Friday, October 4, 2013

Quiet Moments

I love spending all the hours with this sweet little girl.  She is teething and into everything and sometimes throws her food, but honestly, that stuff doesn't bother me much anymore.  I was thinking yesterday about how every single stage of childhood brings it's joys and tribulations, it's challenges and it's rewards, but it is all good in the end and all of it needs to happen.  Sometimes when a stage gets frustrating, I think of the alternative.  The alternative being that I don't have little feet pattering after me constantly, and my house sits perfectly clean but empty, and there is no little body to cuddle which will always be a great excuse for a nap.

I remember reading a blog post years and years ago-a young mom had written about the loss of her little girl in a devastating drowning accident.  She wrote the most heart wrenching post I've ever read, and it simply said how weeks ago she was so annoyed at the fingerprints left all over the house by her little toddler-she had just spent hours cleaning and was hustling and bustling to get ready for a family gathering and wanted just a little sense of accomplishment that would last more than five minutes.  I think we can all relate.  Life gets harried sometimes and we moms work hard for hours and days and years on end, and have lots of responsibilities.  But now she wrote, what she wouldn't give to see one of those little fingerprints back on the walls, how she looked and looked for them, hoping she missed a few here or there in her quest the last few days before the accident.  

She wrote the post as a lesson for fellow moms, and it has stayed with me forever.

I want to always remember the work I am doing won't last for long, it is fleeting, it is precious and not ever to be taken for granted.  I will wish it back one day, I already look at the years and wonder where they've gone. There are women who would give anything to be in my place, whether struggling with infertility, or experiencing the sickness or loss of a child and wishing they could have every thing back the way it had once been.

It isn't easy to see this larger scope but I have realized that when I take time every day, even just for a minute, to look at the bigger picture of mothering, it happens. If I stop my mind and cease "doing" I am able to see farther than what needs to be accomplished today, whether that be endless diaper changes, or laundry loads, or squabble settlements, or meal preparation.  I can see beyond the little nuances of every age. The little complaints that can over take my mood become trivial.  A feeling-sorry-for-myself moment can become a thank-my-lucky-stars moment.  Cheerios stuck on the floor become sentimental, an unbroken night's sleep becomes insignificant, the constant call of "mom!" becomes something I know one day will become too rare. It is an easy flip of the switch if I allow it to take place, and all it takes is time to stop and take a walk, sit down on the floor to play, take a moment or two or three to connect with a child.

The gift of motherhood should be treasured, no matter good or bad, endless or monotonous, rewarding or routine. There isn't anything I'd rather be doing, there isn't anything more important on earth, I know this with my whole heart.

44 comments :

  1. Perfect reminder. Thank you so much. Enjoy your fingerprints and everything else that goes with it. I will w
    Enjoy mine a little more now.

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  2. wonderful reminder for me as i struggle along with you...
    and now, i'm off to make some chocolate chip cookies for my little family, a surprise for the kiddos when they get home from school.
    serving them with a good attitude!

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  3. Thank you for this!! I struggle some days with being a mother but now I just want to go get my 2 1/2 daughter and hold her and hold her and NEVER let her go. We have been debating on having another child now I want to go have 10!!! :) Thank you!

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  4. What a beautiful post Sarah. Such a great reminder of the little moments - the disruptions - that are to be treasured!!

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  5. This was so beautiful. You have such an amazing way of strengthening us mothers. Thank you, thank you.

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  6. A perfect reminder. Just beautiful. Thank you!

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  7. Thank you! I could add more but I'll just say thank you!

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  8. I so needed this today. Thank you.

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  9. I agree with every word you just said Sarah! You are such an inspiration. I am a stay at home mom to two boys 8 and 11. We have been struggling with secondary infertility for the last 7 years and a few months before you had Janey I gave birth to a stillborn baby girl. I would love to be complaining about fingerprints from that little girl. Those experiences have taught me to treasure motherhood everyday!!

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  10. I so agree with you. My greatest joy is being a wife and mother. We need to be reminded to stop and smell the roses.

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  11. I can't tell you how grateful I am for this reminder!

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  12. Whenever I feel impatient with my kids, I remember a cartoon from the family circus. The mother tells the children to be quiet, then thinks about how quiet the home will be when she is old and the children are gone. The children look at each other in confusion after the mom tells them to make all the noise they want, and one comments on how mommy's eyes are wet. With every spill, toy mess and fight, I remember that someday my kids won't be kids anymore.

    Awesome post.

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  13. Thank you for this post I really needed it today. I have three little boys ages 4 and under, and a husband fresh out of law school. Life feels tough right now, and everyday I pray and fight to keep that long term perspective. These are precious years! Thanks again for the reminder, you were an answer to my prayers today :0).

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  14. My kids are 15, 13, and 10. I've spent too much time mourning the fact that I won't be having any more children instead of just enjoying the precious moments of the present. Thank you for the reminder

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  15. Thanks so much. I love your heart and your honesty. And of course you are absolutely right - all it takes is to stop and realize all we have been given.

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  17. Oh so beautiful, Sarah. We are dealing with teething over here too and it has been rough going. I will remember that story of the fingerprints...definitely puts things into perspective. Teared up!

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  18. Very beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

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  19. Catching up on your blog tonight Sarah and this post made me cry! Such an important reminder and not one to take lightly. There are so many posts you've written that will stay with me forever Sarah. Thank you for that. And btw - your wallpaper looks SO good! I can't believe you did it yourself! I love it!! Can't wait to see your closet mudroom. And everything else!

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  20. so very true. I often think of a quote I read on Ali Edward's blog about embracing the 'normal' day as one day we will want our 'normal' back. I have to admit my 7 and 5 year old are trying my patience at the moment so posts like this one are a wonderful reminder. Thank you

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  21. So true! Thank you for sharing!

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  22. I have four-year-old twins and right now, they're kicking my butt :) so I really needed to read this right now! Thanks, Sarah.

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  23. This post reminds me of a saying that goes something like this: "We spend so much of our lives worrying and thinking about yesterday & tomorrow. There is not a thing we can do about either - except let them steal TODAY right out of our hands. So, seize THIS day with its blessings & challenges and live every moment of it!"

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    Replies
    1. Love this saying Happy Annie. Thanks for posting it.

      Your words on this post are awesome Sarah!!! YOU. MAKE. US. ALL. THINK...thank you!!
      Blessings,
      Cathy

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  24. She is getting so big and so adorable!

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  25. oh, I need this on my bathroom mirror. Where is your book so I can have it on my nightstand too? Janey is too cute. The part about snuggling and a good excuse for a nap, I already miss it....

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  26. this is why it is so important that we wake up in gratitude. that we CHOOSE to be grateful, not only in the easy moments, but specifically, the tough ones. i had one single moment change my entire life and my view of motherhood completely. embrace the fingerprints, enjoy the teething, cherish the tough moments. every single moment is a gift, and they pass by all too quickly.

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  27. "There isn't anything more important on earth. I know it with my whole heart." I love those words. They are true! I know it with my whole heart, too. Just this morning I was texting my husband about the amount of bodily fluid & other messes I had already cleaned up this morning. He responded with "Lol. Sorry, hun." I responded to him with, "I wouldn't change it for the world." And I wouldn't. I don't even remember how I found your blog, but I come here often. Your perspectives and insights mirror so many of my own and your posts have helped me in so many ways. Thank you!

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  28. Just what I needed...thank you!

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  29. This is wonderful and so well-said. Thank you!

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  30. Your blog is such a breath of fresh air, Sarah! I feel uplifted each time I read and just cannot wait to be a mother. Thank you!

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  31. I love your passion for what we do every day - simple motherhood. You are so inspiring - I'm a 29 year old mother from England, addicted to my toddler son! He is my world, my job as a mother is the most important in the world to me. I love reading each & every post of yours :) x

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  33. Dear Sarah,
    this post was so much for me!! Yesterday, my oldest turned 4. And we had a big fight. Exactly on her birthday... :-(
    Sometimes, when I read your posts I remember Mother Teresa saying: "I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God who is sending a love letter to the world." For me you are just the same, Sarah!
    Thanks God for this blog!
    Kisses from Europe!

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  34. This is such a great post. Our kids do grow up way too quickly!! I have given up my first born for adoption after 7 years of raising her own my own. I know how valuable every moment is, and how we wish could have those moments back. My husband is doing everything in his power to ensure that I get to continue to stay home with our three kids.

    I had a friend who lost their daughter in a fire, and that broke my heart as a teenager. Her daughter was one of my riding lesson students, and it was so heart wrenching to say the least. I'll never forget that feeling as long as I live. I can't even begin to imagine what her parents felt.

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  35. Beautiful post. I have three children, and two of them have autism. I can't tell you how I long for just the everyday, normal frustrations and aggravations of parenting. I have those with my third child and I just treasure them for how regular they are! Of course I love and am so thankful for all my children, it's just that with my other two, their frustrations and issues can often be heartbreaking because they are hurting in a way we can't really fix. I would love for my "problems to deal with" list to be filled with things like: writes with crayons on the window, won't poop in the toilet, or won't get out of bed on time in the morning. Instead it is things like: punches himself in the face so hard and often out of frustration that he has a black eye...again. Thank you for this reminder to all of us to appreciate the normal frustrations of life, as they are their own kind of blessing. :)

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  36. Sarah, thanks for sharing this--I needed it today. Once again you have perfectly put into words the feelings of my own heart :-)

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