When my daughter was born and I was on maternity leave, the first two weeks were exhausting but exciting. I was literally running on adrenaline. And yet the weeks after that were a little more difficult as my husband returned to work and I became even more exhausted. (I didn’t know it was possible to be that tired!)
If we want to get raw with feelings here, I was really struggling with feeling appreciated. Of course I knew my husband understood how hard I was working to breastfeed and wake up in the night and learn how to be a mom. He was my biggest supporter! But it was harder than expected for me when my sweet baby would cry and sleep… and that was about it. All the while, I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off, pumping, cleaning, and trying to remember to eat and shower myself.
Then, as many of the best moments tend to happen, I found a blessing in the most unexpected time.
At 4 am on the morning our daughter turned 6 weeks, I was leaning over the edge of her crib, pleading with her to just go back to sleep for a little bit longer. That’s when it happened: She smiled her first ever purposeful smile. A big gummy smile I will never forget for the rest of my life. A little gift for her mommy who needed to feel extra appreciated in that middle-of-the-night moment.
Being a working mom, a stay at home mom, or a work from home mom is HARD. Having a newborn, or a toddler, or multiples, or teens is HARD. Each in their own ways come challenges and hard times and blessings. By the end of the day with my toddler now, or by 3 pm when my husband gets home, my body and mind are exhausted, and I am either ready for wine or coffee #3.
It is often at that time when my husband opens the microwave to find my cold mug from an attempt at a reheat earlier in the day…
It’s the big blessings in life that are the easy ones to recognize. Our spouse, children, home, church, family, pets…I hope your list of blessings is similar. BUT, what if we looked a little deeper into each day for the blessings that aren’t so obvious? The blessings that are sometimes buried in the mundane or the midnight feedings or a cup of cold coffee.
A sink full of dirty dishes means we have food in our fridge. Endless laundry means we have clothes to wear. And that cold coffee left abandoned in my microwave means I have a beautiful baby to rock and nurse and care for. It means I have a little girl who needed both of my arms around her for some time. It means I have a toddler who needed me to read her that same board book for the 20th time before noon.
Cold coffee means that we are blessed to be busy and blessed to be needed.
I’m encouraging you today, in whatever stage of motherhood you’re in right now, to seek out little blessings throughout the day (or night!). Maybe you’ll be able to see the bright side of a situation or discover a hidden blessing in a hard time. I hope you let a newborn smile warm up your heart when you need it most.
Mom-ing is hard, and cold coffee is what we’re stuck with. But the blessings… wow. We, as mothers, really get to see firsthand the best of the best and what life’s all about.
Keep on keeping on, mama. Most of all…cheers!