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A tiny, sweet grandmother approaches me at the end of one of our church meetings. “Your son is so well behaved—you’re doing such a great job with him!”
I smile graciously, hoping my grin is masking my confusion. My son?
My mind flashes to earlier that day, to the screaming tantrums during bath time; the whiny baby syllables for wanting to be held ALL the time; the loud angry noises for swatting off his hands from putting things in his mouth.
The woman’s remark makes me feel like a hypocrite. I’m doing such a great job with him? Me? Are you sure?
Then it suddenly dawns on me – maybe he shows me his worst sides, his moments of weakness, because there is nowhere else he feels safer than with his mamma. He feels safe to push his own boundaries. To get frustrated. To act out. I must be doing something right.
And so, I brush off those moments of cranky tantrums with a soft kiss.
The best part of being a mom is when your baby looks up at you and smiles or stares because they know YOU are their person. In their eyes, no one else is more admirable than you. They know you will always be there for them like no other. That bond is unparalleled. So, if you feel you’re not doing a good job, you’re wrong. If you managed to bathe, dress, undress, put on a sock/shoe on your little human(s), you’re amazing and perfect for your kid.
I am often asked if I miss my life before I had my baby. The answer is “no”. I miss certain things about my life before becoming a mom – I miss uninterrupted sleep, I miss taking long, relaxed showers, I miss leaving the house whenever I want, I miss restaurant visits where I don’t have to calm a little human while I’m eating, I miss being able to spend much time with my husband, just getting on our bike and driving wherever we felt like, I miss finishing a thought without getting interrupted.
BUT, I’ll have all of the things above again, soon. But, I will never have my little one as a baby or a toddler again. He’ll grow up faster than I know – so missing all the things above for a micro-part of life, is nothing compared to how I’ll miss my little one later in life, like the days when I get to sleep through the night again, but also wishing he would stumble in and ask me to hold him. That’s the real loss.
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