“Mom! Mom! Mommy!! Come with meee!”
These are words I hear just about 100 times a day from my sweet as pie, bossy as can be two year old. Followed by a command to either sit on her floor to play, pick up crayons to color, or get her a snacky (her word not mine).
Having a little baby in the house did nothing to temper the amount of love and attention this girl craves, if anything it’s been multiplied. What I wouldn’t do to be able to give her all the attention she wants all the time.
But sometimes I’m tired, or cranky, or busy feeding baby boy, or changing his diaper for the 100th time, or doing laundry, or cooking. Sometimes I just don’t have it in me to play princess for another minute. Sometimes, I feel as if there’s simply not enough of me to go around. While my love for her is boundless, there are limits to my actual person that I never knew before. And they’re much smaller than I’d like them to be.
How many mama’s can understand these feelings? How many mama’s like me, wonder if they’re giving their sweet babies enough love and attention while battling for a bit of space and freedom to move and talk and eat by themselves? To feel like a woman again, instead of a nose wiping, laundry folding, boo boo kissing, milk machine? I bet a lot more than would like to admit.
It’s so hard mama’s. So much more than I dreamed or imagined. Every day I cry because my fear of not being enough creeps to the surface of my thoughts and threatens to hold me captive. Every time I am short with her, or ignore her talking, or turn the T.V. on so that she will give me some peace for just 5 minutes. I wonder if I am good enough to be her mom. If she knows I love her enough. If I am teaching her to be kind and patient and loving as much as I should.
But my silly little two year old who wants to eat just ketchup by itself and loves to jump all over the house and always tries to help with her brother doesn’t wonder about these things. Her mind is filled with silly songs, ABC’S, counting from 1-20, and trying to convince me she doesn’t need naps anymore. She never doubts my love. She gives me grace when I mess it up. She’s quick to run back for a hug and a kiss. And she continues to ask me to hold her hand and follow her.
And I’m learning something from her. Something it’s taken me quite a few years and the humbling experience of becoming a mother to figure out; I can give myself grace too. We aren’t perfect mama’s. And we aren’t going to be. But God fills the gaps where our abilities fall short and our patience runs out. He supplies everything we need, and He makes sure that our Littles will surely come running back to us for sticky kisses and clumsy hugs.
So don’t worry mama, your baby will still love you if you are short with her, your boy will forgive you if you just don’t have the energy to play race cars another time today, and they won’t break when you discipline them even if your heart does while you do it. God made them resilient. He made them flexible. He made them quick to forget and quick to forgive. And He made them yours for a reason. So enjoy this season, whatever you’re in, and when they ask you, “mommy come with me” take their hands and play for the moment because it only lasts a little while. And most of all, give yourself grace mama. You need it as much as they do.