how to not miss a motherhood

It feels like yesterday when I sat in my grandmother’s living room with my newborn daughter, Hannah.

This was my sweet grandmother who would love to braid my hair and hold my hands, who baked Christmas cookies for weeks, and who sat next to me and taught me how to play Pathetique Sonata by Beethoven. She was my grandmother who was content to watch birds from her window and loved to simply have her family over so they could be around each other.  Now, we were together, in her home, on a warm and muggy day in the middle of early July. I was there with my first baby feeling proud and overwhelmed and very much like a rookie. As I sat in that humid room, I watched my grandma look at Hannah with wonder as her grey blue eyes glassed over with tears.

I don’t feel as old as I am, Rachel.
I looked at her, my grandmother with worn hands that have lived, and I saw her holding my newborn’s hands in her hands. She rubbed those little hands, those hands of my Hannah with an entire life yet to live, and got lost in a bit of memory.
My grandmother, who less than two years later would die from Alzheimers and not even remember those words about life, and moments, and finding joy that she blessed me with, impacted my motherhood perspective life on that humid summer day.
It will go by fast, so so fast.

A sigh and a look of nostalgia.

Don’t race through it, Rachel.

Don’t race through it. As the years tick by, and the calendars get flipped for a new one and a new one and a new one, I’ve watched my years of being a mother expand from just those months to now over twenty years. Yet, it still feels like it was yesterday that I sat in that room on her floor and listened to her talk about time and motherhood and joy.

It would be easy to miss a motherhood.

It wouldn’t be intentional, but it could be easy. It could be easy to live thinking that when this gets fixed, or our home gets updated, or when we move, or when our finances are better that then I can be happy and can enjoy this moment in time with my kids. Don’t make motherhood based on the context of things, events, or the idea of perfection  – you’ll miss out on today. And I know that today might not look anything like you want it to look like. Today might even hurt, be tricky, be painful, and actually be hard to look at. But for those kids? They need to see you. They need you – not all the things that you think you need to do.

Don’t put off till tomorrow what you could be doing today.

Don’t miss today, and all of the beauty of motherhood, by racing so fast just to get to tomorrow.

For you see tomorrow means another page turned, another moment passed. And today, right now, this very second is a gift in your motherhood journey. You don’t know when the lasts will happen – the last time you carry them up the stairs or they ask for the covers to be pulled up just so or they need you to make their pbj sandwich cut into triangles or when they want you to hold their hand through the parking lot or when they will want their favorite story read aloud or when they will go out your front door not to return except to visit.

Those days will come.

They will.

I know, because my grown oldest daughter now leave a thousand miles from me.

Years ago, when I was a lanky eighth grader with frizzy and untamed reddish blond hair and a face smattered with freckles, my same grandmother wrote these words to me,

…that you may live life and find joy…

It wasn’t until about two years ago, and after my site was already named,  that I found those words again.  She is right – live life and find joy.

Motherhood is the same.

Live your life, live out these motherhood years, right now in the midst, and find joy. The beauty of this embracing life is that you can start right now, today. It’s not dependent upon yesterday, but your choice today, and then next, and the next.

My grandmother lived a beautiful life, not a perfect life, but a beautiful life.

Don’t miss motherhood.

Live life. Find joy. Don’t fear the stumbles. Just stand up, start again.

That, my friend, is life.



17 Responses to “how to not miss a motherhood”

  1. February 26, 2013

    Lisa Reply

    I never take the time to comment, but each day your words have gotten me through a troubled week. I lost my grandmother last week. She passed after living a life full of joy for 88 years! I have been struggling with it. I was entrusted to be her executrix and provide for her affairs. In doing so, I discovered a relative was stealing from her. And it has been a nightmare. I have lost faith in my positivity and ability to give people the benefit of the doubt, I have lost faith in my instincts and ability to trust right now. And all of that has clouded my ability to remember and grieve.

    Your words have meant so much to me this last week. I am a mother to a beautiful 3 year old, and I hope I haven’t lost motherhood for the days I have been struggling.

    Thank you for the gift that you are! You can never know…..

  2. February 26, 2013

    Rachel Martin Reply

    Bless you, Lisa. I truly appreciate you taking time to comment here and share a bit of your story. I am sorry about the loss of your grandmother – that’s a hard place in life. I love that she lived a life of joy. What an amazing legacy!

    I am hoping that your week is filled with joy in the midst of all.

    Hug on your three year old, look for joy, and be blessed.

    With love.


  3. February 26, 2013

    blissmamaof3 Reply

    Nothing like starting my day with a few tears! Thank you for this reminder. It is heart breaking how fast it all goes.i look so forward to each of your posts. What a blessing you have been to me!

  4. February 26, 2013

    Stephanie Reply

    So beautiful. Thanks for the reminder! I need to read this EVERY DAY!

  5. February 26, 2013

    Sumera naveed Reply

    Absolutely beautiful post have magic in your words.keep righting such amazing posts.stay blessed!

  6. Wow. I’m working (again) and my thirteen year old girl is here grumbling that I’m not paying attention. A few seconds ago she was thirteen weeks old, and an old lady stopped me when we were out for a walk.

    “Enjoy it, my dear, it’ll be gone in a flash…” she said. And now my baby is thirteen. I think I need to print this out and laminate it and put it on the kitchen wall! I’m loving your blog.

  7. February 26, 2013

    Laura Jane Reply

    Thank you.

  8. February 26, 2013

    Jessica Villmer Reply

    Thanks for creating tears in my eyes! Seriously though, thank you for sharing about your grandmother – she seems so great. I really appreciate all your advice and insight as a mom. You are a huge encourager and motivator to me. Thank you.

  9. February 26, 2013

    august raby Reply

    Amazing! Thank you!

  10. February 27, 2013

    Lynn Reply

    You get such a different perspective when you become a grandma. When you’re raising your children you are so caught up in raising them that you don’t always have time to actually enjoy them! When you become a grams that responsibility is no longer there so you can actually enjoy it and you have the time to be with them and play with them. It’s amazing! Still praying in Seattle!
    Psalms 116:1-5 I love the LORD, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications. Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live. The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow. Then called I upon the name of the LORD; O LORD, I beseech thee, deliver my soul. Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful.
    My email address

  11. February 27, 2013

    Charity Davenport Reply

    I just found you and I cry when I read what you write because we all need to hear these words of encouragement and truth as mothers.. My oldest soon to be 5yrs & my youngest will be 3yrs tomorrow and the time has already flown by and I’ve missed so much… they are both naturally independent boys & I have been such a perfectionist….. Thank you, thank you for sharing & helping those of us with blinders to refocus on the little ones that make it all worth it I know there is only one answer one truth, but I
    am blessed that you allow Him to use you to gracefully lift others hearts

    Warmest Wishes & Heart felt Blesses

  12. February 28, 2013

    Amanda Metcalf Reply

    Absolutely remarkable. Home run.

  13. July 24, 2013

    boysinheaven Reply

    I get this, in every way! Amen and Amen. I am choosing to not miss motherhood and I love being mom. Bless you Rachel for giving voice to so many!

  14. July 25, 2013

    Lindsey Reply

    Oh, WOW. This simply takes my breath away. So, so true. Thank you. xox

  15. November 29, 2013

    Katie Reply

    Rachel, I have just found your blog and everything I read brings tears to my eyes! Everything you write is heartfelt and true. It touches my heart in everyway and makes me want to improve my own motherhood journey.

    I read this post about your grandmother and my own Great Grandma who passed away from the same condition gave me similar wise words one day sitting in her room at the nursing home. ‘Don’t rush your life’.
    I have never forgotten everything about that afternoon and how it has stayed with me.
    I am now pregnant with our 3rd child and I will embrace this more.

    XOX Katie

  16. June 4, 2017

    Leilani Galvan Reply

    This is exactly what I needed to read tonight. I needed this reminder. Thank you.

  17. October 6, 2017

    Tadi Reply

    Thank you. I am reading and crying. I promise myself to stop hurrying and start being present right now.

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