They say when you become a mom, you change. I am sure just about every one of us has experienced that. It is awe-inspiring to come to the realization that just as our actions shape our children, our interactions with our children also continue to shape us.
My heart loves more deeply, my mind works more creatively — albeit a little slower at times — and my life seems all the more vibrant since embarking on my journey as a mother.
The other day, I had a revelation of sorts.
No mother likes to see her child suffer. A sick child is like a stone upon the heart of the mother. Her heart becomes heavy, and their pain becomes hers. Even as I type this, my child lays sleeping next to me after another night of unrest. It is cold and flu season, and this is nothing new. However, my perspective is.
I have come to find that, even in the most unpleasant of parenting moments, my heart is still full and the moments are nonetheless glorious. Now don’t get me wrong — I hate seeing my child not feeling well, but there is undoubtedly still beauty to be found even when the situation is of less savory nature.
Yesterday, for instance, I had just gotten my 3-year-old daughter down for a nap. She had slept poorly the night before, and I lay next to her softly stroking her hair, preparing to drift off myself. I said a silent prayer of thanks that she was able to get some much needed rest. I lay there, inhaling the sweet scent of baby shampoo that I have come to love so dearly.
She had been sleeping for no more than five minutes when she began another violent coughing spell. I rubbed her back and whispered words of comfort, hoping it would be over soon and that she would drift back to sleep.
In a matter of seconds, however, I found myself sliding my arms underneath of her and throwing her over my shoulder as she began to vomit from coughing so much. Her eyes filled with tears, she began to sob out of fear and vomit slowly poured down my back onto the freshly changed sheets.
We sat a few moments…both scared and shaken. I rocked and consoled her and then cleaned her up before carrying her to the couch for cuddles and cartoons.
What struck me so vividly in that moment, however, was what it felt like to be so loved and so needed that for a minute: I was all that mattered to this precious child. Her love and need for me is so much that even though my presence may not be able to physically make things better — I can’t take away her cough or her fever — in that moment it was all she needed…to know that because I was there, everything was going to be fine.
What a privilege it is to mean so much to someone.
As she looked up at me with those big blue eyes, arms still clasped around my neck, she said, “Thank you mommy, I love you.” And with that, I knew that this was a moment to be treasured.
Despite the fact that I was covered in vomit and that I had just washed the sheets, I never once thought, “I need a shower,” or “Well, this sucks.” I simply thought how lucky I am to be the one holding my child. How lucky I am to be the recipient of such pure love. How lucky I am to be a mom.
Motherhood is messy, motherhood is hard, motherhood is challenging but motherhood is so very GLORIOUS!