Looking for the good in motherhood

The Internet is filled with perhaps a bajillion blog posts on motherhood and how difficult it is and how we’re in this together and hang in there.  I have written along these very lines in the past as well.  And I agree with them.  Motherhood is difficult, we moms are in this together (or should be!) and we do need to hang in there.  But lately I’ve been thinking about what’s not hard about motherhood.  I’ve been challenging myself to continue finding the positive side of situations even when, quite honestly, they stink.  It’s been rolling around in my head for a couple of weeks.  I’ve been thinking about it even when times are not so easy like when we’re sick.  I decided to make a list about the good things of motherhood right now.  This isn’t all of them, but it’s a start.

– I get to see sweet smiles every morning and throughout the day every day.  Nothing makes my heart happier than having happy children.  When they’re happy and smiling, I can’t help but join them.  One of my favorite things right now is going to get my son up in the morning or from his nap.  When I enter the room he’s so happy to see me that he not only smiles, he laughs.  It’s pure joy.  To know that my mere presence can cause that in another person makes my heart swell.  I usually giggle back at him.

– I get to listen to their stories.  Well, this is mostly true just for my preschooler, but more and more my toddler is communicating.  I spent so long wondering what they were going to be like and what they thought about that now that they can communicate it to me is such a joy.  Yes, I get tired of incessant talking sometimes, but for the most part, my children entertain me and delight my heart as I see them growing into the people they are.

– I get to laugh — a lot.  Seriously, I don’t think I ever laughed this much or this often before I had children.  My kids are funny.  They do funny things.  They say funny things.  We laugh a lot.  And their laughter makes my heart burst with joy no matter what I’m dealing with.

I feel like this photo shows a small glimpse of the adoration my children have for one another. (Photo by Catherine Hatton)

– I get to see my children form their own relationships.  I love seeing them interact with their grandparents and other relatives.  Even more I love seeing them interact with one another.  Sure I have to be a referee sometimes, but more often they are loving on each other.  They love to snuggle with each other.  Every night at bedtime, my son climbs into my daughter’s bed yelling, “Sister!” over and over.  Then she pulls him over to her and they hug tight and kiss good night.  Every night my heart melts and my eyes tear up.  Man, it’s good stuff!

– I get snuggles.  Boy do I ever!  While it can sometimes be a bit crazy when they are both vying for my lap and I kind of, sort of just want to be able to sit by myself, I cannot resist the feel of little arms around me or little lips smooching my cheek.  I melt.  Having a baby, toddler or small child snuggle into you just soothes your soul.

– I always have a snack handy.  I carry stuff with me like Teddy Grahams or crackers or fruit.  I almost always have some sort of snack somewhere on my person or in my car.  It’s great for the kids.  It’s come in handy a few times for me, too.  Just the other day, I was starving and snatched a couple of the oyster crackers my son had dropped in his car seat as I was getting him out of the car.

– Speaking of having things handy, I almost always can offer you a wipe to clean something with, a baby spoon, a napkin, a hat, a blanket, a pair of small sunglasses, sunscreen, adhesive placemats, toys, books and almost anything else you can think of.  I never had stuff like that with me before having kids.  It all comes in handy.

Photo by Catherine Hatton

– I have a built-in excuse for downtime.  Don’t blast me for being so honest about this.  When I was pumping or nursing, I got away often with and without the baby.  As an introvert, those small breaks were sometimes so very precious to me.  Even now there are times when my son needs a diaper change or a nap and I have to go that I’m not all so disappointed to get a break myself.  I promise I don’t dislike people, but I do sometimes just need a minute to breathe.

– I get to be blessed by other people in new ways.  Before I had children, I didn’t talk to nearly as many people, but now people stop me to talk about and to my children often.  I also get to experience the blessing of someone being good to my children.  If you’re good to me, I’m happy.  If you’re good to my babies, then I’m over-the-moon and likely to be your friend for life.  I’m so blessed when others bless my children by being kind to them or going out of their way to make them feel special.

– I get to experience the world afresh all over again.  My son is learning more about everything around him every day.  My daughter is constantly learning and asking all sorts of questions.  I see the world through their eyes.  I see the novelty of small things like watching the rain.  I am challenged by the questions my daughter has about important issues of faith.  I am blessed and awestruck at their pureness and untainted view of the world and other people.

– Probably a minimum of five times a day I say or think how cute my children are.  Sometimes the level of cuteness in my house overwhelms me, especially when you add our cute pooch and my cute husband.  Gah!  I can’t stand it and I love every minute of it.  I may be humble in many ways, but I will tell you outright that my husband and I make the most adorable children (thanks for that also goes to God, of course!).

– I get to read some fun books.  I’m not to this stage with my son, yet.  With him I’m stuck in the read-this-same-book-10-times-in-a-row phase.  But my almost 5-year-old is a different story.  For a year or so, we’ve been able to read chapter books. I’ve been able to share some of my favorites with her and we’ve found some new favorites together.  I love reading.  I love books.  I love sharing them with my children.  I love good books for kids.

These are just a few of the benefits of motherhood I can think of for now.  Do you agree?  What would you add?  Share the with me!

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