I was recently at a get-together with several families that also have young children. Some of the moms were getting food—balancing multiple plates for multiple children, trying to find things that they will eat and then cut them up into tiny pieces before worrying about getting food for themselves. One mom asked another a question, but then caught herself when she realized she had been distracted and not really heard the answer. We then had a conversation about how often this happens and we wondered when the day would come when we could actually have full conversations with one another and hear the answers to the questions we ask.
I started thinking about this in light of this excellent blog post Are You Lonely, Mama? that I read the other day. (If you haven’t read it, click on the link, read it, and come back..it’s that good.) Motherhood can be lonely. I’ve felt it. I am a very extroverted, people-loving person who, almost two years ago, went from a full time job of being around lots of people all the time to being at home taking care of one little person full time. I have never regretted the decision to be a stay at home mom, but it was a very hard adjustment for me, especially at first. Just ask my husband, who got a full run-down of the day the moment he walked in the door and heaven help him if he was “late”. I’ve gotten better..I think.
Thankfully, I have been blessed with an amazing community of moms that support each other, give advice, pray together, help one another, and don’t judge. However, even our time together is often distracted or disjointed. I might ask how you’re doing, but then walk away before I hear the answer as I chase after my exploration-loving toddler. Or I might now even say “hi” to you at all, despite having every desire and intention to. But, I think this is just another bond that we share. I get it when in the middle of a conversation my friend starts running toward the bathroom because her toddler has to pee or when half of a phone conversation is spent listening to a parent talk to their child or abruptly ended because someone just fell off of a chair.
This is the stage we are in and (as we are so often told) one day we’re going to miss it. Sure, it will be really nice to sit down with a friend and have uninterrupted conversation about topics that don’t necessarily revolve around children. Or to be able to call that friend I haven’t talked to in a while because by the time the day is done and I have a few “free” moments, I am exhausted. Or to not be stuck at home because someone is sick or has passed the sickness on to the rest of the family. But, at the same time, I remind myself how incredibly blessed I am to have two beautiful children who need me and love me so much. I am so thankful to be their mama who they go to for comfort and love and laughter and security. I get to hold my daughter and rock her little body when she wakes up grumpy from a nap. I have the joy to nurse my baby boy who wants to eat all the time so that he grows and thrives. I have the privilege of watching these tiny little babies become kids who become people that will impact the world. They make me better and I am so thankful for them and how they enrich my life. I don’t deserve any of it and I thank God for giving it to me anyway.
In the words of the author of the post I mentioned earlier:
”Just remember that this is a season and it is the most sacred season you will ever have the honor of experiencing. This is the time when your babies need you and want you and enjoy having you around. This is the time when they will cling to your legs as you try to leave the house without them and run into your arms when you come home as if you’d been gone a lifetime. You will never be more loved and wanted and needed as you are right now…in this moment.”