Before kids, I slept in as late as I wanted, on Egyptian Cotton sheets with the highest thread count, waking up to the peaceful sounds of nothingness. I could book a massage, then grab lunch on an outdoor patio. Remember those days, girls?
Running to the grocery store was a breeze. It was just Me, Myself and I. Grab wine, grill the steaks and voila, dinner was served.
Fast forward 6 years and leaving home for the weekend is like renegotiating the Geneva Convention. It’s nearly impossible. I found myself with 4 kids under 7 and life had become a car seat toting, stroller loading, baby crying, minivan driving, two baby carrying, kind of life. Is that a booger and what is that smell?
I had no idea the strength I would need to haul, install, comfort and carry all these children. Something my personal trainer never prepared me for. Driving to Target was like moving. Strollers, binkies, blankies, diapers, food, bottles, snacks. Forgetaboutit. The list is enough to make a grown man cry.
I had no idea I could carry a toddler in one arm and a 17 lb baby in a car seat on the other, while saying NO to a child begging for candy that’s been placed at eye level on aisle 9. Curse those marketing folks.
I wasn’t prepared for the physical aspect of raising children. The arms that comfort a fearful child, alleviate the boo-boos, and console the hurt. I should have these arms insured by Lloyd’s of London. If Heidi Klum can insure her legs, why not my arms?
The arms that hold, hug, console, pick up, throw in the air, carry on their shoulders, flip upside down and tickle. These are the arms that lacked the strength before kids, yet found a way to push through and grow stronger as the needs of life created the ‘iron sharpens iron’ mentality.
We feel tired and worn, like our favorite blanket we held as a child. A piece of fabric that brought comfort, delight, calmed fears, provided security when we felt all the feels. As moms, we’re the saving grace to our kids; though at times we don’t feel enough.
Oh, girlfriend, you’re enough. You’re more than enough. If a stranger tried to provide the same comfort to your child at a Big Box store, can you imagine the squeals and screaming, the running and bucking in the cart. Because guess what, you are the magic, the one with the pixie dust. You are the one and only.
When you feel like quitting, remember, you are the only one they’ll allow to console, love and comfort, so take heart. Your world won’t be their world forever. You have the strength of motherhood. It may be 2 weeks or 6 months from now.
Their little worlds will expand. Before you know it, their crawl becomes a run, and you won’t be their complete world, only a piece of the larger puzzle.
Embrace the moments that create your strength. For one day, you’ll sleep in those crisp, high-thread-count sheets and hear the peaceful sounds of nothingness. Then the door bell will ring and just as your family has doubled in size, so will your heart and your strength, once again.
Here’s to living the Best Version of You.