After a baby is brought into the world, the growth that occurs in both baby and mother is parallel. Our days are spent swaddling and feeding. Stressing and reveling. Then, almost magically, a type of rhythm eventually occurs. But it never stops changing. No matter how many times we think we master the rhythm, baby changes. Round after round it goes. The beautiful part of motherhood is that every ponderous and chaotic moment culminates into this beautiful, life-changing transformation. Somehow in this cycle of daily chaos, a mother is formed and a child is grown. From day one, there is the push and pull of holding on and letting go. We love our pregnant bellies, but we can’t wait to reclaim our former bodies. We gently rock our newborn while sleepily dreaming of letting them sleep on their own. We long for them to go to school so we can accomplish just one thing without interruption. Yet, we find ourselves crying in the car after walking them to the classroom that first day. Loving our babies fully through the chaos is hard. We’re constantly cleaning up little messes. Forever trying to hear our own thoughts in the midst of the cacophony of children cooing. singing/banging/being; crying from exhaustion because we are so tired but so full of love for our kids; wondering what it means to let go and hang on while still being true to the people we once and still are.
At the end of the day, in the quiet corners of the night, we lay awake and wonder: If everything else disappeared tomorrow, would my love have been enough?
Children have a way of reminding us to slow down and look at it all without the pressure to make it anything other than what it already is. Sometimes it's not clear that something doesn't matter until we get a little space (and a lot of perspective) from it. It is peace regardless of circumstances. It is endurance on chaotic days, hope in quiet corners, and gratitude in the in-between. This is how we fight against chaos—by counting all the gifts, the small pleasures, the unmerited favor, the joys, and the beauties that grace each day of motherhood. We soak these things up, fill ourselves up with them, and pour them out as we count, count, count—wading in the river of tenderness. A mother’s love exists just as much in the valleys as on the mountaintops. It is just as present in the cold, hard places as in the bright, hopeful places. Loving our children through the chaos is about continual surrendering. A choice to count motherhood’s beauties in the good times and the bad, in the clear skies and in the haze. It’s something to be pursued and learned. By anchoring ourselves in gratitude and pursuing contentment, we become more immune to the tides of our circumstances. Amongst the chaos, let us hold space for gentleness, compassion, understanding, and love.
In the quiet corners of the night when you lay awake and wonder if your love is enough, know with certainty: It is.