The other day my son Samuel sat on the swings holding on to the sides and waited for me.
I wanted to just get the dishes done. That was it. I stood at my sink with a pile of dishes waiting to be washed (because my dishwasher has been broken for almost a year now) and furiously scrubbed away at dried on food. (Did you know that macaroni and cheese if not scrubbed immediately forms a bond stronger than Gorilla Glue?) I had this list. This gigantic never ending massive to-do list that many times I have to categorize.
Then I looked up and saw him sitting there.
He was singing something. His little feet were scraping the dirt underneath the swing. The dirt that once used to be grass, but now had worn away from littles into the tell-tale signs of a swing above. It’s the dirt his older brothers wore away as well. It’s the dirt where the spring grass doesn’t even attempt to fill in because it knows that within days the feet of my little boys will wear it away.
I love that dirt because it reminds me of the beauty of motherhood.
It reminds me that they’re still little.
Because one day that dirt underneath the swing will fill with grass and I’ll long for the moments, the memories, when my four year old sat on the green swing with his feet dangling as he waited for me. I’ll remember his eight year old brother sitting there, not too cool yet to sit on swings that were worn in the backyard.
I don’t want him to have to wait all the time.
I’ll come and play when I finish this. Just give me a minute to switch the laundry. How about tomorrow we read those three books? Hold up I’ll be there soon.
We can always be busy.
I can always find one more thing to do. Just one more and one more and one more and one more and one more. and then I wake up in the morning, just like today, and I realize that I have a clean sink but that I never pushed Samuel on the swing again. Or that the stack of books is still sitting there waiting.
Time is a finicky thing.
There is so much to do. So ridiculously much. The dishes should be done. The laundry needs to be folded. The bills paid. The floor swept. The counters wiped. The toys put away. And on and on and on. And in the same breath the kids need to be pushed on the swings and the books read and little heads kissed goodnight.
This isn’t about being perfect. Or rebuking ourselves for the times we missed.
It’s about remembering.
Remembering to give ourselves grace for all the times where you’ve stumbled in your parenting journey. Remembering that there will be times where you must miss pushing them on the swing and that you are still an awesome mom. Sometimes I don’t think we talk about all the hard times in life where we know we miss the moments but life got in the way. But you see, you have many other moments that you’ve grabbed. It’s not about dropping everything every single time, but is rather about being aware of the moments and embracing them when one can and trying trying trying to keep the perspective that childhood is a blip in the timeline of life.
And you know what? You’ll mess up. Without a doubt. In fact, I could write you a list of every single thing I’ve messed up at. (My kids probably could as well.) Those mess up times hurt. It hurts when you try and give and love and do it again and still feel like you’re not enough. Motherhood is sometimes a journey in never feeling like you’re good enough even though deep down, in our core, we know that being mom and being there and giving of self and loving of our kids is so much of enough.
I’m glad because in this world moms need grace.
We live in a world where it’s so easy to judge others and be hard on ourselves. We live in a world where presuppositions about others can be made and we look at the outward and forget the heart. We live in a world where maybe the mom on the iPhone in the park need not be judged but rather loved for who she is. We live in a world where motherhood becomes this crazy competition but deep down you know what? We all just want to be good moms. Make that awesome moms for our kids.
There will be times where we don’t get those pushing swing moments and times where we do.
Today. Stop just for a moment and breathe in motherhood.
Breathe it in deep. Breathe in the moments that you love and the moments that you hate. Breathe in the normal simple things. Breathe it in because time will move no matter. Breathe in the moments where you washed those dishes because you totally had to and the moments where you pushed the dishes aside and pushed your little on the swing.
It’s not about you being perfect. It’s about you being real. You. Trying. Washing the dishes and loving your kids and pushing them on the swings and loving other moms for who they are. Moms. Not saints.
Breathe in the beauty. Not the expectations, rules, and should have done’s
There really is no should in motherhood.
There is being.
And being a mom and trying hard and ultimately really loving your kids is enough.
That’s what I want you to remember today.
Rock on awesome mom.
Read Why Being a Mom is Enough for more encouragement.
[Tweet “There really is no should in motherhood. There is being.”]