ~ and for these moments.
Then, along with the hard-earned burp came the odor, the warmth on your leg, and . . . ah yes - the fifth outfit of the day for baby. In this moment, however, you did not sigh. You realized . . .
For moms, the good news and the bad news are the same:
It will pass.
The clutter, the noise, the never-getting-stuff-all-the-way-done-before-you-have-to-start-over, the perpetual potty mess, the forgetting what it was like to eat a meal without myriad interruptions, the Legos underfoot, and the exhaustion that makes you literally sick . . . it will pass! Be encouraged, Mama. The good news is it will pass.
But be sober too, sweet Mama, because the bad news is this: it will pass.
The warm pink cheeks will thin out and the fine baby hair will thicken. The little boy in dinosaur jammies will at some point stop telling you his dreams in rich detail first thing in the morning, and your daughter will stop asking if she can wear her tutu to church. They will grow too big to "snuggle" and their eyes will no longer get as big as saucers over the very idea that there might be sidewalk chalk in their near future! They will stop laughing at your jokes and they'll start looking forward to being somewhere other than with you.
In closing I'm going to tell you an important secret, OK? Here it is: The more effort you put into enjoying the sweet moments, the slower and more sweetly they will go. By the same token, the less credence you give to the bitter moments, the faster they will go. I kid you not. There is tremendous power to be found in gratitude, and big-picture perspective has the power to change everything!